Masayoshi Son, chairman and CEO of Japan’s SoftBank Group, believes robots will outnumber humans and surpass their intelligence within 30 years.
Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Son discussed the concept of "singularity," wherein artificial intelligence built into computers, Internet of Things objects and the cloud will exceed the capabilities of the human brain.
Son believes AI-infused computers will eventually have an IQ of 10,000. By comparison, research places an average IQ at around 100.
As AI gains momentum, new "scary robot" stories seem to emerge each day. And while computers are already smarter than humans in many ways, Son is envisioning a future where they will be infinitely better able to connect pieces of data and make inferences and conclusions than humans can on their own. Part of that includes singularity, where machines think and reason on their own.
Son has good reason to promote AI’s capabilities. SoftBank recently purchased chip designer ARM for $32 billion to take advantage of AI growth. The company also recently launched a $100 billion investment fund which will focus in part on AI and IoT.
Son was not the only one to mull the future of robots in Barcelona. Netflix CEO Reed Hastings also touched on the future, robots and AI during his appearance at Mobile World Congress. According to Barron’s, when asked what he expects Netflix might be delivering in the future, Hastings replied, "over 20 to 50 years, you get into some serious debate over humans. I don’t know if you can really talk about entertaining at that point. I’m not sure if in twenty to fifty years we are going to be entertaining you, or entertaining AIs."