SoftBank CEO says artificial general intelligence will come within 10 years


SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said he believes artificial general intelligence (AGI), artificial intelligence that surpasses human intelligence in almost all areas, will be realized within 10 years.

Speaking at the SoftBank World corporate conference, Son said he believes AGI will be ten times more intelligent than the sum total of all human intelligence. He noted the rapid progress in generative AI that he said has already exceeded human intelligence in certain areas.

“It is wrong to say that AI cannot be smarter than humans as it is created by humans,” he said. “AI is now self learning, self training, and self inferencing, just like human beings.”

Son has spoken of the potential of AGI — typically using the term “singularity” — to transform business and society for some years, but this is the first time he has given a timeline for its development.

He also introduced the idea of “Artificial Super Intelligence” at the conference which he claimed would be realized in 20 years and would surpass human intelligence by a factor of 10,000.

Son is known for several canny bets that have turned SoftBank into a tech investment giant as well as some bets that have spectacularly flopped.

He’s also prone to making strident claims about the transformative impact of new technologies. His predictions about the mobile internet have been largely borne out while those about the Internet of Things have not.

Son called upon Japanese companies to “wake up” to the promise of AI, arguing they had increasingly fallen behind in the internet age and reiterated his belief in chip designer Arm as core to the “AI revolution.”