The Impact of Artificial Intelligence on Japanese Companies

Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son made a bold statement at a corporate conference in Tokyo, declaring that he believes artificial intelligence (AI) will surpass human intelligence within a decade. According to Son, “artificial general intelligence will surpass the total intelligence of humankind by 10 times in 10 years.” This prediction has significant implications for Japanese companies, with Son urging them to adopt AI or risk being left behind. He believes that AI will revolutionize every industry, from transportation and pharmaceuticals to finance and manufacturing. Son’s vision is that companies and individuals who embrace AI will become the leaders of the future.

Masayoshi Son: A Visionary Leader

Masayoshi Son, the founder of SoftBank and a prominent figure in Japan’s business world, has a successful track record in the technology industry. He recognized the potential of the internet early on and now seeks to invest in AI-related companies. Son wants to be on the side of progress and avoid being left behind like an old, shuttered high street. He calls on Japanese companies to “wake up” to his vision of a future led by AI, particularly addressing the youth of Japan. Son’s strong belief in the power of AI is driven by his desire to stay at the forefront of technological advancements.

The Japanese government is also keen on embracing AI. At the Hiroshima summit in May, Group of Seven leaders agreed to promote reliable AI, and Japan’s government is seeking to be part of an international rule-making effort to ensure the responsible and trustworthy use of AI. Prime Minister Fumio Kishida, during a science forum in Kyoto, highlighted the significant potential of generative AI in creating a convenient society. However, he also emphasized the importance of addressing concerns related to disinformation, privacy, and copyright infringement. Japan aims to avoid repeating past mistakes of falling behind in the internet age and is determined to seize the benefits of future technologies by actively participating in AI development.

Overcoming Challenges and Risks

While the potential of AI is promising, there are challenges and risks that must be addressed. Some companies in Japan have been hesitant to fully embrace AI due to concerns about data leaks and other potential risks. However, Son warns against this reluctance, emphasizing the importance of not repeating past mistakes. It is crucial for Japanese companies to overcome these challenges and recognize the tremendous potential that AI offers. By doing so, they can position themselves as leaders in the emerging AI-driven future.

SoftBank, a leading technology company, is well-positioned to play a significant role in AI development. The recent expansion of their chip subsidiary Arm Holding Plc, listed on the Nasdaq, demonstrates their commitment to AI-related endeavors. Son believes that the British unit will be instrumental in advancing AI technologies. As SoftBank continues to invest in AI-related companies and expand its influence, it is poised to lead the way in the development and integration of AI within various industries.

The statement by Masayoshi Son regarding the surpassing of human intelligence by AI within a decade carries substantial weight. Japanese companies are being urged to adopt AI to avoid being left behind in the rapidly evolving technological landscape. The Japanese government is also actively pursuing AI development while acknowledging the importance of addressing potential challenges and risks. SoftBank’s leadership in AI investments and expansion further supports the significance of AI in Japan’s future. It is evident that AI has the potential to revolutionize industries and those who embrace it will position themselves as the leaders of tomorrow.


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