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SoftBank CEO says Japan's robot makers face iPhone moment

Masayoshi Son bullish on potential for AI to revolutionize industry despite setbacks

SoftBank Group founder and CEO Masayoshi Son talked about his optimism for the robotics sector at an online event on Sept. 15.

TOKYO -- Robots equipped with artificial intelligence will replace legacy machines in Japan in the same way iPhones disrupted feature phones, SoftBank Group Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son said on Wednesday, highlighting his bullish views on the sector despite its setbacks.

So-called smart robots that work longer and are more productive than humans will be the key to kickstarting Japan's lackluster economy, Son said in a virtual speech that kicked off SoftBank World 2021, a three-day annual corporate event.

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