Hey, Woz. You've got $150m. You're kicking back in Australia. What's on your mind? Killer AI

Super-clever computers will discard us puny mortals, apparently

Steve Wozniak

Old-school computer whiz Steve Wozniak is afraid an emergence of an artificial super-intelligence will be very bad news for the human race.

The former HP engineer, who today lives in Australia and works as adjunct professor in Sydney, agrees with SpaceX supremo Elon Musk and physics ace Prof Stephen Hawking that computers in the future could determine their creators are surplus to requirements.

"I agree that the future is scary and very bad for people," the man known as 'Woz' said in an interview with 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."

AI guru Andrew Ng said the other week that worrying about the rise of killer robots is ludicrous.

Woz, best known for his sponsorship of the 1980s US Festivals of music and culture, also suggested he would not be interested in buying a top-end smartwatch. The tech guru, worth about $150m, described one particular $17,000 wrist-piece as "not my world," a weighty statement from a millionaire alumni of the University of California Berkeley.

"I'm just not going to buy it for jewelry's sake until I know it's something I'm going to want around me and on me and use every single day continually as a permanent part of my life," Wozniak opined.

"Then maybe I'd consider looking into getting the nicer jewelry version."

The noted Segway polo enthusiast has occupied his time working with storage firm Fusion-IO and serving as chief scientist of virtualization company Primary Data, a pale comparison to his career height of teaching kids in California about computers in the early 1990s. ®


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