SoftBank’s billionaire CEO Masayoshi Son admitted he “had a big cry” after soul-searching last year — because he realized that he would never be able to live out his dream to become an architect.
“I had a big cry. The tears didn’t stop for days,” the Japanese tech tycoon told shareholders Wednesday during the company’s annual meeting in Tokyo, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“There were times when I felt a real emptiness,” he recalled, noting that the waterworks started after he was asked back in October about his achievements as an entrepreneur.
The 65-year-old Son said he has since resolved to become “an architect for the future of humanity” — and is setting his sights on ChatGPT, which he said he used daily for brainstorming more than 600 inventions for SoftBank during the past eight months.
In one particularly long exchange that took place from around 3 to 4 in the morning, Son said he pitched an idea to the OpenAI-backed chatbot and it raised objections, according to The Journal.
“After we repeated this several dozen times, I really felt great because my idea was praised as feasible and wonderful,” he said.
Son added that he has set up five offices in order to file patents for these creations. It was unclear what these inventions were, or if they were powered by AI.
The Post reached out to SoftBank for comment.
In his first major presentation since November, Son said: “I regret big mistakes” in response to an investor’s question on whether SoftBank’s investment in venture capital company Vision Fund was actually focused on artificial intelligence, the Financial Times reported.
In 2019, Vision Fund suffered a massive $8.9 billion loss — its first quarterly loss in 14 years, which was attributed to Son’s strategy of betting big on cash-burning startups.
SoftBank since halted new investments and used nearly the entirety of its shares in Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba for financing, according to The Times.
As a result, the company has more than $35 billion in cash, according to The Times, though SoftBank recorded a net loss of $6.9 billion for the fiscal year ended March.
Despite SoftBank’s cushy accounts, Son still defended the Vision Fund losses during the Tokyo meeting by saying the company “made investments in roughly 500 companies…and I think at least I have found more than several that are going to be big successes out of the 500.”
“I think that’s enough,” added Son, who founded SoftBank in 1981.
Son said SoftBank has “done enough being on the defensive,” and will “go on the counteroffensive soon” after years of preparing to splash out on artificial intelligence.
“I’m very excited,” Son added of SoftBank’s bullish efforts with AI.
He also touted OpenAI CEO Sam Altman as “one of the key people on Earth,” according to The Times, and warned companies against avoiding generative AI despite it needing more regulations.
SoftBank has focused on AI with the development of Arm, which is designed to develop new technologies faster, particularly artificial intelligence and augmented reality.
“I want to achieve several [of my inventions] one by one and Arm will provide the key. By using Arm’s position and combining it with my ideas, there will be an amazing opportunity,” Son said during the Tokyo meeting, according to The Times.
Source by [New York Post]