The cofounder of Apple, Steve Wozniak, says he has doubts about expensive Apple Watches, sees cars as a natural fit for Apple, and believes that machines will pose a serious threat to humans in the future.
All of Woz’s statements in a new interview given to The Australian Financial Review can be presented as sensational (as in my headline, sorry!) — but when you look at what he actually said, they are very smart indeed.
Woz on the Watch
Wozniak has the best analysis of Apple’s new wrist device I’ve heard so far, and the best advice for anyone considering buying one.
He says he likes the idea of an Apple Watch but doubts that the most expensive versions of the device will make sense for large numbers of consumers.
“If you buy the really high-priced ones, the jewelry ones, then you’re not buying a smartwatch that has a bunch of apps …” Wozniak told the Review. “Like a Rolex watch, you’re buying if for prestige and a label and a symbol of who you are,” he said.
“The fact is the difference between a $10,000 watch and a $17,000 watch is only the band, and for an engineer like me I don’t live in that world, that’s not my world,” he said.
And the following advice would be well heeded by buyers of Apple Watches at any price range:
“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,” he said. “Then maybe I’d consider looking into getting the nicer jewelry version.”
Woz on the iCar
Wozniak also likes the idea of Apple getting into the car business in a big way — something way larger than just its CarPlay infotainment platform, like building a whole car. He explains that Apple needs large, new markets to address, and automobiles might fit the bill.
“I don’t know if Apple’s doing that, or if they’re just working on their CarPlay apps for the dashboard of your car, but it seems like they might be hiring a lot of people who could really build a vehicle,” Wozniak said.
Woz: We’ll make great pets
Now about that “future of humanity” thing. Woz thinks human beings might eventually be made into pets by our future overlords, the computers.
“Computers are going to take over from humans, no question,” Mr Wozniak said.
Woz has for a long time dismissed the Kurzweillian idea that the machines will reach a “singularity” where they can themselves produce faster and better machines, leaving humans in the dust on the evolutionary road. But he’s changed his mind.
“Like people including Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have predicted, I agree that the future is scary and very bad for people,” Woz told the 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,” Wozniak said.