Are We Just Eating Coloured Clay?

Steve Wozniak (Woz), is the Apple Co-Founder along with the late Steve Jobs. During an interview in Los Angeles last year, it was interesting to hear Woz talk about his journey with Steve in the co-creation of the Apple brand and the challenges they faced. Woz was the technical brains behind the computer whilst Steve Jobs was the marketing genius. They took Apple from a backyard garage operation to a trillion-dollar behemoth! I was fascinated to hear Woz’s passion for the componentry in building circuit boards and his hunger to constantly innovate to create better, faster and more reliable technology. Such an amazing experience to meet Woz and feel his passion.

One interesting perspective of Woz’s is that, despite the incredible rate of innovation in technology, he still believes;

“the most powerful computers in the world will never be better than the human mind.”

Even with the amazing advancements in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the race to build more human-like robots, such as Sophie, the social humanoid robot becoming the first robot to receive citizenship of any country, I agree with Woz. You cannot program the human spirit or develop the knowledge, love and emotion that our minds, hearts and souls are capable. The danger with the progression of AI is that we may become lazy, stop thinking for ourselves and lose our ambition to grow and learn. The more tasks we delegate to AI devices and robots, the greater potential threat we place on our health and wellness. If you think that’s a big call, just look at the mechanisation of manufacturing processes in the 1900’s. At the time it was felt it would not only cost less, but one of the benefits predicted was that it would also free up people’s time, enabling them to do the things they love doing – including being healthy and fit. We now live in a world with more technology and innovation that we have ever had before, yet we have the highest levels of obesity ever.

What I also found interesting was what Woz said about how technology is being used with our food, particularly, genetically modified food. He said “…we lose flavour of food over time and after awhile you can get used to no flavour. We don’t want to come to the realisation that we are just eating coloured clay!” This is a great point because I hear people all the time about food not tasting as good as it used to. Vegetable seeds are modified to be more prolific in their growing, more resistant to pests, hardier and faster to grow but all this maybe at the expense of flavour. If the flavour is disappearing, is the nutrient value also disappearing? It really does pose questions about what to eat.

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