Education doesn’t encourage creative thinking, says Apple co-founder

Traditional schools, books and parents do not encourage children to be creative and curious, according to Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak.

Speaking at Splunk.conf 2018, Wozniak said we’re “all born curious to some degree,” but parents and school systems try to get everyone to act in a certain way.

“It’s almost contrary to the creativity that we were born with,” he said.

Wozniak said that when he was younger, it was the activities he did outside of school that encouraged him to pursue computers and electricity, which he dubbed the love of his life. life.

While some people are “good at school,” Wozniak said that by learning science, technology, engineering and math (Stem) subjects at school “you learn to see things the way they were. made in the books”.

He added that he felt most special as a child when he developed a project he had done differently from how other people had done it, saying he would always look for the “tricks “that would allow him to produce something in fewer steps than the norm. to treat.

“I knew I was really good at it, but you couldn’t talk to the other students because they weren’t doing those things,” he said.

While most engineers learn “every method in the books”, Wozniak was “lucky” that he didn’t have enough money to invest in the technology, because it meant he was designing his computers on paper.

“Sometimes the best things you do are due to limited resources,” he said, adding that in many cases the best inventions are born of serendipity.

Wozniak was a teacher of young children for eight years. He said he never referred his students to a book, instead creating his own lesson plans, much like his own electronics teacher had done: “I didn’t want to teach them to be geeks or computer experts. I just wanted to teach them to be good normal students.

The world doesn’t need every student to be a “computer geek”, he said, and he encouraged young people to start “building things”.

“I wouldn’t expect them to learn to be programmers,” he said, adding that he believes kids shouldn’t learn to code and program until they’re around 12. due to the development of the human brain.

As automation begins to relieve humans of some of the more mundane tasks they need to perform, creative skills are becoming increasingly important when applying for tech roles.

But Wozniak said he doesn’t believe artificial intelligence (AI) will ever reach the same level as the human brain, mainly because we still don’t know how the human brain works, making it impossible to simulate.

“We keep raising the bar, somehow we know it doesn’t work the same way the human mind does,” he said.

AI as a technology is primarily about making people’s lives easier, and Wozniak said the technology does that, but advancing anytime soon is unlikely.

“What would it take for machines to truly take over the human world?” he asked, emphasizing that machines should learn to make other machines.

“It’s not going to happen,” he said. “As far as future technology goes, I don’t think we’ll ever reach AI where it’s brain-like and conscious.”