Softbank chief says that those who don't adopt AI are 'goldfish' who will be 'left behind'

Softbank chief says that those who don't adopt AI are 'goldfish' who will be 'left behind'
Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son speaking at Softbank's World event 2023.Tomohiro Ohsumi/Getty Images
  • Masayoshi Son said AI skeptics are "hallucinators" who will be "left behind."
  • The Softbank founder believes that AI will surpass all human knowledge by 2030.

Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son has slammed AI doubters as "goldfish" and "hallucinators" – and suggested that AI models will be smarter than every human on earth by the end of the decade.

Son told the crowd at Softbank's World corporate conference in Tokyo on Wednesday that he believes AI will be ten times more powerful than all of human intelligence by 2030, and that companies must "take advantage of it or be left behind," according to The Wall Street Journal.

In one of the presentation's more surreal moments, he compared those who refused to adopt AI to goldfish, showing a slide an image of a fish in a bowl, and asking them: "Do you want to be a goldfish?"

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Son also dubbed those who are denying the potential of AI as "hallucinations."

His comments come amid an AI arms race, as major tech companies and investors pour huge amounts of money into artificial intelligence start-ups.


On Wednesday, The Information reported that the OpenAI rival Anthropic is preparing to raise $2bn in new funding, just days after Amazon announced it would invest up to $4bn in the company.

Softbank is also preparing to invest heavily in AI, with the Financial Times reporting that the company is discussing a $1bn deal with OpenAI and legendary Apple designer Johnny Ive to create the "iPhone of artificial intelligence."

Despite a rough few years for his investment fund, Son has been extremely bullish about the explosion of interest in artificial intelligence, telling investors in June that he was switching Softbank's Vision Fund to "offense mode."

The Softbank founder has said he uses ChatGPT daily for brainstorming sessions, with the chatbot praising his ideas as "feasible and wonderful."