GeekWire Radio: ‘The Computing Universe,’ and what’s next for the miracle of technology

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Tony Hey, former Microsoft Research Vice President, author of 'The Computing Universe'
Tony Hey, former Microsoft Research VP, author of ‘The Computing Universe.’ (Erynn Rose Photo)

Surrounded by technology in our everyday lives, it’s easy to overlook the everyday miracle of computing. Mobile devices have put the equivalent of supercomputers in our pockets. Machine learning helps to augment and guide human decision-making, helping us avoid car accidents. We can log in and talk with people around the world, with computers in distant data centers translating between languages in real time. And those types of examples are just the start.

tonyheyThis week on the GeekWire radio show, we talk about how we got here, where we’re going next, and what it will mean for the world — both good and bad. Our guest in the studio is computer scientist Tony Hey, a former Microsoft Research vice president who has authored a great new book, “The Computing Universe: A Journey Through A Revolution.”

Hey explains that he wrote the book with “nerdy teenagers” in mind, giving them an accessible introduction to the universe of computing and hopefully inspiring some of them to become computer scientists themselves.  We talk about the “third age of computing,” in which computers are increasingly augmenting human intelligence. And we discuss the push to encourage kids to become programmers, and how it can sometimes overlook the broader world of computer science.

The conversation with Hey begins in our second segment, at 8:20.

We start with our weekly news roundup, including Ikea’s big move into wireless charging, and this week’s comments from Chris Sacca and Mark Cuban on the possibility of a tech bubble.

Our app of the week is a fun one, Meerkat, bringing live video to Twitter. We tested it during the recording of the show, inviting my Twitter followers to tune for a segment on Meerkat. We’ll try this again next week — follow @geekwire and install Meerkat, and look for our notification next Thursday around 4 p.m. when we’re in the studio.

And in this extended podcast version of the show, we connect via phone with GeekWire reporter Taylor Soper, who has been in Phoenix and Dallas covering all of the Startup Week activities, through GeekWire’s partnership with UP Global and Chase.

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