SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son says technology can outpace human intelligence

In this file photo taken on July 28, 2016, SoftBank Group representative Masayoshi Son speaks at a news conference to announce the company’s financial results in Tokyo.

Kazuhiro Nogi | AFP | Getty Images

According to SoftBank’s Masayoshi Son, artificial intelligence is capable of helping solve some of the world’s biggest problems and could potentially surpass the intelligence of mankind.

“I think this is the first time that humanity has experienced something smarter than humanity,” he said during an interview with CNBC’s David Faber ahead of Arm Holdings’ Nasdaq debut. “Humankind was the smartest creature on Earth – AI is going to go back and surpass it big time.”

SoftBank’s founder and CEO called himself a “big believer” in AI, adding that Arm is a “major” beneficiary of the AI ​​revolution. Son said he has been a passionate supporter of microprocessors enabling all kinds of technological evolution since SoftBank started.

Arm’s initial public offering on Thursday could end a nearly two-year drought in large-scale technology initial public offerings. The IPO market, along with tech stocks, stalled in early 2022 as the Federal Reserve embarked on its most dramatic round of credit tightening in 40 years.

The 66-year-old founded SoftBank, which controls about 90% of Arm Holdings after its IPO in 1981, despite graduating from the University of California, Berkeley. Forbes estimates his net worth to be over $24 billion, making him the 69th richest person in the world.

Son made his early fame as an investor in Japan’s mobile phone industry and later became one of the early backers of Yahoo and Alibaba. Son is serving as Chairman of Arm’s Board of Directors.

Certainly, AI can pose some dangers to humanity if mishandled, Son said, comparing its potential misuse to the dangers of speeding or drinking while driving. But, more positively, AI can help solve important global problems like diseases or help recover from or recover from natural disasters, he said.

“AI, society must regulate to protect mankind,” the boy said. “However, it has more merits than demerits. So, I think I’m a believer. I’m optimistic that AI will solve problems that mankind couldn’t solve in the past.”

— CNBC’s Scott Sniper contributed reporting.

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