Trivia fact: Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak met his current wife in Des Moines. He also was an enthusiastic and voracious reader of the Tom Swift Jr. series, charting Tom’s wildest inventions and alien interactions from the early 1950s to 1971. In the early Apple days, he once built a floppy disk in two weeks to earn a spot on the company trip to Las Vegas (despite being a founder).

Wozniak had so many stories to tell in 56 minutes that he practically tripped over his words at the U.S. Cellular Tech Tour stop in Des Moines on Tuesday, jumping from the most convenient Apple innovations over the years to dreaming about designing dishwashers as a kid. 

Although U.S. Cellular billed the "fireside chat" at the Iowa Events Center as a space for Wozniak to answer questions on internet-of-things technology influencing Iowa businesses, he didn’t seem too interested in the subject. 

“IoT and those sectors, as I mentioned, is kind of out of my experience level,” Wozniak said in response to host Eric Jagher’s questioning. “Apple’s involvement in IoT is pretty much through our home kit, which is personal-oriented.” 

On artificial intelligence:

“We talk about artificial intelligence like it’s intelligence. I like the ‘A,’ but I don’t like the ‘I’ in AI. I’d almost call it alien influenza, it’s a better word for it,” Wozniak said. 

“I do not believe we’re going to make a brain like a human, that’s conscious, that believes, that has laughter, that cares about you.” 

On the relevance of handheld devices:

“I think we’re going to stick with, pretty much, good, handheld devices that get a little better and better. We’ve increased the number of sensors,” Wozniak said. “We’re pretty much there. … We have cameras, but we don’t have the software that necessarily is real, 3D vision, artificial intelligence-type stuff, that someday I’ll put on glasses and of course I’ll see your names.” 

On the technology he’s proudest of: 

“The Apple II computer really influenced the world the most. It was not only a great computer, easy to use out of the box, but it was the first time ever that arcade games were color,” Wozniak said.