The singularity is coming, says SoftBank CEO

The Japanese tech boss even has a specific year in mind...

The singularity is coming, says SoftBank CEO

SoftBank founder and Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son. Picture by Eugene Hoshiko AP/Press Association Images

SoftBank founder and chief executive Masayoshi Son has predicted that the singularity will happen by 2047, as machine intelligence surpasses humanity's and AI start improving itself at an exponential rate.

Speaking at the Mobile World Congress, the tech leader said:

"I totally believe this concept. In the next 30 years this will become a reality."

He cited that as the reason why the SoftBank Vision Fund, which will invest $100 billion in AI companies, was announced in Octobe 2016r. SoftBank also acquired UK chip designer ARM for $32 billion last year.

"I truly believe it's coming," he told the Barcelona audience on Monday. "That's why I'm in a hurry – to aggregate the cash, to invest. It will be so much more capable than us – what will be our job? What will be our life? We have to ask philosophical questions. Is it good or bad?"

SoftBank Corp CEO Masayoshi Son speaks with the company's robot Pepper during a press conference in Maihama, near Tokyo, in June 2015. (AP Photo/Shizuo Kambayashi)

Son put a positive spin on the prospect:

"I think this superintelligence 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."

Japan's second wealthiest man foresees there being "many kinds" of superintelligences:

"Flying, swimming, big, micro, run, two legs, four legs, 100 legs."

As Business Insider reports, Son's comments chime with the recent predictions from Tesla founder Elon Musk and Google DeepMind CEO Demis Hassabis, when speaking on a panel at the Future of Life Institute last month...