Intel CEO kicks off IDF with call for social innovation

Barrett pushes developers to come up with tech ideas to improve health care, education.

Intel Chairman Craig Barrett kicked off the highly anticipated Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco Tuesday without focusing on computer chips, new architectures or manufacturing processes.

He left talk about the topics that have made Intel the top player in the microprocessor industry to others to address in keynotes slated for the rest of the week. Instead, Barrett talked about social obligation and what technology and the technologists in the audience could do to impact education, health care and economic development around the world.

"Technology is a tool to address some of the world's most pressing challenges related to health care, education, economic development and the environment," said Barrett, who also chairs a United Nations initiative on technology in the developing world. "No nations or individuals are untouched by these issues. Get involved. Be part of the solution."

To drive home his message, Barrett announced that Intel will award four $100,000 prizes to those who come up with the most innovative ideas for using technology to tackle issues in education, health care, economic development and the environment. The ideas will be judged largely on innovation and sustainability.

"It was a thoughtful piece, focusing on what technology can do rather than focusing on 45-nanometer technology," said Nathan Brookwood, an analyst at research firm Insight 64, who attended the opening keynote. "Intel will have plenty of opportunity to talk about products and technology. He was trying to raise the level over individual products."

The company uses the annual Intel Developer Forum to provide technologists and users with information on its latest innovations and on the company's technology vision. The conference, which opened today, runs through Thursday.

Barrett had four main lines of focus - driving technological innovation for education, health care, economic development and energy savings in the opening keynote.

Technology, he contended, can help address climate change, as the technology sector accounts for 2% of the global carbon dioxide footprint. He also noted that there are many ways that technology can be used to help cut the remaining 98% of emissions as well. United Parcel Service, for instance, takes advantage of GPS technology and scheduling software to save 3 million miles in deliveries - each month, he noted.

Charles King, an analyst at Pund-IT, said the keynote was interesting but not earthshaking.

"It was certainly crafted to hit some hot button issues," he said. "This is part of a larger recognition and effort by large IT vendors that they need to do more to encourage innovation around the world."

King pointed to Microsoft's Imagine Cup technology innovation competition. He also noted that IBM offers free software tools to businesses in developing markets.

But while Intel may not be the first kid on the block to push innovation that can have a social impact on the world, King said it's a strong message for the conference to open with.

"This was actually a very wise thing for them to do," he added. "What Barrett was really talking about was that technology can no longer be innovative and cool but it needs to have a practical application like health care or energy consumption. It has to make a difference in the way we live and work."

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Intel Developer Forum

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?