Steve Wozniak, one of the three founders of Apple – along with the late Steve Jobs, and Ronald Wayne – has made some predictions about what the world will be like in 2075.
In an interview with USA Today, “Woz” – as he is affectionately known – gives his thoughts on the theme of next weekend’s Silicon Valley Comic Con, “The Future of Humanity: Where Will We Be in 2075?”
Previously, Wozniak has predicted that, in the future, those few humans not yet under total control of artificial intelligence, will become pets for robots, though not for hundreds of years yet.
Anyway, Wozniak, for one, is not afraid of the prospect, mainly because he says artificially intelligent robots will help us – they will see us as having been “gods, originally”.
Wozniak says: “It’s actually going to turn out really good for humans. And it will be hundreds of years down the stream before [artificially intelligent beings would] even have the ability.
“They’ll be so smart by then that they’ll know they have to keep nature, and humans are part of nature. So I got over my fear that we’d be replaced by computers.”
That was a year ago, and Wozniak has been doing another turn as a futurologist. And why not? He predicted laptop computers as far back as 1982 – when very few people even knew what a computer was, and typewriters were still in every office; and, incidentally, when USA Today first launched as a printed newspaper.
This time round, Wozniak’s predictions include the following crazy ideas:
- New cities will be built from scratch in the middle of deserts, ending any housing shortage, and people will wear spacesuit-type gear to venture out.
- Artificial intelligence will end our reliance on doctors, as medical devices will enable self-diagnosis and doctor-free prescriptions. The question of whether we need physicians will be an ethical one, he says.
- There will be a colony on Mars, a prediction also made by others such as Jeff Bezos of Amazon, who has been investing heavily in his Blue Origin space programme. Mars will be used for heavy industry, while Earth will be for residential use, says Wozniak.
- Aliens from outer space – if they aren’t among us already – will have a “random chance” of coming into contact with Earthlings, although Wozniak admits he doesn’t have high hopes in this regard. But, he adds, “it’s worth trying”.
About the tech titans of today, Wozniak is convinced that they will be around for the foreseeable future and beyond. “Apple will be around a long time, like IBM,” Wozniak tells USA Today. IBM was founded in 1911, so that makes it more than 100 years old.
“Look at Apple’s cash,” Wozniak demands. Just look at it: $246.1 billion, as of the end of its last fiscal quarter, apparently.
“It can invest in anything,” he says. “It would be ridiculous to not expect them to be around [in 2075]. The same goes for Google and Facebook.”
But Wozniak admits he can’t foresee everything. “Who could have foreseen the rise of an Uber a decade ago?”
And pointing to a colleague’s iPhone, he cries: “She has more power in her hand than Superman.”
Wozniak was said to be a bit of a wizard at building computers, constructing innovative devices and assembling them in ways that nobody else could imagine until after they’d seen how he’d done it.
He concludes: “It shows you how exciting the future can be.”