Trump Celebrates $50 Billion Investment on Robotic Doctors and Lawyers

By Xyla Joelle L. Fernandez

Dec 08, 2016 05:30 AM EST

Donald Trump's celebration of Japanese telecom giant SoftBank's proposed $50 billion investment in the US is a victory for robots.

The incoming president Donald Trump, made the announcement after SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son met him in Trump Tower and promised the company would also create 50,000 jobs in the US.

The money Son is pledging would come from the SoftBank Vision Fund, a proposed $100 billion investment vehicle Softbank created in October and managed out of the United Kingdom. The fund's stated purpose is essentially to bring about the Singularity.

The fund promises to fund a portfolio of tech start-ups over the next five years that will increase AI capability, and, in the words of SoftBank's latest earnings presentation (pdf), create a world where the "future becomes predictable and is "without accidents," where "life expectancy exceeds 100 years," and where "all industries will be redefined."

Some may think human enslavement by robot overlords. Son thinks business opportunity. Though SoftBank so far hasn't announced any investments, it has already shown interest in developing AI. In September, it completed its $31 billion acquisition of chipmaker ARM Holdings, a company whose low-power chips are essential for any internet of things products.

Apart from the stated purpose of putting AI in charge of everyday life, there's another potential complication. Any Vision Fund investment in the US would put the targeted tech firms on the tether of Saudi Arabia's sovereign-wealth fund. While SoftBank has pledged up to $25 billion for the fund, its main investor is the Kingdom Of Saudi Arabia, which pledged up to another $45 billion. Saudi Arabia, however, is not known for the sort of transparency the tech industry boasts of fostering.

Shares of Sprint and T-Mobile both rose on Trump's announcement. SoftBank did not immediately reply to questions from Quartz, including how it calculated the number of jobs it says would result from the investment.

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