I know you’ve been very concerned about the digital divide for the elderly lately…
Yes, but it is wrong to think that it only affects older people. Young people are only consumers of technology, ordinary users of their interests, but they are unaware of most of its possibilities.
What is the solution to bridge that gap?
Drive away fear, get information. The technology isn’t bad, it’s the quality of life. Do you know how many older people I’ve trained to use Google Maps and what it means for them on their way to go hiking or in the mountains? When you see that real utility is when you struggle to take advantage of the technology.
Actually, this is not the only gap. Income or place of residence also deepens this…
Technology cannot do anything there. It will depend on governments understanding that universal access means improving the quality of life. I don’t see engineers ruling any country, that doesn’t mean any change, but I would like to see how they would do by implementing technology in a government.
Is it true that big corporations have all my data and business?
And to scare us a little more, Artificial Intelligence (AI). Are there reasons to be so afraid?
I first started working on AI projects in 1984. It seems we had nothing until we heard about ChatGPT. You have to imagine how people must have felt when they first saw a steam engine or a car running at twice the speed of a horse. I think we lack information and training. Let’s go back to the beginning of this interview: Ignorance makes us think that Hollywood movies are real situations. AI is there to improve the quality of life and little by little we will understand it better.
Is anything being done seriously so that its effects are not as harmful as they proclaim?
When there was no internet, it took more than 30 days to send a letter to the United States and receive a response. With an email we have a solution in minutes. We understand this progress and view it positively. Artificial intelligence will bring changes that will be positive for some and seen as something bad and harmful to others, we will never be able to please everyone.
What do you think has been, is, or will be the most defining technological advance of this first quarter of the century?
Everything points to quantum computing, a new computer concept that has nothing to do with the present. It will revolutionize three pillars of current technology: Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and Data Science. The bad thing is that we still lack technical professions, people who want to study and research in these areas and this progress is delayed. Right now there is so much demand for employment in all these technologies that even half the jobs are not covered.