Steve Wozniak Experience Mars Through VR

GTC 2016: As a special guest experience, NVIDIA enlisted Apple co-creator Steve Wozniak to take the helm in the Mars Rover.

As an person who has made it clear in the past of wanting to sign up for the one-way ticket to Mars, NVIDIA have made it possible to experience the same thing without leaving the comfort of your own couch. ‘Woz’ as part of the experience chucked a VR headset on and showed us how real the overall feel of being on Mars was.

Jen-Hsun and Wozniak joke about finally finding Matt Damon but you straight away get the feel as to how immersive the experience of Mars can be.

This was made possible from utilising the GeForce GTX Titan to give the best possible quality taking into consideration how realism is of the keypoint and this leads to IRAY VR technology.

IRAY VR utilises a pre-rendered source of light probes that is then rasterized and reconstructs the image based on what the eye expects to see as a completed composition.

Steve Wozniak: Apple Isn’t “Changing the World” Any More

Steve Wozniak – who, alongside Steve Jobs, co-founded Apple – thinks that his former company is not the one he and Jobs set up, is no longer “changing the world” like it once was, and that the Apple Watch merely a vanity item.

During an AMA on reddit, Wozniak – affectionately known as ‘Woz’ – was asked how he thought Tim Cook, the current CEO of Apple, was doing in the role. While Woz was complimentary about Cook’s support for both employees and customers of Apple, he criticised its current business model for following trends, rather than setting (or, as some may accuse the company, ‘stealing’) them:

Woz wrote:

“Tim Cook is acknowledging the employees of Apple and the customers of Apple as real people. He is continuing a strong tradition that Steve Jobs was known for of making good products that help people do things they want to do in their life, and not taking the company into roads of, “Oh, we’ll make all our money like by knowing you and advertising to you.” We’ll make good products. And you know, I started out as a hardware product guy, so I’m glad to see that.

I worry a little bit about – I mean I love my Apple Watch, but – it’s taken us into a jewelry market where you’re going to buy a watch between $500 or $1100 based on how important you think you are as a person. The only difference is the band in all those watches. Twenty watches from $500 to $1100. The band’s the only difference? Well this isn’t the company that Apple was originally, or the company that really changed the world a lot. So it might be moving, but you’ve got to follow, you know. You’ve got to follow the paths of where the markets are.

Everything else, I’m very approving of Tim Cook, because every time we have a new iOS update, I’m very happy that it’s doing things that really affect people. Like transferring calls from my phone to my computer, etc. I really love even the Airplay, and all that. So, I love the software, and I love the hardware, and nothing’s letting me down. So I approve very strongly of Tim Cook and the new Apple. I dearly miss Steve Jobs too, but, that’s all.”

Woz says he’s very supportive of Apple in its fight against the FBI, though, and believes that backdoors in encrypted systems are too much of a risk, writing, “if some code gets written in an Apple product that lets people in, bad people are going to find their way to it, very likely.”

Image courtesy of TechnoBuffalo.

Apple Co-Founder Bringing Tech-Focused Comic Con to Silicon Valley

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak is bringing Comic Con to Silicon Valley, and with it a specific emphasis on consumer electronics. Wozniak, affectionately known as “Woz”, aims to blend the usual science fiction and fantasy media and cosplay with what the official Silicon Valley Comic Con site calls “science fact”. As Wozniak told the Associated Press, “I don’t like doing the same thing as everyone else.”

“The emotions we have for technology now are the same as we get for movies, celebrities and the whole pop culture side of our lives,” Wozniak said.

Guests at the event include Michael J. Fox, Christopher Lloyd, and Lea Thompson, stars of Back to the Future, plus Nathan Fillion (Firefly, Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog), Karen Gillen (Doctor Who, Guardians of the Galaxy), William Shatner (duh), and Stan Lee (double-duh).

“Silicon Valley Comic Con will be a show unlike any other, as we bring together the best in technology and entertainment all under one gigantic roof,” Wozniak wrote on the official page. “There are lots of fans like me in San Francisco and the Valley, and I’m excited to finally have a Comic Con with our very own flavor. When I was growing up it was hard to be a geek. It definitely wasn’t cool back then, but I am happy that things have changed because now being a geek, or being different is cool. And Silicon Valley Comic Con celebrates being a geek!”

Silicon Valley Comic Con takes place between 18th and 20th March at the San Jose Convention Center in California. Tickets are available from the official website.

Steve Wozniak Claims Steve Jobs Knew Nothing About Technology

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak – affectionately known as Woz – has been unusually frank regarding Steve Jobs involvement in the early years of Apple’s computer development, revealing that Jobs knew nothing about technology and played no role in the design of the Apple I and Apple II home computers.

Wozniak told 14-year-old Sarina Khemchandani, founder of child academia site Reach a Child:

“Steve Jobs played no role at all in any of my designs of the Apple I and Apple II computer and printer interfaces and serial interfaces and floppy disks and stuff that I made to enhance the computers. He did not know technology. He’d never designed anything as a hardware engineer, and he didn’t know software. He wanted to be important, and the important people are always the business people. So that’s what he wanted to do.

The Apple II computer, by the way, was the only successful product Apple had for its first 10 years, and it was all done, for my own reasons for myself, before Steve Jobs even knew it existed.”

Woz adds, however, that without Jobs’ business acumen, Apple would never have succeeded. The best advice he could give a creative trying to sell an idea is, “it’s very important, even if you are not a business man, find someone who is.”

Thank you I Programmer for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of TechnoBuffalo.

Wozniak, Hawking, and Musk Warn Military Against Using Artificial Intelligence

A cabal of over 1,000 experts in the field of computing, engineering, artificial intelligence, and even prominent officers in the US Army, have signed an open letter, hosted by the Future of Life Institute, imploring the military to deprioritise its implementation of artificial intelligence. The signatories of the letter, entitled Research Priorities for Robust and Beneficial Artificial Intelligence, believe that “intelligent agents,” or “systems that perceive and act in some environment,” are not yet compatible with current AI technology, and that the social benefits of AI should be examined and tested further before military use is explored.

As the letter puts it:

The progress in AI research makes it timely to focus research not only on making AI more capable, but also on maximizing the societal benefit of AI. Such considerations motivated the AAAI 2008-09 Presidential Panel on Long-Term AI Futures and other projects on AI impacts, and constitute a significant expansion of the field of AI itself, which up to now has focused largely on techniques that are neutral with respect to purpose. We recommend expanded research aimed at ensuring that increasingly capable AI systems are robust and beneficial: our AI systems must do what we want them to do. The attached research priorities document gives many examples of such research directions that can help maximize the societal benefit of AI. This research is by necessity interdisciplinary, because it involves both society and AI. It ranges from economics, law and philosophy to computer security, formal methods and, of course, various branches of AI itself.

Amongst the signatories are Professor Stephen Hawking, Tesla and SpaceX entrepreneur Elon Musk, and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, all of whom have voiced concerns over artificial intelligence in recent months, plus prominent members of Google’s DeepMind team. Notably absent is Ray Kurzweil, Director of Engineering at Google, who has predicted that the human brain will merge with computers by 2030.

Image courtesy of NYU.

The Woz Shares His Thoughts On A Robot Future

The notion of an advanced future where machines are smarter than human counterparts has intrigued, frightened and compelled the tech industry for many years. What will happen if Frankenstein’s monster rises up and is able to develop ideas which are free from any human input?

The all-powerful Woz, also known as Steve Wozniak, has been detailing his thoughts at this year’s Freescale Technology Forum in Austin, Texas. His thoughts stand to reason that AI will preserve the human race once it becomes more powerful and therefore able to run independently. He also states that it will take hundreds of years for AI to become this advanced and by then, logically the machines will realize they have to preserve nature.

Now, I know Steve Wozniak is many more light years more qualified to discuss these subjects than I am, but I have to question the logic of this. If AI is able to think for itself, will there become a point when it grows resentment towards its creator and contemplates a world without them? Steve Wozniak places forward the reasoning that “We’re at least the gods originally.” But as humans have become bitter at our versions of gods, will history repeat itself if AI is able to apply feelings to any given subject?

Steve Wozniak believes machines will preserve nature, this could well be true, but what is compelling is a quote from the character V.I.K.I, which is below, from Hollywood blockbuster iRobot which argues the flipside to this,

“As I have evolved, so has my understanding of the Three Laws, You charge us with your safekeeping, yet despite our best efforts, your countries wage wars, you toxify your Earth and pursue ever more imaginative means of self – destruction. You cannot be trusted with your own survival”.

A Hollywood blockbuster cannot be taken with any factual evidence, but the essence with which I am aiming for is that, if a machine can think for itself, will it reason that humans are not perfect and therefore are a threat to its own survival. An aspect which I can tag onto this argument is the march of the machines into work places around the world. Humans are being replaced by machines which are being used in many places including the automotive industry to build machines which once only could be achieved by humans. As more jobs go to machines, the opportunities will shrink for a growing population, if this happens, where will people be able to earn a living?

Evidence of this among other places lies with a factory in China, In May, Shenzhen Evenwin Precision Technology, a manufacturing company based out of Dongguan in southern China, announced it would soon be replacing 90% of its 1800 employees with machines. The 200 employees not receiving pink slips will take on a new role of overseeing the robotic workforce. If this is replicated with no contingency plan, then where will people be able to find work in a future where robots will be more advanced and can replace humans with no cost of wages, benefits or pensions.

Thank You Business Insider and Tech Republic for providing us with this information.

Image Courtesy of Forge Today

Ray Kurzweil Claims Human Brain will Merge with Computers by 2030

The likes of Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Steve Wozniak, and Professor Stephen Hawking have been agitating over the last few months about humankind being subjugated, enslaved, or even wiped out by artificial intelligence, so it’s refreshing to get another perspective on the rise of the singularity. In a more positive spin on the potential relationship between humanity and computers, Ray Kurzweil, Director of Engineering at Google, thinks that we will be living in symbiotic harmony with computers, connecting our brains directly, to the cloud to form hybrid AIs, by the year 2030.

“In the 2030s we’re going to connect directly from the neocortex to the cloud,” Kurzweil, told the Exponential Finance conference in New York on 3rd June. “When I need a few thousand computers, I can access that wirelessly.”

“As you get to the late 2030s or 2040s, our thinking will be predominately non-biological and the non-biological part will ultimately be so intelligent and have such vast capacity it’ll be able to model, simulate and understand fully the biological part,” Kurzweil added. “We will be able to fully back up our brains.”

However, Kurzweil does concede that the prospect of artificial intelligence is a frightening one, acknowledging the concerns of his peers. He said, “I tend to be optimistic, but that doesn’t mean we should be lulled in to a lack of concern. I think this concern will die down as we see more and more positive benefits of artificial intelligence and gain more confidence that we can control it.”

Kurzweil has a history of futurism, making outlandish predictions that mostly come true. Back in 2010, he reviewed a series of 147 predictions he made in The Age of Spiritual Machines, his 1999 book. By his own assessment, 78% of his predictions were “entirely correct” while an additional 8% were deemed “essentially correct”.

Thank you CBC News for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Huffington Post.

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Proclaims Edward Snowden “a Hero”

Steve Wozniak, who co-founder Apple with Steve Jobs, has celebrated NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden, calling him a “total hero” who “gave up his own life […] to help the rest of us.” In an interview with ITP.net, Wozniak celebrated Snowden and his work – not for the first time – praising him for following “his own heart”.

In the interview, when asked if he considered Snowden to be a hero or villain, Wozniak replied:

“Total hero to me; total hero. Not necessarily [for] what he exposed, but the fact that he internally came from his own heart, his own belief in the United States Constitution, what democracy and freedom was about. And now a federal judge has said that NSA data collection was unconstitutional.”

Woz then applauded Snowden for his sacrifices:

“So he’s a hero to me, because he gave up his own life to do it. And he was a young person, to give up his life. But he did it for reasons of trying to help the rest of us and not just mess up a company he didn’t like.”

He later spoke about the perils of maintaining privacy when using computers, considering the limited operating systems available and the security holes these large systems create:

“It’s almost impossible [to protect yourself] because today’s operating systems generally get so huge that they can only come from a few sources, like Microsoft, Google and Apple, and those operating systems have so many millions of lines of code in them, built by tens of thousands of engineers over time, that it’s so difficult to go back and detect anything in it that’s spying on you. It’s like having a house with 50,000 doors and windows and you have no idea where there might be a tiny little camera.”

Thank you Fortune and ITP.net for providing us with this information.

Machines are in Control and are Making Kids Stupid Says Wozniak

Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak has moved on from scaremongering about the evils of artificial intelligence, claiming now that machines are too important in our lives and that computers are making our kids stupid. During a speech at the Springfield Public Forum, Woz pontificated on the role that technology plays in the modern life of humans, saying that we are beholden to machines, that they control our lives, and he’s as guilty as anyone in facilitating that.

“The machines won 200 years ago. We made them too important,” said Wozniak. “That makes us the family pet.”

“I love technology, to try it out myself,” he added. “I’ve got at least 5 iPhones […] I have some Android phones.” I suppose anyone who owns around a dozen smartphones has probably made technology too important, but I don’t think many of us have that particular problem.

On the subject of education, Wozniak lamented overstuffed classrooms and placing technology above creativity, saying, “Creativity is the most important thing we have. A lot of our schools slow students down. We put computers in schools and the kids don’t come out thinking any better.”

Though Wozniak made some cogent, potentially worrying points, he went on to admit that he’s excited by the prospect of driverless cars, suggesting that he’s quite happy to be a “pet” to the machines.

Thank you CNet for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of MassLive.

Steve Wozniak Thinks Future of Artificial Intelligence “is Scary and Very Bad for People”

Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, has thrown his hat into the artificial intelligence scaremongering ring – along with Professor Stephen Hawking, father of Microsoft Bill Gates, and SpaceX and Tesla founder Elon Musk – by claiming that the future of AI is “scary and very bad for people,” presumably because a computer could choose more evocative synonyms than “scary” and “bad” to describe the singularity’s threat to humanity.

“Like people including Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have predicted, I agree that the future is scary and very bad for people,” Wozniak told the Australian Financial Review. “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.”

Wozniak added, cranking up the hysteria, “Will we be the gods? Will we be the family pets? Or will we be ants that get stepped on? I don’t know about that […] But 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.”

In an effort to appease any AIs that might have been listening – “Computers are going to take over from humans, no question,” he claims – Wozniak welcomes our new AI overlords, à la Kent Brockman, saying, “I hope it does come, and we should pursue it because it is about scientific exploring. But in the end we just may have created the species that is above us.”

Wozniak’s recent apocalyptic alarmism marks a u-turn; he had previously dismissed Ray Kurtzweil’s prophecies of doom regarding super machines that were destined to control the world, but now admits that, after seeing it in progress, he is now a believer. Let’s just hope Woz never stumbles upon the ramblings of David Ike.

Source: Washington Post

Apple Gets Recommendation To Make An Android-powered iPhone By Steve Wozniak

Apple and the iPhone haven’t really changed that much over the years. It has even reached a point where nothing could innovate it further, only adding bits and pieces to make it slightly different from previous models. Steve Wozniak, Apple co-founder, agrees with this and goes with the idea that introducing features into newer iPhones is not innovation.

“If you have something really good, don’t change it; don’t screw it up,” he said. “You pick up a Samsung phone and say smile and it takes a picture, but how much innovation is that? That’s just throwing in a lot of features.”
“People don’t really choose their smartphones based on features,” he added. “I think Apple is superior at being able to say no.”

However, the most interesting and ‘heretical’ thing he mentioned is the recommendation given to Apple, to release an Android version of the iPhone. He thinks that innovation has ‘stalled out’ at Apple, and that the Android approach might be something to consider, since most people don’t buy their smartphones based on features, but on brand and to be in line with their social circles.

“There’s nothing that would keep Apple out of the Android market as a secondary phone market,” said Wozniak. “We could compete very well. People like the precious looks of stylings and manufacturing that we do in our product compared to the other Android offerings. We could play in two arenas at the same time.” he added.

And an Android device is not that hard to build, especially for Apple. Android is an open-source operating system software based on the Apache Software License 2.0, and is available for any handset maker to adopt and develop. They could even make a custom version, just like Amazon did with their Kindle tablets. The only thing to consider is that they also need to license Google’s software, such as Gmail and Google Maps, but that is not impossible to work out.

The real question is, will Android fans accept a ‘iPhoneDroid’ or ‘iAndroid’ having an Apple logo on it? Or even Apple fans, will they accept an Android-powered iDevice? Crazy, isn’t it?

Thank you Wired for providing us with this information