Steve Wozniak: AI, sustainability and Tetris records

Johan Berndtsson

There are few people that truly personify Innovation as much as Steve Wozniak. And after his talk at our conference From Business to Buttons on April 21 we are even more convinced of that fact. See the video from the conference here.

The interview on stage, conducted by Jan Wifstrand, centred around innovation, education, and Apple's history, but also touched upon the technical solutions and challenges of the future.

Among them, Steve Wozniak is most passionate about Artificial intelligence, where he sees tremendous possibilities – and growing threats.

– I don’t like pessimistic people and I am not one of them, but I’ve become more worried and negative towards AI. Soon the robots will be able to out-think us, he says and gives an example:

Robots will be invented that can assemble a whole car by itself; it will replace the humans working on that line. The robot on the other hand will never be replaced, only upgraded and improved. If you look at the challenges even further, if machines and robots continue to develop at the same speed, they will very soon be smarter than us. Humans that use their brain at work, engineers for example, will become obsolete.

– It's frightening and the truth is that we've got no strategy at all for how to deal with this shift. It’s hard to see where this might take us and when it will happen, is it  in 20 or 200 years? The truth is that they will probably do all the thinking for us and there will be no limits to what they can or cannot solve, says Wozniak.

Did not simplify

In that way, he is a bit afraid of the future. The thought and ambition, when he 40 years ago created and laid the foundation for every home computer, was not this one.

– I love technology and I love engineers. The idea was always for computers to make life easier for us. Make it possible to work four days a week instead of five and simplify our lives, instead it went the opposite direction. Everybody’s working even more and harder, says Steve Wozniak.

Because of that he believes that we have to make changes to accomplish a more sustainable society for those working harder than ever before and for the environment.

No more hybrid

The environment, pollution and global warming are topics close to Steve Wozniak's heart. He used to own a hybrid car, now he drives a Tesla, although he prefers his Segway any day. He has his own take, and his own theory, on sustainability: The cost of a product – a car, a computer or a table – equals the energy that went into creating it.

– And the more energy it takes to create something – the more polution, this concerns me a lot.

Digital by heart

We at inUse could not agree more. We believe in sustainability over time, and we help organisations and society achieving sustainability in the digital products and services we create. We do not want to be part of products not adding value to society as a whole, and definitely not part of those directly undermining our common sustainability. 

So far, our work has affected more than 70 million people in their everyday lives. Sure, it’s a bit less than how many Steve Wozniak has reached with his innovative leap 40 years ago, but it’s a step in the right direction. Being experts in the interaction between human behaviour and digital design, which is unique, we are eager to use that knowledge to create and contribute to long-term sustainability, for our client's customers, our clients, and our employees. It’s consciousness through design – and we love it.

Please enjoy this video of Steve Wozniak from From Business to Buttons 2015. Be inspired, get out, create, and have an awesome day!

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