‘American Genius’: Steve Wozniak on ‘Jobs vs. Gates’ (and Skynet)

‘American Genius’: Steve Wozniak on ‘Jobs vs. Gates’ (and Skynet) May 31, 2015


Is it possible that we have the Internet of Things — connected devices, appliances, etc., which are able to communicate with us and each other — because the real-world analog of the “Terminator” movies’ Skynet is shooting back messages from the future to control the creation of new technology?

During a conference call last week for the Monday, June 1, premiere of the National Geographic Channel series “American Genius” — at look at contrasting minds, which launches with “Jobs vs. Gates” — Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak observed:

I have an artificial intelligence point of view, it’s not part of the movie, but if there’s an intelligence in the future that totally runs everything and dominates over humans — and I have reasons to say that it’ll be that intelligent in 20 years from now, but not really able to do it because it doesn’t control everything that moves for maybe 200 years — it’s sending back to the past, which is now, its ideas of telling humans what to build that it will need, and what it needs is the Internet of Things.

Sobering thought.

And a lot of this has come to pass because of two men: Wozniak’s partner in creating Apple, the late Steve Jobs, and Microsoft co-founder (with Seattle Seahawks owner Steve_Wozniak
Paul Allen) Bill Gates.

Jobs was a visionary, leaving the execution to engineer Wozniak. After many years of treatments, cancer finally claimed Jobs’ life in October 2011.

Gates continues his involvement with Microsoft, along with the charitable foundation he runs with wife Melinda (who’s a Catholic, and the couple reportedly attends Mass and is raising three children in the Faith).

Wozniak, who’s now an adjunct professor of engineering and information technology at the University of Technology in Sydney, Australia, has described himself as an “atheist or agnostic,” and said he and Jobs had differences and similarities:

Steve and I, we’re very similar in values particularly. In personality, he wanted to be out front and be kind of a master of a company and make something in life and be important, and I really just wanted to design computers and be a great engineer.

The two of us together had a five-year history before Apple selling my stuff, over and over. So, my genius is in the technical area. I focus so hard, I could not possibly run a business. I wasn’t into all the politics and the businesspeople thing, whereas Steve was. You need both of those, but you need other disciplines as well. Our company was not just two people

[We had] similar values in being able to use technology to improve lives of human beings and make them more a master of their destiny. We had religious and political views in common.

While both Jobs and Gates loved the idea of technology, Wozniak said they came at it from different angles.

The real differences between where Steve Jobs is portrayed compared to Bill Gates, is Steve Jobs having a very futuristic, forward vision, almost a bit of the science-fiction “Here’s what life could be,” but Bill Gates had more of an execution ability to build the things that are need now, to build a company now, make the profits in the short term. That was the biggest difference between them.

Steve Jobs actually felt that Bill Gates should be giving up the current and really push the world towards the future of a mouse-based, click-and-point type of computer machinery, and that Bill Gates was just in it for the money. The world market for computers grew ten times, and Microsoft got it all.

So, I don’t know. You really need the vision like Steve Jobs has, but the vision doesn’t go anywhere if you try to jump in and build products before they are cost-effective for what they do, if return on investment isn’t there.

Click here to see what Wozniak has to say about Apple’s signature product, the Macintosh, and about HBO’s “Silicon Valley” and AMC’s “Halt and Catch Fire.”

Here’s a peek at “American Genius: Jobs vs. Gates”…

Images: Wikimedia Commons

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