CHI 2016 Plenary: Alan Kay in conversation with Vishal Sikka

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- Good morning.
- I am Jofish Kaye
on this 4th morning of CHI.
- So, we are here again  to celebrate #CHI4Good
with two amazing people in conversation.
You're gonna start the intro?
- (laughs) Just a little bit. (laughs)
(Allison laughs)
We swapped it today because the  people that we've got coming
have a particularly special  relationship to CHI,
and Allison's gonna tell you about that,
particularly how Alan was shaped by you
I believe, is the main story, right?
- Yeah, and I was sort of a bit  of a lump of clay, yes, yes.
- Yes.
The theme, as you know, is #CHI4Good,
about these people is the contribution
that they have made both  to CHI and HCI in general,
but to society as well.
we've brought people  who had reflected that
in all sorts of different ways.
- Yes.
have truly changed the face of computing.
Vishal has done this  in industry primarily,
and actually when I was  talking with them backstage,
I said, "So, Vishal, how  should I be introducing you?"
And actually Alan said,  "Well, just introduce him
"as one of the best CEOs in  all of the United States,
"and maybe all of the world."
- It was the best CEO in the Fortune 500.
- [Jofish] The direct quote.  - The best.
He is the CEO of Infosys.
He has had leadership roles at SAP.
He himself has his own research  in artificial intelligence,
brought the notion of timeless,
what is it?
Yes, I have it in here.
It was, okay, I'm sorry.
I'm looking at it, but I'm not finding it.
But anyway, so all said,
Vishal is a doer, a  thinker, and a changer,
and what is amazing about him
is not just the companies he's worked for,
but how many nonprofit  organizations he has actually,
his companies have spun out.
about those nonprofit organizations
when Vishal and Alan join us.
As for Alan Kay, it is very hard
to give any introduction to Alan.
It is very hard to say,  "Well, his biography is
"he worked here, he worked here."
He is the grand thinker  of what we think about
in terms of mobile computing.
He makes people think.
Back in the days of Xerox PARC
when people were just trying to struggle
he helped to lead people
out into a visual, interactive space.
He has advised many Fortune 500 companies,
been a part of Apple, of Disney,
of many other organizations.
He's now at his own  nonprofit organization,
Viewpoints Research.
But, to me, I had the honor of having him
as my thesis advisor when  I was at the MIT media lab.
And Alan asked me the most  important question of my career,
and I continue to tell  people this, which is,
"If you could design any  new technology for children,
And my problem is I have  not answered that question
in my 20 plus years of working on this.
Every time I have ever gotten a chance
Alan has a been a part of it in some way.
And, you know, yesterday we didn't even
expect Alan to be here,
and he spent three plus hours  with our student volunteers
just sitting there talking,
That says a lot about who he is.
It says a lot about who and Vishal are
about giving to all of us for the future.
And with that, let us join us to the stage
Alan Kay and Vishal Sikka.
(audience applauds)
- Hi.  - [Alan] Hiya.
- I think you're there.
One reminder, we're  gonna be asking questions
using again.
Go to, put  in the hashtag CHI2016.
We're not gonna have any  pieces of paper passed around.
So no more pieces of paper.
if you want to see what  questions other people are asking
please go to,
enter the hashtag CHI2016.
vote them up, and ask your own.
because Alan and Vishal insisted on this,
and that we start with  a question for them.
than the last two conversations we've had,
and this is not because  I need to be onstage
with these two amazing gentlemen,
and I've, you know, I  love hanging out with him.
- Okay, so when we talking about
what questions they might ask each other,
I threw out a few questions
and then, of course, Alan and Vishal say,
"Well, wait a second. Why  don't you ask questions?"
And so I said, "Oh no,  don't do that to me."
so we're throwing the first question here.
Alan and Vishal, you both have had visions
of what is possible for  computing in the future.
for example, the Dynabook,
operating systems, and so on.
If you both could design the future,
what's just on the horizon  that we should be seeing?
And what's down the road a  bit that we shouldn't miss?
- Well, let's get Vishal  to start with the answer
because he is the CEO  of a very large company
with a couple of hundred  thousand employees,
and is in the process of  changing a culture there
that is already deep into learning,
but to change it for the future.
- Well, first of all, I looked everywhere.
we were thinking that  everybody who woke up so early
to come and see us
I hope all of you guys are awake.
- Yeah, we should,
they wanted to ask Marvin Minsky
if he'd teach a course at  11 o'clock in the morning,
just to come here.
- No, I'm sorry, if you look  at a company like Infosys,
we have 200,000 employees
that work on close to 10,000 projects,
and yet you find, not only in my company,
but in all companies like this,
a severe lack of basic  things like collaboration,
the ability to work with  others, and so forth.
called Zero Distance
to get people to see what others have done
that could be learned from.
And as you do that, you  realize that basic interfaces
for helping a team find out  what other teams have done
and bring that into their own work,
or decontextualize the  work that others have done
and they could relate themselves to it,
are not there.
And yet, we know that when we collaborate,
a team that works together is,
can be exponentially more  powerful than any individual,
no matter how smart the individual is.
So one of the things that I  think is around the corner
is the ability to, better  ability to collaborate,
better abilities to learn.
Of course, I'm an optimist.
We haven't seen much happen yet.
But I think better  abilities to help us improve
to help us make discoveries,
that maybe are related  to what we are doing.
Alan has just started working  on a great, new adventure
around rethinking some of  these basic ideas on learning.
that I would see around the corner.
- So that's a good lead-in
to just bringing up the  name of Doug Engelbart.
I spent three hours or more yesterday
talking to student volunteers,
and I found that everybody  had heard of Engelbart
and that he had something  to do with the mouse.
could tell me anything else about him.
None of them had typed
E-N-G-E-L-B-A-R-T into Google.
This is incredible to me
because we put a lot of  effort in 40 years ago
making it so you're only a  couple of button clicks away
from finding out about things  that you should be curious in
Yet, nobody had taken the  trouble to even do that,
if you do it right now,
you'll find a Wikipedia article  about what he actually did.
You'll find the website of the Bootstrap.
You'll find the 75 papers he wrote,
most of them about exactly the  issue that Vishal brought up.
You can see what they were doing
for collaboration back in 1968,
which is close to 50 years ago now
hen that big demo happened.
actually obtains today.
And this, to me, is what's wrong with,
because if you measure  things about bad interfaces,
You have to have some vision
that you're trying to approach there.
so, to me, what hasn't  happened over the last 35 years
is concerted efforts in  getting to the real problems
of interacting with computers.
And some of these were  tackled very well by...
some of our founders of  our field in the past,
like Engelbart.
Some of them were merely articulated
like shouldn't the user  interface be able to be proactive
as well as being reactive in  helping you to move around it.
So the fundamental issues to me,
I don't see generally in computing,
and I don't see them in the  human user-interface community.
So I think the good news is
there's a lot of really  good stuff that can be done
if you can find a way of getting away
and worrying about peer reviewers,
And this is why talking to a visionary
from industry like Vishal is critical,
because he doesn't want  incremental improvements
on the way his business or  any business is running now
any more than Engelbart did.
He wants to solve some of the  big problems of the world,
and this is why, in part, why Infosys
has put up so many public  benefit foundations
You should mention the  one in this country.
I mean, one of Engelbart's ideas,
great big ideas that Alan  told me about many years ago,
was this idea of how  organizations can improve.
And this is something that is  common, as far as I can tell,
that there are these A, B, and C tasks,
and the task As are the ones  that we are usually focused on,
which are the things  that we are working on.
And we usually also have B tasks
and which are the tasks that  help us get the A tasks done
But what Engelbart said  that was very profound
was that in great organizations,  just as in great organisms,
there are these C tasks  which are the tasks
that help us constantly  improve the B tasks
and help us find the new A tasks.
And usually most companies  don't have the C task.
I mean, the Xerox PARC was  an example of a C task and...
it is a very basic thing  that companies don't have.
what kind of C tasks there would be,
foundations, research organizations
which think about the blue plan stuff,
the long-term kind of things,
in an unencumbered way,
Spending 1% or 2% of your profits
on something that might end  up improving the whole lot
is something extremely  in shareholder interest,
and we don't think of this  type of thing over the day.
Even recently, I won't say how recent,
that have been around for 20, 30 years
and how little they have improved,
and it is because we  constantly keep searching
And if you had thought
and there are many  word-processing spreadsheets
and if we had thought about the fact
wo or three decades into the future,
we might look more seriously
- Yeah, and just to add  on another Doug Engelbart,
I keep on bringing up Engelbart here
because it's not that  he was the only person
but it's particularly relevant, I think,
to thinking about problems  of human interface.
And one of the things to think about
was that collaboration in their system
was at what we would call the  operating system level today.
It wasn't something that might  be stuck in a half-assed way
in Google Docs or something,
but something that was  fundamental to the fact
hat you're on the computer at all,
that every single thing  that was done of any kind
like we expect to be connected  to the internet itself.
So this is something  to really think about.
if fundamental principles  of collaboration.
Another interesting one is...
the power of different  perspectives on things
up to the point of war.
one of the drivers of the whole universe
is the fact that elementary particles
are partly sticky and partly standoffish
at different scales,
and this generates most  of the macro phenomena
And if you try and use that  as an analogy in human beings,
you immediately see that human beings,
and in fact most mammals,
are partly cooperative  and partly competitive,
and they're done at different scales.
The competitive stuff is much less useful
The age of abundance came out, came apart,
came to pass because of our ability
And this is another part  of what Engelbart said
in his original 1962 proposal to ARPA,
and boy, if you haven't read that,
you're really not in the  human interface field
who doesn't really want  to know what Newton did
or how he did it.
So these great visionaries,  another one is Ivan Sutherland.
- Yeah.
their visions were bigger than we are.
They're bigger than time,
and they're things that are  not worth schluffing aside
just because they happen to be old.
- I mean, this point, Alan,
about knowing about the work of others,
And yet, in our discipline,
in the computer-human interface  discipline in computing,
- Well, I don't think we have a field.
- I think it's still  basically a pop culture
probing around their little  pockets of this and that,
but it doesn't act like any field
that's taking its larger  mission seriously.
- It's kind of a caricature.
- Interesting.
Okay, so I'm gonna move you  guys to the left a little bit,
(clears throat)
that you all have been  working a lot with nonprofits,
a lot with the foundations.
For example, Vishal,  your nonprofit in India
ctually impacted all of India
because you set the example,
and then they made some  kind of law because of you?
- The Infosys foundation has  been doing tremendous work
and just a general good for a long time.
It was started by our  founder's wife, Mrs. Murty,
and the 2% rule that we have now in India
was largely influenced  by, among other things,
our foundation's work.
And beyond this general foundation,
we have the Infosys Science Foundation
and the rating for the ACM  Infosys Award comes from there.
And, more recently, we  started the Infosys Foudation
And they have done some great work
in the last year and a half
on bringing computer science  education to everyone.
We don't realize that kids  who are in school today
are going to come out of school  in the year 2032 or 2033,
and when we look at our  future that far ahead,
and chances are that computing
around us by then.
Are we really teaching them
how to think nontraditionally in school?
And so this is one of the  things that they really focus on
- That is interesting.
And I understand that just very recently
Alan may have inspired  yet another foundation
- Well...
all the credit should go to Sam Altman
- Y Combinator. He's  the CEO of Y Combinator.
Truly remarkable.
We call him a builder of civilizations.
- And 30 years old.
and he's just the greatest thing ever.
- So what are you thinking of doing?
- Well, so he contacted me  a little over a year ago
because he had gotten curious
about the...
basically the qualitative level of output
from the big research funding of the 60's,
of which Xerox PARC was a...
It was all one big community
because of the Cold War,
but with all of the IP completely open
and in the public domain,
and the combined gross world product
from the result of that fund.
Well, just from Xerox PARC,
the gross world product  from what Xerox PARC did
is about $35 trillion to date.
And so this is an interesting  thing to think about,
As Vishal was pointing, this is a C idea.
If you do A and B well, you  get millions and billions.
It's kind of businesses have  their sights set very low.
but really good researchers want trillions
because it involves creating  an entire new industry,
an entire new way of  doing things in world.
And that's what this  government funding did,
and so we started talking about it.
You know, and I'm a refugee.
I actually started graduate  school 50 years ago this year.
that funding was only four  years old when I started.
So they had done their  first round of stuff,
and I was a second-generation  researcher in that,
and I got to see how they did it
and how it was done and...
was very privileged to  help set up Xerox PARC
and participate in that.
And Sam absorbed all of this stuff,
and he came up with a  tremendous plan which was...
industry should somehow fund this
because the government just  checked out of doing this
But that's just the way it is.
And so he started raising money.
Vishal chipped in  considerable from his company.
So they set up a nonprofit  called Y Combinator Research
which is a 501c3 company, open IP,
and they've started creating  research communities.
The first one was called OpenAI.
The second one is called Basic Income,
in many ways, one of the most interesting.
It's an interesting idea  that keeps on coming back,
And then just yesterday we  announced a rather large one
called the Human Advancement  Research Community
which is kind of an ARPA organization of,
based in San Francisco,
in Cambridge, Mass.,
and soon in other places,
to try to deal with  some of these problems.
And we have some very, very good people
who are founding researchers of it,
including Bret Victor,  Vi Hart, and others.
So this bodes well for the future,
that there are people with enough vision
outside of just the simple things
to see that there's actually a world
that is no farther away  than a telephone call
or an internet packet.
one of the most famous early thinkers
in the Greek civilization
was a guy by the name of Solon.
And one of the questions  that he asked the Athenians
when they asked him to make laws for them,
he said, "What should be the penalty
"for not being competent in a society?"
And he didn't mean just  mental incompetent,
suppose you're hurt,
suppose you can't do this,
What is the penalty
for being in a civilization?
And the answer is the whole difference
and a dog-eat-dog competitive  climbing over other people,
is to answer that question  in a reasonable way.
So this is what the 60's  research was actually about.
The technology you have  today came from people
who were pretty much  idealists just like I am.
And what we're seeing here, I think,
is the most exciting thing ever,
who have access to considerable funds
grappling with this larger,
smaller world
that we really have to deal with.
- So these would be  like large communities?
So explain this a little bit.
- It is the Human  Advancement Research Center.
- Like PARC, it is HARC,  in case you missed that.
And it is funded by Y Combinator,
but also by us, by SAP,  by other companies.
And it has a great bunch of researchers
headed by Alan himself, obviously,
and Vi Hart, and Bret  Victor, and Alex Wild,
and a bunch of very, very  smart thinkers and doers.
And it's got organization,  completely open IP,
- And so anything in the public  good you can think about?
- Yeah.
They will work on,  obviously, on interfaces,
on learning, on things  that move us forward.
- I should mention that  one of the main propeties
of this 60's research,  and carry it into PARC,
was basically the thinking,
the conception of problems,
the organization of doing  things was at the PI level,
It wasn't top down.
can really help things by having a vision.
So Licklider, who set all this up,
he said, "The destiny of computers
"are to become interactive,  intellectual amplifiers
"for all people on earth  pervasively networked worldwide."
That was his one sentence,
This allowed him to hire  a lot of smart people
who had different slants,
and this created a community  of about 17 places,
another 1/4 of them at  government think tanks
like Rand, and BB and N, and MIDER.
the energy,
the different points  of view, the arguments,
created a very rich picture
of what the future should be like.
that we have in our  computing systems today,
and of course including the internet,
and the graphical user interface,
they came out of this  whole community effort.
That wasn't done by any  single research group.
Even Xerox PARC, we  thought of ourselves there
as being less creative
by design,
because our job, we thought,
was to finish off this ARPA funding
and come up with a reasonable,
practical solution
and interaction,
and computing power,
and the best we could do in that day.
And so we were actually a  little bit more conservative
as far as thinking up new ideas.
We just stayed with what  it was, and we tried to be,
have a set of designs where  we actually built all of them.
For instance, the first  thing that was like a Mac,
we built 2,000 of them
and that was when  computers were hard to do.
that I think is sort of relevant
o this topic we're sort  of talking about right now.
Do you think that our focus on startups,
particularly those that are VC-funded
as a culture right now...
- (laughs) I love user interfaces.
- [Jofish] Inhibits solving  the big problems as a--
You know, here's a great  line from Negroponte.
Years ago he said,
"An infrared urinal knows  more about what you're doing
- Absolutely.
- All right, we're gonna start. (chuckles)
Do you think that our focus on startups,
inhibits solving the big problems,
as opposed to an  environment that's dominated
by government funding and research labs?
You know, the question is how...
how much have we been taught,
and go along with that teaching,
and how much have we been taught
o try and periodically step back
"There's more to world's than this."
And if you think about  it, the purpose of art
is to get us out of our seven  plus or minus two chunks
that we are using to focus  on any particular goals
that we have right now,
"Hey, there's a whole  nother world out here."
And one of the purposes of education
This is what Buddhists,
this means something else in Hinduism.
but in Buddhism it's the acknowledgement
hat we live in a world of illusions,
what Kahneman called system one.
It's there for dealing  with things in real time,
and so it's an incredibly disastrous gloss
on what's actually going on.
And so the way of  answering that question is,
no, startups are wonderful.
But for crying out loud, don't  make a religion out of it.
And don't be confused with what,
the dynamic in startups
is completely different
han the dynamic in real research.
- You have to get the current product out,
and you have to get the second  product ready to go out.
And if you don't do that, you're done for.
So you've basically taken off.
It's like we used to say back at PARC,
"Once you've put your optimization hat on,
Because you can't wear both of  those hats at the same time.
They're just not in the  same psychic universe.
So you just have to pick  and choose when you're like,
again, just to say another PARC story,
PARC was involved building at least 100
of every single thing that we did there.
of what you might call  small-scale practical engineering
that had to be done,
was to not just completely get buried
by the technicalities  and the optimizations
but to be able to pull  back and do another thing.
that we did four completely  different versions of Smalltalk,
one every two years, at Xerox PARC,
each one of them operational,
and there was never another  version of Smalltalk
once it hit the bricks  to the outside world.
It's crazy, but that's just the way it is.
- Absolutely, Alan.
are like the children,  the young of our industry.
firing startup ecosystem.  - [Alan] Absolutely.
But don't get confused with  that and the larger picture
that is going to be used by human beings,
even if it's soft,
can't be cutting edge.
You know, this is why we want  engineers to design airplanes,
not scientists and mathematicians.
are even happier if the airplane crashes
because there's something to find out.
Think about it.
it's something that's  worthwhile being able,
it's like a suit: you put it on,
but you don't want to  confuse that with invention.
are just completely different things.
- One's incremental,
and one is attempting  to change the paradigm.
How do you, if you--
One of my many heroes,
a person I would ask a question of,
would be Michelangelo,
because he was capable of enormous vision.
But the great story about Michelangelo
is him personally painting the ceiling
of the Sistine Chapel over four years,
lying on his back with candle wax,
because it was, if you've been there.
So candle wax is dripping onto his face.
He's up there lying on his back,
painting this incredible  ceiling for four years
after having this insight  of what could be up there.
about the people I admire the most,
he would call himself an engineer, but...
And so he had some of  the best ideas ever had
that were absolutely  crazy to even think about,
yet he did that all himself,  the machine code in one year,
and gave us something that  is still hard to understand
how it could possibly have happened.
And so the balance there  is part of the heuristics
of being a researcher.
We live in a world where almost nothing
that's interesting about  computing can be proved.
So when we go from research,
and when we go from creativity,
the way we deal with  understanding where we are
in these ideas is we build them.
And so we're kind of, at our best,
we're enlightened engineering.
We have artists who...
can smoothly move,
like Michelangelo who also  did the dome on Saint Peter's.
- But did he do these things by hims--
But the people you're talking about,
that did things by themselves first.
- That wasn't the way it worked because...
were doing these frescoes,
- Aah, okay.
trained in Donatello's shop.
They all did.
- Okay, so Seymour Paper always said,
he always said that actually
we should not be creating master teachers.
- Yeah!
all of us should be a  learning community together,
and that we don't all know  where the finish line is,
and so together we're learning together.
- So it's interesting because, Vishal,
your startups seem to be your foundations.
And it's interesting  because your foundations
eem to be also in this  collaborative sense as well.
- Well, he's got, also  has really 1,000 startups
but I'm gonna look four startup  foundations at the moment.
Yeah. (laughing)
The foundations are, in some sense,
the longer-term contribution,
but we do have a startup fund as well.
And one interesting thing is that,
we don't plan this out in advance.
that we invest in startup  companies around us
is roughly the same as the amount of money
- Really? Wow.
Okay, great.
and we don't say
that we are going to spend  $41 1/2 million a year
on this thing when we set out.
it turns out that it ends  up being sort of like that,
in the startups around us
in the same ballpark.
in the context of how  research happens at Infosys?
One of the things that happens,
about where research goes.
about the difference between  invention and innovation.
So first of all,
saying that we have an  innovation team in Infosys
are not innovators.
- And anyone, a company  of our size and scale,
anyone could set up a lab  with 30 people in Palo Alto,
and say, "Oh, these are the innovators,"
that the innovators are over there
in Palo Alto, or in Israel,  or Berlin, or wherever,
and I am just sitting here doing my thing,
I think this is nonsense.
You have to create a mindset
So this idea that I mentioned  earlier about zero distance
is about 200,000 innovators,
people who think about  what they could do better,
who are unconstrained  by the statement before.
of a company like Infosys
is that people do what they are told.
You know, many services companies  wear this badge of honor
but if you think about  it, a best practice,
why would you want a best practice?
A best practice is not only  not an innovative practice,
that you already know  which one is the best one.
that, "We'll tell you the best practice,"
which only means they have  looked backwards enough
that they know what  everybody else is trying
and which one of those  happens to be the best one.
This cannot possibly be  something innovative.
So to clear the culture
where these kind of things can be done
is extremely important.
you realize that the tools are not there,
the tools to do better collaboration.
We were joking about this robot  that is walking around here
- Somebody goofed when they did that
because what the person is looking at
is, of course, not the TV thing
because it's up above  where it shouldn't be.
is already there, you know.
are done by the same principle,
so we could easily program the  ability to make eye contact
- Well, there are bunch of papers of,
even if the camera is offset,
it's a simple transformation  to transform the image
so it looks like it's looking out
from the screen, rather.  - [Vishal] Looking at you.
- This is like user interface 101,
It's painful to see the people
using billions of devices
that have forgot that undo is a good idea.
That's ugly to see people  go after the thought.
Come on!
- Let's use that to segue into--
Do you have an undo on that thing?
what is the most prominent problem in HCI
that you believe is still unsolved?
Is it the undo?
No, these are...
So I'll put out mine.
This is something that  we've periodically tried
to get the national acadamies behind,
and it has to do with something  really interesting about...
our genetics,
how we learn things in  traditional cultures.
It tends to be by learning as remembering.
Thinking is bringing up past cases.
Traditional cultures change very slowly
because they're mainly set up for coping,
So we're in a different world,
but we have the same old genetics.
if you look at learners,
maybe 5% to 8% are autodidacts
who don't need a lot  of external motivation,
and tend to make use of  resources of various kinds,
including people.
But for most human beings,
hook into learning things  is cultural learning.
Cultural learning is learning  by being around other people,
because a lot of it is social
and there's a little  technique mixed in there.
And because of that, when  you try to reform education,
you're faced right away with the problem
that a rather large percentage  of the human population
anywhere in the world,  including this country,
really needs to interact with  human beings in various ways
in order to learn.
They're not naturally autodidactic.
And there was an attempt  in the 19th century
to do exactly what you're talking about
because the object of learning to read
in the 19th century in  most American schools
but to learn how to learn from reading.
- And this was articulated by  a number of people back then.
The idea was there's too  much for getting it orally,
and we can read five times  faster than we can hear,
and books travel in a better way.
They're better than teachers.
So this is stuff we've heard before.
It's in the 19th century.
and for a variety of reasons
coming up with good teachers  is incredibly difficult.
So for instance, suppose  we had some new thing
that would be really  important for people to learn,
We can make 5 billion copies  of it almost for nothing now
using the internet,
but Vishal could spend an  enormous amount of his budget,
and he wouldn't be able to  come up with 1,000 teachers,
1,000 good teachers, to save his life
- Yeah.
between not enough Socrates going around
by getting some of what  Socrates about into media.
So one of the oldest dreams,
and this is where my  answer to the question,
that was on the scene when  I started, still there,
I think it's still the most  important thing to work on,
is that special thing that computers have
but goes beyond it in the  same vein as what a book is,
which is to deal with the great ideas
and the great teachers  of ideas in various ways
by allowing the medium to  do more and more teaching
to help us become the learners  that can then be independent.
That's a bootstrapping problem.
So like learning science
is partly getting away from stories,
but you need to learn  science when you're a kid.
So you have to start  teaching kids using stories,
and then gradually show them other ways
So this is a big deal.
It's been the big deal for 50  years since I've been in it.
It goes all the way back to  McCarthy's advice-taker paper
none of the students I talked to yesterday
about what user interfaces  on computers should be about.
Have you ever read this paper
Come on!
- Classics.
Because it's not the solutions  he specifically suggested,
and what he generally  recognized had to be the case
in order for this revolution to happen.
Nobody knows this.
- And a variation on that is this idea
of helping us see better,
interfaces that help us see better.
We all sometimes stumble  onto great interfaces
that help us see things  that are beyond our senses,
and scales that we can comprehend.
And those kind of making systematically,
making interfaces that  help us do these things,
would be very interesting.
- Yeah, we could say a  simple way of saying it is,
what people have drifted into,
what is where we are today,
as more or less as they are at birth,
filled with our genetic propensities,
and try to make user  interfaces that fit to that.
So this is the...
This is a key idea
because it's putting kids on  bikes that have training wheels
and not telling them that  they are training wheels.
- And training wheels are  a horrible user interface.
- It's a horrible idea, and  if you've never seen a real...
the problem with the bike is
it requires you to be different,
but that is the whole  point of the difference
between hunting and  gathering 100,000 years ago
and where we are today.
that help us be different
han our genes try to tell us to be.
- I think, on that inspiring  note, we should finish up.
I'd like to thank both of you for coming.
It's been such a pleasure  to have you up here.
- Amazing.  - [Alan] Thank you.
(audience applauds)  - Thanks.