Steve Jobs describes future of personal computing in 1983 speech

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
A 1983 speech from late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was made available recently, with the tech guru expounding on how personal computers would change the landscape of technology forever.

The talk, made available by the Center for Design Innovation (via The Next Web), was from 1983's International Design Conference at Aspen, at which a 20-something Steve Jobs spoke to how personal computers would change the world forever. His insight was eerily prescient as he described a day when email would dominate the communications landscape, people would use portable network-connected computing devices and users would be able to interact with machines in new and innovative ways.

In about 20 minutes, Jobs summarized the then-current state of personal computing, noting that the market was about to see a significant boom. He also said that computers would likely be poorly designed, a theory that became reality with the early beige boxes of the 80s and early 90s, including Apple's own Apple II.

Jobs' vision of "good design" meant not only building aesthetically pleasing machines, but devices that had a utility of function like user-friendly GUIs akin to those seen on early Macs.

Near the end of his talk, Jobs looked even further into the future, hinting that technology like artificial intelligence and predictive computing could one day be a possibility.

He recalls how books helped him learn straight from the source instead of being filtered through interpretation when he was in school, citing Plato and Aristotle as two examples. The problem, Jobs said, was that the great minds couldn't be tapped once they were dead. To this, he proposed a machine that can collect data, compiling it into a type of artificial intelligence.



"I think as we look toward the next 50 to 100 years, if we really can come up with these machines that can capture an underlying spirit, or an underlying set of principles, or an underlying way of looking at the world so that then when the next Aristotle comes around?" Jobs said. "Maybe if he carries around one these machines with him his whole life and types in all this stuff, then maybe someday after the person's dead and gone we can ask this machine, 'Hey, what would Aristotle have said?what about this?' And maybe we won't get the right answer?but maybe we will. And that's really exciting to me."

A video of the speech as well as an accompanying audio file can be found at the Center for Design Innovation's blog.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 55


    I like how he says that computers seem magical, but then explains it is really doing mundane things really, really fast. The intelligence and charisma were already there before he turned 30.

  • Reply 2 of 55
    tylerk36tylerk36 Posts: 1,037member


    Truly a great post.  I really like to listen to Steve's logic and reasoning.  The guy had it.  Wonder why they never studied his brain logic and tried to develop another human like him or even clone him in secret.

  • Reply 3 of 55
    845032845032 Posts: 76member


     


    He was a good artist. I missed you, Steve.

  • Reply 4 of 55
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,190member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post


    Truly a great post.  I really like to listen to Steve's logic and reasoning.  The guy had it.  Wonder why they never studied his brain logic and tried to develop another human like him or even clone him in secret.



     


    Why? Because his particular brand of genius was the kind that stemmed from his being a deeply dissatisfied person. He was the kind of person who could only drive progress forward by manipulating people, sometimes with charm, sometimes with lies or psychological abuse. Knowing how to manipulate people and actually doing it are hallmarks of the best known people in the world.

  • Reply 5 of 55

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by tylerk36 View Post


    Truly a great post.  I really like to listen to Steve's logic and reasoning.  The guy had it.  Wonder why they never studied his brain logic and tried to develop another human like him or even clone him in secret.



    If they cloned him in secret, then you wouldn't know about it, would you....?

  • Reply 6 of 55
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,470member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post

    Knowing how to manipulate people and actually doing it are hallmarks of the best known people in the world.


    Oh, please. why does every discussion have to end with a mention of Hitler?

  • Reply 7 of 55

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    A 1983 speech from late Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was made available recently, with the tech guru expounding on how personal computers would change the landscape of technology forever.



    "I think as we look toward the next 50 to 100 years, if we really can come up with these machines that can capture an underlying spirit, or an underlying set of principles, or an underlying way of looking at the world so that then when...."


     


    Reading the above article and listening to Steve talk, reminded me of a February 10, 2011 Times article titled, 2045: The Year Man Becomes Immortal.


     


    Read at http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2048299,00.html


     


    2045 is the projected date that computers will become smarter then humans. I struggle to imagine the unexpected insights that may come from this smarter computer, but Steve Jobs was hinting at it in the last paragraph of the initial post in this thread.

  • Reply 8 of 55
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member


    Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post

    Oh, please. why does every discussion have to end with a mention of Hitler?


     


    … Because you're the one that brought it up?

  • Reply 9 of 55

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Cpsro View Post


    Oh, please. why does every discussion have to end with a mention of Hitler?



    Unless you are being sarcastic, YOU are the first person to bring up Hitler's name.


     


    There are a great number of ways to manipulate people to do one's bidding. They range from charm and charisma to fear and psychological abuse. From the raising of the pyramids to today, leadership has been behind all great or garish accomplishments. 


     


    Here is one of the most amazing demonstrations by Derren Brown of manipulation using NLP:


     



     


     

  • Reply 10 of 55
    quadra 610quadra 610 Posts: 6,744member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SpamSandwich View Post


     


    Why? Because his particular brand of genius was the kind that stemmed from his being a deeply dissatisfied person. He was the kind of person who could only drive progress forward by manipulating people, sometimes with charm, sometimes with lies or psychological abuse. Knowing how to manipulate people and actually doing it are hallmarks of the best known people in the world.



     


    And the world is all the better for it. 


     


    Well, at least Samsung is. 


     


     


     


    Dissatisfaction is the mother of innovation. Steve looked around and said "this stuff isn't good enough." 

  • Reply 11 of 55
    robmrobm Posts: 1,068member
    I hope some of the heads of APPL are reminded of his foresight from time to time, just so they stay somewhat on track to his goals. Yes to make money and be a profitable company but also delivering great products that people value.
  • Reply 12 of 55


    I almost never use the term 'visionary.' But Jobs was clearly one. 


     


    I think that 50, 100 years from now, people will look back and go 'wow.' I consider myself fortunate to have been a contemporary, and to be able to benefit from his presence here among us.

  • Reply 13 of 55
    simtubsimtub Posts: 277member

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by RobM View Post



    I hope some of the heads of APPL are reminded of his foresight from time to time, just so they stay somewhat on track to his goals. Yes to make money and be a profitable company but also delivering great products that people value.


     


    My thoughts are the same but somehow I feel Steve Jobs had this covered when he initiated Apple University. Apple as a company was truly his best creation.




    http://www.appleinsider.com/articles/11/10/06/apple_university_revealed_as_plan_to_teach_executives_to_think_like_steve_jobs.html

  • Reply 14 of 55


    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

    Steve looked around and said "this stuff isn't good enough." 


     


    In… so many words. ????

  • Reply 15 of 55


    You're totally missing the point of computers. They're MACHINES!. They'll never be smart. You don't know what smart means. They'll never be intelligent. You don't know what intelligent means.


     


    They're MACHINES. They have to be told what to do and when to do it. That's not smart. That's not intelligent.


     


    They'll never surpass humans--unless you only consider the machine aspect of humans. Unless humans continue to devolve into machines themselves.


     


    There will be at least some of us who will NEVER do that.

  • Reply 16 of 55



    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }
    Considering the volumes of information available about famous individuals today, I wonder if there should be an attempt to archive such information for future use.


     


    Caprica (TV series) on SyFy had a similar plot device wherein a sophisticated web crawler was used to collect all possible data about a character on the show and (eventually) integrated into a Cylon to give it a personality.


     
  • Reply 17 of 55
    jccjcc Posts: 215member



    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }
    I guess Siri and the iPhone is the first step towards the computer he was referring to that people carry their entire lives which will someday learn everything about its owner to the point where it would know what he/she is thinking.


     
  • Reply 18 of 55
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member


    "we're going to sell 10 million of these computers whether they are a piece of shit or not"


     


    7:53 into the audio track. Yep he said it.

  • Reply 19 of 55


    haha... these days we aren't so much asking "what would aristotle say" as we are asking "what would steve jobs say". The guy was, besides an artist and a scientist, a philosopher.

  • Reply 20 of 55

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by DanielSW View Post


    You're totally missing the point of computers. They're MACHINES!. They'll never be smart. You don't know what smart means. They'll never be intelligent. You don't know what intelligent means.


     


    They're MACHINES. They have to be told what to do and when to do it. That's not smart. That's not intelligent.


     


    They'll never surpass humans--unless you only consider the machine aspect of humans. Unless humans continue to devolve into machines themselves.


     


    There will be at least some of us who will NEVER do that.



     


    Please define "intelligent" and "smart."  


     


    Some human behavior is unintelligent and some intelligent behavior is inhuman.  How do you address such a paradox?


     


    There are machines which display very complex "intelligence" such as:  biometric person recognition via facial recognition, gait recognition and voice recognition (among others); natural language processing with context awareness; optical character recognition; decision-making; predictive modeling; etc.  These are the same activities that humans perform constantly without conscious thought.  These are discrete thought processes which machines can model today.


     


    What thought processes do you believe can not be modeled computationally? 

    #next_pages_container { width: 5px; hight: 5px; position: absolute; top: -100px; left: -100px; z-index: 2147483647 !important; }

     
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