5 takeaways from his talk


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EVANSVILLE, Ind. — Apple Inc. cofounder Steve Wozniak presented the contrarian ideas he’s well known for to a packed house at the University of Southern Indiana Wednesday night.

Speaking as part of USI’s Innovative Speaker Series, Wozniak recounted the early years of Apple’s formation, an era dominated by a counterculture which Wozniak said he “appreciated” but didn’t fully participate in.

Speaking at a rapid pace, Wozniak retold the often quirky reality of the 1970s tech industry, but he also lamented the rise of artificial intelligence and the role algorithms play in our everyday lives.

Here are five takeaways from Wozniak’s speech and the subsequent discussion:

1. Education should leave room for students to make mistakes

“We were just dumb kids making up our own projects,” Wozniak said. “Nobody in school was saying, ‘Here’s the project that we’re going to, here’s what you want to do.’ A little bit of misbehavior came along with that, but we had the freedom the explore and think for ourselves.”

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak speak at University of Southern Indiana Screaming Eagles Arena in Evansville, Ind., Wednesday night, March 30, 2022. The event was part of the Romain College of Business Innovative Speaker Series.

Wozniak passionately made the argument that students and would-be entrepreneurs deserve the space to make mistakes and play pranks. Apple wouldn’t exist, he said, if he hadn’t been afforded the chance to explore his interests as a child.

He also spoke at length about the role computers can play in education. 

“My look at education comes from a different perspective,” Wozniak said. “The important thing for me wasn’t the knowledge of how you could use a computer in certain ways. It was about making it fun.”