SoftBank: “AI will be humankind’s biggest revolution”
August 8, 2018
By Chris Forrester
Masayoshi Son, founder, chairman and CEO of Japanese media conglomerate SoftBank, speaking at the company’s Q1 earnings report, brought the market up-to-date on its Vision Fund. He explained how in SoftBank’s view computing power was expanding so rapidly that many industries, especially in technology and engineering, would be adopting Artificial Intelligence (AI).
“AI is the biggest revolution in human history. I believe human revolution equals to AI, and we are now facing such a big revolution. And I believe AI will change or will redefine all these industries, that’s how I interpret this era. So, I say the winners in AI will be winners in the future.”
Masayoshi Son said that SoftBank, and through its Vision Fund, is far from a simple investment vehicle. “We own 20-to-30 percent stakes in the best companies with the best entrepreneurs, with the best business models, with the best technology and that we create such clusters with them so that we will be able to realize this AI revolution. This is our strategy for the group.”
He added hat through SoftBank’s various innovation clusters they now have “thousands” of Robotic Process Productivity examples in the telecom sector alone. “We believe [that many] of tasks which often require 2,000 hours of work can be reduced to two hours [thanks to AI]”
He mentioned recent SoftBank investments such as NVIDIA and chip-maker ARM. “People asked why we had invested. I said at the time that we like to look 50 steps ahead,” he said.