Softbank CEO says company’s purpose is to create ‘artificial super intelligence’

The founder and CEO of Japanese investment conglomerate Softbank, Masayoshi Son, believes artificial intelligence (AI) will be one to 10 times smarter than humans by 2030 and 10,000 times smarter by 2035. 

Son’s comments came during Softbank’s annual meeting in Tokyo on June 21. There, he addressed employees in what’s being called an emotional speech laying out the company’s priorities going forward.

Artificial Super Intelligence

The main takeaway from Son’s commentary appears to be that Softbank is dedicating itself to the development of an “artificial super intelligence” (ASI) that’ll be capable of upending human life as we know it.

During his speech, Son discussed both artificial general intelligence (AGI) and ASI. The difference between the two, according to the Softbank CEO, is that an AGI system would demonstrate the equivalent of a human “genius,” with up to a 10X factor.

An ASI, on the other hand, would have 10,000 times the intelligence or capabilities of a human — ostensibly far beyond the realm of the human brain’s limited potential.

It bears mention that there currently exists no scientific consensus as to what an AGI or ASI would be capable of or if such an entity is possible with modern technology. To date, AI systems capable of human-level reasoning remain theoretical.

Stock market reaction

Son went on to discuss both Softbank’s future and his own mortality, something which may have spooked some investors as the company saw its shares dip by more than three percent when the Tokyo stock exchange closed after the meeting.

Per a video of the event seen by Cointelegraph, Son stated that two years ago he realized that he was “getting old,” and apparently wanted to do more with his life before its end.

He added:

“SoftBank was founded for what purpose? For what purpose was Masa Son born? It may sound strange, but I think I was born to realize ASI. I am super serious about it.”

Related: Apple holds back AI releases in EU due to Digital Markets rules

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