Apple Co-Founder Looks to Robotics and Artificial Intelligence

Steve Wozniak said he hopes the robotics field will someday create robots that are easily programmable by users to perform specific tasks.

TAMPA—Apple Co-founder Steve Wozniak says one of the primary emerging technologies that is capturing his imagination these days is area of robotics and how artificial intelligence will be applied on those types of systems.

Wozniak said he hopes that someday the robotics field will take a page from the personal computer era by creating robots that are easily programmable by users to perform specific tasks rather than solely focusing on creating system that are preprogrammed to perform specific functions.

"People want things that are useful as opposed to things that do a lot of little things that we call artificial intelligence," said Wozniak.

Speaking at an event hosted by ConnectWise, a company that provides tools designed to help IT services companies run their businesses more efficiently, Wozniak said he is also looking forward to a day when chips will come with a terabyte of memory on them so systems will no longer need disk drives and an era where displays will be more malleable and available everywhere.

"What Id personally like is a display that would be the shape of the earth running Google Maps," said Wozniak.

Despite heralding in the age of the personal computer, Wozniak said he is also a big fan of the emerging SAAS (software-as-a-service) construct because it makes it easier to manage for users.

"Personally, I switched to Google Calendar because I just got sick and tired of dealing with all the applications and the operating systems being out of sync," said Wozniak.

But Wozniak added that as long as memory and disk storage remains inexpensive, there will always be demand for local computing resources so users should expect to live in an era where both computing models are blended together.

Wozniak also said that as an engineer hes excited about photonics on a chip because it has the potential to provide a lot of processing capability to drive the next generation of artificial intelligence applications without having to deal with the heat limitations of existing processor architectures.

As for Steve Jobs, the other co-founder of Apple, Wozniak said the two industry icons are good friends today but not especially close.

"Weve both decided to take different paths," said Wozniak. "You hear a lot of stories about Steve working with other people, but hes always treated me with respect."

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