Cell Phone Inventor Martin Cooper Favors AI Over Apps

The hand portable cellular telephone (cell 'phone or mobile 'phone) was born out of a desire to remove the shackles of a car 'phone. At the time, Motorola believed that building a 'phone into a car was as restrictive as using a landline. And so the hand-portable cell 'phone was invented and the first call was made in April 1973 when inventor, Martin Cooper, called his chief nemesis in the cellular race, AT&T's Joel Engel, to explain he was making the first ever cellular telephone call. Martin reports that when Joel picked up there was silence at the other end. And in the last forty years the cell 'phone has become deeply rooted into society and the way we communicate. Earlier this week we reported that over five billion souls may be reached through text message even on older cell 'phones.

Martin talks about how the cell 'phone has come a long way but we probably have another couple of generations before we can see all that the devices are capable of. However, when it comes to applications, he makes it clear: he does not like them, to the point that having a million apps is useless as because the customer needs to sort through these applications to decide the ones to install. Instead, he sees the best solution as being some form of artificial intelligence servant that knows the solutions the customer needs. These solutions would be the replacement for the applications we currently install and maintain through updates on our devices. Martin also sees our bodies as containing embedded servers designed to make life easier.

We also know that Google's founders have an unwritten objective to make the computer as user friendly as the Star Trek computer. We've seen Google Now pushing towards this as well as having what could be considered the foundation of an artificial intelligence system. Google Now anticipates what we need and can activate and run installed applications. It does not seem like such a stretch to have Google Now go ahead and look up an application that could make something we do on a regular basis easier or quicker, or if applications were stored in Google's data centres, to have Google Now run the application via the cloud platform. As bizarre as it sounds, very few in 1970 could imagine that 45 years later, almost everybody walking the streets of a major city would be preoccupied by a small, hand-held device.

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About the Author

David Steele

Senior Staff Writer
I grew up with 8-bit computers and moved into PDAs in my professional life, using a number of devices from early Windows CE clamshells and later. Today, my main devices are a Nexus 5X, a Sony Xperia Z Tablet and a coffee cup.