SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son claimed artificial intelligence will become smarter than humans within 30 years during a speech at the Mobile World Congress on Monday.
“I really believe this,” proclaimed Son during his speech. “One of the chips in our shoes in the next 30 years will be smarter than our brain. We will be less than our shoes. And we are stepping on them.”
“This burst of superintelligence… is going to become a reality,” he continued.
“I believe this artificial intelligence is going to be our partner… If we misuse it, it will be a risk. If we use it right, it can be our partner,” he added.
In a report by the San Diego Union-Tribune last week, the newspaper claimed that the wave of increasing automation was about to put military jobs in jeopardy.
During an interview with Quartz, Microsoft founder Bill Gates also called for a robot tax to offset the jobs lost from automation.
“Certainly there will be taxes that relate to automation. Right now, the human worker who does, say, $50,000 worth of work in a factory, that income is taxed and you get income tax, social security tax, all those things,” declared Gates. “If a robot comes in to do the same thing, you’d think that we’d tax the robot at a similar level.”
“There are many ways to take that extra productivity and generate more taxes. Exactly how you’d do it, measure it, you know, it’s interesting for people to start talking about now,” he continued. “Some of it can come on the profits that are generated by the labor-saving efficiency there. Some of it can come directly in some type of robot tax. I don’t think the robot companies are going to be outraged that there might be a tax. It’s OK.”
Gates also added that “you ought to be willing to raise the tax level and even slow down the speed of that adoption somewhat to figure out, ‘OK, what about the communities where this has a particularly big impact? Which transition programs have worked and what type of funding do those require?’”
Billionaire and entrepreneur Mark Cuban has also warned that robots will “cause unemployment,” while in November, Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk also predicted that a universal wage from the government would emerge in the future to combat the problem of automation.