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'Human' computer vision outlined

Published 30/05/2013

Steve Wozniak believes smartphones will become more like humans over the next few years
Steve Wozniak believes smartphones will become more like humans over the next few years

A human-like computer of the future could give every child a personal tutor, according to Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

The former teacher envisaged a day when information technology allowed one-on-one teaching and said it was important young people "wrote the book" rather than followed tried and tested ideas.

"We are moving closer to where a computer is like a person and we can have normal conversations with it," he said. "We will be able to have one teacher per student and let students go on in their own direction."

He added: "A computer is an awful cheap teacher, it has to get more human in its characteristics - anything another human being can understand is what I want my phones to understand."

The entrepreneur predicted mobile devices would become more like real humans over the next couple of decades.

He said that process has been ongoing for years, with people "lifting" information into virtual rubbish bins on desktops and using mouses designed to mimic the two-dimensional human experience. Dropdown menus are another example of applying human thinking to computers.

Mr Wozniak said for many years foldable LED displays had been the goal and added he wanted to see a glowing globe to zoom into for Google Earth-type applications.

He claimed people were being more and more attracted by Google glasses and wearable technology like watches or devices worn on the head. "I would love to get low-cost plasters to push buttons and change the colour of my car, wearable technology is something we are hearing so much about at the moment," he said.

Mr Wozniak said when he first teamed up with Steve Jobs he managed to get Intel chips from a salesman for free and added they founded their company with 300 US dollars each.

The crowd of business entrepreneurs at Londonderry's Millennium Forum for the European Business Network's annual conference gave him a rousing ovation.

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