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Visionary IT leaders embrace humanity

Technology should be bringing people together closer: Twitter co-founder


Technology, while it often appears to be the driving force behind tidal waves of change capable of forever altering the way we live, is but a tool for enhancing humanity, Biz Stone, the co-founder of Twitter Inc., said on Thursday.

“If we are to be a triumph, we are not to be a triumph of technology but a triumph of humanity,” Stone said at a session of the MBN World Economy and Future Forum. “People are basically good, and if you give them a simple tool and help them express that they will prove to you every single day.”

And Twitter did exactly that by showing people a radically different way to communicate.

Stone introduced Twitter in 2006, and his creation is said to have spawned an era of micro-blogging and social-networking.

Now recognized as a “Twitter Revolution,” tweeting ― the act of sending short messages online via the Twitter website ― is largely cited by experts and industry watchers as responsible for the latest frenzied public efforts to achieve democracy in Africa, such as in Egypt and Tunisia.

Simple online messaging helped the public in these countries to join forces to promote democracy.

“Technology brings the world closer, and makes us realize we are on the same boat,” said Stone. “The future is, realizing that and getting in touch with our empathy and putting ourselves in the shoes of others in the world. That has to be the answer because that’s the only way forward.”
Grand National Party lawmaker Jungwook Hong (second from right) speaks at the MBN World Economy and Future Forum in Seoul on Thursday. Hong presided over a session on future industry, communication convergence. Panelists included Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniac (second from left), Twitter Inc. co-founder Isaac “Biz” Stone (right) and Ticket Monster Inc. president and chief executive Shin Hyun-sung. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)
Grand National Party lawmaker Jungwook Hong (second from right) speaks at the MBN World Economy and Future Forum in Seoul on Thursday. Hong presided over a session on future industry, communication convergence. Panelists included Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Wozniac (second from left), Twitter Inc. co-founder Isaac “Biz” Stone (right) and Ticket Monster Inc. president and chief executive Shin Hyun-sung. (Park Hae-mook/The Korea Herald)

Grand National Party lawmaker Jungwook Hong, the largest shareholder of Herald Media, presided over Thursday’s session on future industry, communication convergence.

Hong, touching upon the effect of Twitter on domestic politics, said that it has forced his colleagues to pick up smartphones and get registered on Twitter.

Steve Wozniak, the co-founder of Apple Inc. ― previously Apple Computer Inc. ― also noted the deep levels of change brought on by technology and new ideas.

“We’ve got the long tail of personalization. Education can be tailored to the individual. There are now campuses where every single student is issued an iPhone,” Wozniak said, saying programs are now provided to allow each student an individual learning experience.

Apple is the creator of the Apple operating system on which smart devices such as iPhones and iPads run on, enabling people to remain connected online whether they are at home or on the move.

Thanks to the production and supply of these high-end gadgets, people all over the world are now having personalized experiences in aspects of lives they never imagined, he noted.

Wozniak, a strong advocate of creativity and individuality, also agreed with Stone in that all technology must be engaged with human minds and emotions.

“Things that can be seen, such as a salary, a grade in school, a job title, fancy clothes you wear, awards, these are rewards society gives,” he said. “But when you have a goal and you achieve it., those are the ones that drive us the hardest.”

By Kim Ji-hyun (jemmie@heraldcorp.com)
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