The futuristic Star Trek computer of the 1960s television show is closer to reality than we might think, according to tech expert Walt Mossberg. Mossberg, longtime technology columnist at the Wall Street Journal and co-founder of Re/code, who addressed students, faculty, and community members at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business on Oct. 15.
“This predictive artificial intelligence behavior is going to get even better,” he said. “I think that’s the next big wave of computing. You may chuckle…but I can’t tell you how many engineers in Silicon Valley of all ages refer to the Star Trek computer when I talk to them about what they’re working on. That’s what Siri wants to do.”
Mossberg shared his insight on the top technology trends that will affect global businesses and consumers in the coming years, including sensors and “wearables,” improved battery technology, and self-driving cars.
“Your most important computer is your cell phone,” he said, emphasizing the importance of a “mobile first” strategy. “That’s true in all countries. That’s even truer outside the developed countries. There, the only computer they ever used, the only way they ever got onto the internet was through a phone.”
During his more than two decades as a personal technology columnist at the Wall Street Journal, Mossberg co-founded and co-produced an annual conference as well as a technology and media website. In 2014, he co-founded tech website, Re/code. Mossberg’s talk at Georgetown McDonough was sponsored by the school’s Global Business Initiative.
“It is very hard to pick a major as an undergrad – and even to some extent to decide which graduate program to do – and have that be a direct line to what you are going to spend the next 20 years doing,” he said. “It’s much more about developing a sense of entrepreneurship. You can be an entrepreneur even within a big company. I was – we started a conference and website business while we were working at the Wall Street Journal.”