Sea of Change

Joe schoendorf

Next up is Joe Schoendorf , a "legend of the Silicon Valley" as Steffi introduces him. He has worked at Apple, HP and is now Partner as Accel Partners.

Joe Schoendorf opens with a threat: "I will make everyone in the room more uncomfortable in the next ten minutes." He asks, how many of us have heard that manufacturing is coming back to America and adds "how many of you have heard that the jobs are coming with it?" The new Mac Pro is built in America as the first one in 15 years, because it is now cheaper to manufacture them locally. While in the first industrial revolution we increased productivity and muscle power, we have now built machines that can manufacture anything, Schoendorf states. He saw a robot that basically can replace the workers in China building an iPod. And even the robots themselves are built by robots: "I was in a robot factory, three people worked there."

So while manufacturing is coming back to America, the jobs aren't necessarily. The IBM Watson computer has marked the beginning of an important development. It's not just extending muscle power, but brain power. We have created a technology that is very smart and it will become a lot smarter faster than we think, Schoendorf states. We should embrace this development, but it is our responsibility to think about the future role of people. We need to use the technology to solve this problem. We need to spread awareness and use crowd sourcing so that we come up with an answer.

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