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Wozniak Talks: Self-Driving Cars, Apple Watch, and How AI Will Benefit Humanity

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Steve Wozniak plays Segway Polo.

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak says he envisions artificial intelligence eventually controlling the world, for the betterment of humanity.

Credit: Daniel Terdiman/CNET

In a wide-ranging interview, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak said he envisions artificial intelligence (AI) eventually controlling the world for the betterment of humanity, predicting "they're going to be smarter than us and if they're smarter than us then they'll realize they need us." Wozniak stressed computers would have to control everything before AI could take over via advances such as the Internet of Things (IoT), but he said the IoT is a positive development, as it would be designed for human comfort.

Among the AI developments Wozniak is interested in is driverless automobiles, and he foresees a reduction in human accidents if such a breakthrough is realized, to the degree that laws might be approved to have human motorists forbidden on certain roads.

In terms of innovation, Wozniak splits engineers into two categories--those who study and solve problems, and those who invent and create new concepts. He also said large companies frequently find it difficult to encourage innovation because they are overloaded with rules and procedures. In Wozniak's view, the most innovative companies today are small and were built from scratch.

He also sees the current model of education as a barrier to innovation, observing it too often requires learning skills and subjects that distract from students' preferred areas of concentration.

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cindy maso

Here is one programmer's idea on how AI can help humanity: Compassionate AI
And here are the directions on how to build it, fresh off the press:
Engineering Kindness: How To Build A Machine With Compassionate Intelligence,
by C. Mason, Appears in International Journal of Synthetic Emotions, 6(1) number, June December

People get bored, tired, have bias, can be overwhelmed, stressed, etc. not to mention
some people are a lot nicer than others, and not to forget that some folks do commit
pretty awful crimes in powerful positions (think psychopaths!) Some people skills like
compassion are so important. Giving user interfaces, software agents and robots an positive regard, for others, programming them to care for us, will have a rub off effect on us humans.

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