Monday, February 27, 2017

"Softbank’s Son: Why Do I Spend So Much Money? The Singularity Is Real"

From Barron's Tech Trader Daily:
Monday morning at the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona, SoftBank (9984JP) chairman Masayoshi Son gave a keynote to answer the question “Why do I spend so much money?”
Son, who sounds like he’s been taking campaign cues from Donald Trump, emphasized the huge scale of his efforts. His firm’s investment fund, called the “Vision Fund,” has $100 billion committed to it, which is more than the global total of venture capital money of $65 billion. And he spent $32 billion to acquire ARM Holdings, which makes chips that go into smartphones, cars, and much more.
Why all the spending? Son asked the audience if they knew about “The Singularity,” the principle that machine intelligence will overtake human intelligence. Son believes it’s real — not just that, he knows when it’s happening.

“I calculated 20 years ago that it would be 2018” when the cross-over happens, he told the packed auditorium. “I recently rechecked the calculation and it was still 2018. If it’s off by a year or two, I don’t care.”

“I believe it’s coming, in the next thirty years, so that’s why I’m in a hurry,” he said, “to bring the cash.”

Son went through an explanation of human IQ and machine IQ. Human IQ is on average 100. He joked that probably his audience was a bit above that. Then he said geniuses such as Einstein have 200 IQs. Then he said that machine intelligence will have a 10,000 IQ.

Humans have about 30 billion neurons, or binary connections, he said. The billions of transistors inside chips would seem to be about at the point of overtaking the complexity of those 30 billion binary connections in the human brain, if his calculations are right.

What happens is that ARM will ship all the chips for that, he said confidently.

“They run 99% of smartphones,” he pointed out. “ARM will ship a trillion IoT [Internet of Things] chips in the next decade,” he said. So, Son, who controls Sprint (S), said, “we will have a trillion customers” to connect all that. “Okay?”

Okay. He observed that in a few years’ time, the average pair of sneakers will have more chip IQ than the average human....MUCH MORE