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Visionary speech by Steve Jobs at the 1983 Aspen International Design Conference

Coinciding with the first anniversary of the death of Steve Jobs, this speech by the most charismatic CEO in the history of IT appears. The speech that we present you, of almost one hour of duration, was pronounced by Jobs during the International Conference of Design, celebrated in Aspen, Colorado, in 1983. Apple’s leading visionary already predicted in the recording, among other things, that the future of computers was in portable devices. All the details, below…

The first anniversary of Steve Jobs’ death is providing very interesting data . On Monday we informed you about the special that Discovery Max dedicated to the charismatic CEO of Apple and today, through 9to5Mac and Life, Liberty, and Technology, we echo this interesting news. While it is true that part of the recording was already published some time ago, now we have the opportunity to listen to it in its entirety . As I said, the recording corresponds to the speech Jobs gave during the IDCA (International Design Conference at Aspen) held on June 15, 1983. It seems that some of the people who attended the conference were given a cassette containing Jobs’ speech, which has now been digitized so that we can all have the opportunity to listen to it.

In the aforementioned recording, Jobs already set the precedents for wireless networks, spoke of pocket computers (the iPad?) and the importance of fonts , among other issues. Although Jobs’ voice can be heard perfectly on the recording, the questions he is asked by the audience are almost inaudible. However, if we listen to Jobs’ answers we can guess the questions without any problem. If you don’t get along very well with the English language, here are the highlights of the interview:

  • Mention of the speed of computers, which seem to work in a magical way: Does this have anything to do with Jobs qualifying the iPad as magical during his presentation?
  • For Jobs, people’s relationship with computers in 1983 was still in its early stages, although this relationship would become stronger as we integrated computers into our daily lives, a statement that many would not take seriously during those years, retracting it later.
  • For Jobs, computers would become a new means of communication through network connections and the influence that e-mail would have on the new way of understanding telecommunications. It is particularly interesting to talk about portable devices from which e-mail can be accessed, regardless of where we are, anticipating this reality by a few years.
  • Also note the following verbatim transcript of the recording regarding Apple’s strategy: “create a book-sized laptop that you can learn to use in 20 minutes. Also, the idea was that the device would include a radio link. Sound familiar?
  • The “Lost” Steve Jobs Speech from 1983; Foreshadowing Wireless Networking, the iPad, and the App Store

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    Another key aspect of his speech is related to the then emerging software industry, comparing it to the music industry. According to Jobs, people didn’t know which computer to buy, but when they went to the record store they knew what kind of music they liked, since they could listen to the songs for free on the radio. For this reason, the software industry would need a kind of macro radio station from which consumers could test the software before buying it, since its digital nature would make it possible to distribute and pay for it over the phone. App Store, iTunes Store?

  • Finally, when Jobs is asked about the possibility of speech recognition by computers he literally says, “This is difficult,” making an interesting distinction between speech recognition and language recognition. Speech is relatively easy to recognize but language, being within context, is more complicated. Siri?

As you can see, Jobs had an idea already formed of what Apple would be 25 years later , a fact that partly justifies his becoming a technological guru and a world icon. You can hear the full audio here

Visionary speech by Steve Jobs at the 1983 Aspen International Design Conference
Visionary speech by Steve Jobs at the 1983 Aspen International Design Conference

As a curiosity, the owner of the tape, John Celuch (Inland Design), says he met Jobs during the course of the conference. According to him, Jobs gave him something to keep in a time capsule that is currently buried waiting for the time to open it. What will it be?

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