TECH

Softbank's Masayoshi Son Thinks AI Will Be Smarter Than Humans In 30 Years

'I totally believe this concept.'

27/02/2017 16:30 GMT | Updated 27/02/2017 16:38 GMT

One of the world’s most powerful tech execs has predicted that artificial intelligence will surpass human intelligence in the next three decades.

Masayoshi Son, CEO of Japanese telecoms giant SoftBank, told Mobile World Congress this morning that “singularity” will be a reality by 2047.

The concept proposes that computers will overtake humans and then become infinitely smarter, ushering in a new era of civilisation.

The phrase was coined by mathematician John von Neumann in the 1950s and has since become a focal point for tech visionaries.

“I totally believe this concept,” TechCrunch reported Son as saying about singularity. “In next 30 years this will become a reality.”

Paul Hanna / Reuters

He continued to say that if superintelligence “goes inside the moving device”, our lifestyles will dramatically change.

Robots that fly, swim, have two, four or even 100 hundred legs, are just a selection of the types envisaged by Son.

This vision goes a long way to explaining Son’s ambition to raise $100bn for the world’s largest venture capital fund, and the acquisition of UK chipmaker ARM.

Son said super-intelligent AIs can be used for “the goodness of humanity” and could tackle some of our greatest threats, including climate change.

“I think this super-intelligence is going to be our partner. If we misuse it it’s a risk. If we use it in good spirits it will be our partner for a better life. So the future can be better predicted, people will live healthier, and so on,” Son added.

Son’s outlook reflects those of artificial intelligence experts in the UK and the US. Stephen Hawking cautioned last year that AI will be either the best or worst thing to ever happen to humanity.