Softbank founder Masayoshi Son recently gave a speech in front of 561 new employees in Japan, when he said that machines will be smarter than humans in the "near future." He didn't give an estimate as to when that would happen, but Japanese companies are well known for their support of robotics and artificial intelligence.
SoftBank will start selling humanoid robots to consumers beginning this summer, with the robot said to be able to sense human emotion.
"You may think that computers and robots are mechanical while human brain cells are capable of expressing subtle emotions," son told The Wall Street Journal last year. "But I believe there will come a time when computers will perform intellectual activities, collecting all manner of information to process, assess and provide wisdom."
SoftBank has its "Pepper" humanoid robot, clearly not worried about machine learning becoming a threat anytime soon - even though there is growing concern among tech leaders that researchers could one day lose control of AI.