Steve Jobs in Four Easy Steps

What the electronics industry can learn from his tenure at Apple

3 min read

The last time I spoke to the late Steve Jobs, he was screaming at me over the phone, "I'm not a failure! I'm not a failure!" His shouts got so loud, I put him on speakerphone so that my editor could hear him.

With Apple among the most valuable companies in the world because of its immensely popular products, the notion of Jobs as a failure seems ridiculous. But less than 20 years ago, in the mid-1990s, when Jobs was struggling to keep his forgettable NeXT computer company afloat, the idea of him failing—the possibility I'd raised in The Wall Street Journal that spurred his furious phone call—terrified him.

Keep Reading ↓ Show less

Stay ahead of the latest trends in technology. Become an IEEE member.

This article is for IEEE members only. Join the world’s largest professional organization devoted to engineering and applied sciences and get access to all of Spectrum’s articles, podcasts, and special reports. Learn more →

Membership includes:

  • Get unlimited access to IEEE Spectrum content
  • Follow your favorite topics to create a personalized feed of IEEE Spectrum content
  • Save Spectrum articles to read later
  • Network with other technology professionals
  • Establish a professional profile
  • Create a group to share and collaborate on projects
  • Discover IEEE events and activities
  • Join and participate in discussions

The Future of Deep Learning Is Photonic

Computing with light could slash the energy needs of neural networks

10 min read

This computer rendering depicts the pattern on a photonic chip that the author and his colleagues have devised for performing neural-network calculations using light.

Alexander Sludds

Think of the many tasks to which computers are being applied that in the not-so-distant past required human intuition. Computers routinely identify objects in images, transcribe speech, translate between languages, diagnose medical conditions, play complex games, and drive cars.

The technique that has empowered these stunning developments is called deep learning, a term that refers to mathematical models known as artificial neural networks. Deep learning is a subfield of machine learning, a branch of computer science based on fitting complex models to data.

Keep Reading ↓ Show less