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SoftBank Ready for Counteroffensive with AI after Massive Losses

This picture taken on February 6, 2023 shows a logo of Japan's SoftBank at their mobile shop in Tokyo. (Photo by Yuichi YAMAZAKI / AFP)

SoftBank Group Corp. CEO Masayoshi Son said the company will “mount a counteroffensive” after posting a massive net loss for the second straight year in fiscal 2022, vowing to pursue growth that utilises the rising popularity of artificial intelligence. Son said the Japanese investment and technology giant is now ready to tap into 5 trillion yen ($35 billion) of cash reserves after cutting back on new investment in recent years to cope with worsening market conditions.

“An artificial intelligence revolution is about to explode,” Son said at the company’s annual shareholders’ meeting in Tokyo, citing the recent popularity of ChatGPT, a generative AI chatbot developed by US based OpenAI. Son said Arm Ltd., SoftBank’s British subsidiary that designs chips for various products from smartphones to cars worldwide, will play a key role in “the AI revolution” that is about to occur. In the revolution, everything will be connected to AI, which will solve social problems and other issues in place of human beings, he said.