SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son has long been an advocate for the transformative power of artificial intelligence. This week, at the SoftBank World corporate conference, Son took his claims a step further, forecasting the advent of Artificial General Intelligence (AGI) within the next ten years. AGI refers to a kind of AI that can outdo human intelligence across nearly all tasks.
Son's confidence stems from the current rapid advancements in generative AI, which he believes have surpassed human capabilities in specific sectors. Challenging common misconceptions, he stated, “It is incorrect to assume that AI, being human-made, cannot surpass our intelligence. Modern AI is evolving — self-learning, self-training, and drawing inferences just like humans.”
While Son frequently alludes to AGI's potential using the term “singularity” and its ability to reshape business and society, this conference marked the first instance he pinned down a timeline for its emergence.
Son also introduced attendees to the concept of “Artificial Super Intelligence.” He envisions this as the next evolution, emerging in 20 years, boasting an intelligence quotient surpassing human intelligence by a staggering 10,000 times.
Throughout his career, Son has been celebrated for his strategic tech investments that skyrocketed SoftBank to its current stature as a technological investment behemoth. However, alongside the triumphs, some investments did not yield the expected results.
Notably, Son has always been vocal about new technologies' potential. His foresight regarding the mobile internet has been largely validated, though his predictions about the Internet of Things remain to be seen.
Addressing fellow Japanese corporations, Son emphasized the necessity to embrace AI's potential, asserting that many have lagged during the internet age. He also re-affirmed his faith in the chip design powerhouse, Arm, labeling it as foundational to the impending “AI revolution”.