Tag: woz

Computers will be our overlords claims Woz

metropolisThe real brains behind the foundation of Apple, Steve Wozniak, said he has come to terms with the fact that computers will one day become the masters of humanity.

Speaking to The Australian Financial Review the new Australian permanent resident said he has started to feel a contradictory sense of foreboding about the increasing sophistication of artificial intelligence, while still supporting the idea of continuing to push the boundaries of what technology can do

“Computers are going to take over from humans, no question,” Woz said.

He long dismissed the ideas of writers like Raymond Kurzweil, who have warned that rapid increases in technology will mean machine intelligence will outstrip human understanding or capability within the next 30 years. But he has started to realise that those predictions might be right and that computing that perfectly mimicked or attained human consciousness would become a dangerous reality.

“Like people including Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have predicted, I agree that the future is scary and very bad for people. If we build these devices to take care of everything for us, eventually they’ll think faster than us and they’ll get rid of the slow humans to run companies more efficiently,” Woz said.

It is not clear if humans will be the gods, the pets or the ants that get stepped on.
“When I got that thinking in my head about if I’m going to be treated in the future as a pet to these smart machines … well I’m going to treat my own pet dog really nice,” Woz said.

Wozniak said the negative outcome could be stopped from occurring by the likely end of Moore’s Law, the pattern whereby computer processing speeds double every two years.

The ever increasing speeds have happened due to the shrinking size of transistors, which mean more can be included in a circuit. But it has been suggested that Moore’s Law cannot continue past 2020 because, by then, the size of a silicon transistor will have shrunk to a single atom.

So unless scientists can start controlling things at sub-atomic level, by developing so-called quantum computers, humanity will be protected from perpetual increases in computing power.

“For all the time they’ve been working on quantum computing they really have nothing to show that’s really usable for the things we need … researchers can make predictions, but they haven’t been able to get past three qubits yet,” Woz said. .

Woz hopes they manage it  because it is about scientific exploring… but in the end we just may have created the species that is above us.


Apple’s garage beginning was a myth

Steve WozniakApple co-founder Steve Wozniak has scotched a long running myth that Apple started in Steve Job’s parents’ garage.

For a while now Apple has peddled an HP style myth that Apple started from the garage. However Woz said the garage thing was a bit of a myth.

“We did no designs there, no breadboarding, no prototyping, no planning of products. We did no manufacturing there. The garage didn’t serve much purpose, except it was something for us to feel was our home. We had no money. You have to work out of your home when you have no money,” he told Bloomberg.

He did a lot of his work at his cubicle at HP. He said that was an incredible time. It let him do a lot of side projects, and it was five years to the summer of ’75, when he built the Apple computer, the first one. The next summer he built the Apple II computer.

He also added that the goal of Apple was not the much touted “Steve Jobs wanted to change the world” idea beloved of so many.

Woz said that Jobs always spoke about wanting to be a person that moves the world forward, the only problem was that he could not create anything.

“Steve wanted a company real badly. His thinking was not necessarily about what computers would do for the average Joe in the average home. Steve only found the words that explained what these computers would do for people and how important it was a little later in life,”Woz said.

Woz said that Jobs did have the best brain in the outfit. He usually had a little, tiny suggestion, but usually he was right.

Woz said he was aware that he was in the middle of a revolution and that pretty soon we were going to have computers that were affordable.

“Every computer before the Apple I looked like—you have to imagine the most awful, not understandable computer you’ve ever seen in a museum or in a new movie. The Apple I was the first one to have a keyboard and a video display. A television. You would type on the keyboard and see your words on the television, or the computer could type its own words on the television and play games with you and ask questions and give answers. That was a turning point in history,” he said.