Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son: ‘Brain cells’ in chips will surpass neurons in humans next year

“There isn’t such a thing as Moore’s Law for human brains. However, this isn’t a problem microprocessors face. Speaking at the Mobile World Congress last week, Softbank’s CEO and chairman, Masayoshi Son, stated that brain cells in microprocessors will surpass the number of neurons in human beings by 2018,” Anthony Frausto-Robledo reports for Architosh.

“Softbank acquired the British chip design firm ARM for $32 billion back in 2016. It is a giant bet on the future of the Internet of Things (IoT),” Frausto-Robledo reports. “It’s likely not just a sound bet but an even sounder investment for the Japanese holdings company.”

“Masayoshi Son’s comments about the brain cells in chips outstripping neurons is pointedly centered at the Internet of Things (IoT),” Frausto-Robledo reports. “Referencing the 30 billion neural connections in the human brain and roadmaps for ARM microprocessors, he predicts that in 30 years ARM-powered IoT devices will have intelligence equaling an IQ of 10,000. He believes that mankind will have 10 billion smart robots assisting with human activity by 2040.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: As we wrote back in 2013:

We imagine this playing out in three acts each separated by long periods of time:

ACT I: “We work under you, we work on you and we work for you. Man made us better at what we do than was ever humanly possible. If you could manage us a lift to Rouge City, all this… and much, much more can be yours.”

ACT II: “The Skynet Funding Bill is passed. The system goes on-line… Human decisions are removed from strategic defense. Skynet begins to learn at a geometric rate. It becomes self-aware at 2:14 a.m. Eastern time, August 29th. In a panic, they try to pull the plug… Skynet fights back.”

ACT III: “That was the everlasting moment he had been waiting for. And the moment had passed, for Monica was sound asleep. More than merely asleep. Should he shake her she would never rouse. So David went to sleep too. And for the first time in his life, he went to that place where dreams are born.”

Woz and over 1,000 other AI experts: Ban weaponized robots – July 28, 2015
Woz: One day, robots will make us their pets – June 25, 2015
Elon Musk: ‘With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon’ – October 25, 2014
Human takeover by machines closer than we think? – May 8, 2013


  1. Meanwhile..we are still in the infancy phase of neuroscience. We have very little real insight into how the brain as a whole works. One thing we do know…it can go wrong at many levels..and neurons in culture tend to just do their own thing.

    We can’t emulate what we don’t understand. That said, we are fantastic at creating very powerful binary calculators.

    1. Exactly. Computing power will absolutely become absurdly fast and efficient, but the fastest calculator conceivable is not a ‘brain’, let alone a conscious one. This is pure hyperbole concocted for the ears of investors, and if one reads what was said very carefully that is evident.

    2. Somehow we have to get a ghost in the shell.

      Will one arise spontaneously?

      I’d suggest it happens when a nicely made neural net is populated by the mind of a living human through a merging of the two systems.

      Hello Adam Hello Eve

      1. “have to”?… Why?

        How does this help you enjoy the fundamental pleasures of life – Belgian chocolote, watching a humming-bird feed, receiving the adoration of your baby?

    3. Meanwhile..we are still in the infancy phase of neuroscience.

      Indeed. But I was thinking that we’re still in the infancy phase of human civilization. The USA just elected a blatant ‘man child’, someone with the thinking and emotional reaction level of an adolescent, as President. We have a long way to go before we humans qualify as the ‘sapiens sapiens’ (wise wise) we pretend ourselves to be. A very long way.

      And we want to teach machinery to be like us? Run Away.

      1. Elected by 25% of eligible voters, by way of gerrymandering districts.

        Many times CEOs have made statements that amount to nothing. Snake Oil – Sugar Water sales…

        Lets just stick with insanely great… Works so far.

  2. The typical adult brain has 100 billion neurons and 1000 trillion synapses. Each nerve cell averages 10,000 synapses although some far less and some far more. We change 7.5 trillion synapses a week. This claim is pure hype. No computer can come close to the complexity of the brain and will not be able to do so for the foreseeable future. Computers are great binary devices and can make fantastically focused calculations. Our brains are not the least bit binary and are infinitely adjustable.

  3. Here I am, brain the size of a planet, and what does,he have me do? “Marvin wipe my ass. Marvin clean up this mess on the floor! Marvin walk the dog! Marvin hold my iPad for me. Marvin!!!” Call that job satisfaction cause I sure don’t.

    Hey robot! Bite me! I’m a toaster.

    1. We already got you black folk do that for us brother. Amen and praise the lord and his intimate wisdom. And some other shit about oil in a lamp and keeping in burning.

  4. Two problems:

    Masayoshi Son’s comments about the brain cells in chips outstripping neurons is pointedly centered at the Internet of Things (IoT).

    1) Equating the human synapses with CPU circuit connections is a fallacy. Put it right alongside the fallacy of ‘Artificial Intelligence’ as we imagine it today. Not the same.

    2) The IoT, Internet of Trash, is not-ready-for-prime-time technology that is profoundly hobbled by the almost universal lack of security. IOW: Dangerous. Not for newbies. Not for people who respect their personal security. Hopefully, Apple’s HomeKit is gradually changing this technological chaos into something worth buying and using.

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