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Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak talks about tech at Rochester conference

Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak answers questions during his appearance Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at the ROC on Tech conference in Rochester
Randy Gorbman
Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak answers questions during his appearance Wednesday, April 13, 2022 at the ROC on Tech conference in Rochester

An iconic name in personal computing made a stop in Rochester on Wednesday. Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak was the keynote speaker at the ROC on Tech conference hosted by the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce.

That event at the Joseph A. Floreano Rochester Riverside Convention Center drew hundreds of people to hear about the latest in technology trends and learn more about some local companies.

Wozniak was the keynote speaker, but he basically answered questions in the informal Q and A format.

One of the things he talked about that a lot of everyday tech users can probably relate to, is the fact that software and other tech devices and interfaces often change, without it necessarily leading to a better consumer experience:

“The changes in what I’m using, good. I like it, this is helping me, and all of a sudden It changes,” said Wozniak. “And now I have to learn the new modality the new way, even if it’s just a product, and where did they move these things to, that were here and accessible before? And that bothers me, I like consistency.”

Wozniak also expressed concern about there not being enough of a focus on security when new products are created. He said too often, he becomes more of an afterthought.

“What have we done that can really stop that? Just about nothing,” said Wozniak. “We’re always looking for it, trying to spot it when it happens and even the people who are working hard to be secure have accidents come along, and then discover, ‘Oh, we’ve got to now take more steps to make it secure another way.’ Apple has updates for security, like every week.”

Wozniak continues to be involved in various philanthropic and business ventures, mainly focusing on computer capabilities in schools and stressing hands-on learning that encourages creativity and innovation by students.

Bob Duffy, president and CEO of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce, said that having Wozniak as the keynote speaker helped give the tech conference, and Rochester overall, a lot of attention.

“What we’re trying to do is grow the ecosystem in Rochester for technology, said Duffy. ”We have so much going for us here, 18 colleges, universities, so much talent, we want to make sure we keep this talent here, and bringing attention like this and really championing Rochester as a potential tech hub.”

Randy Gorbman is WXXI's director of news and public affairs. Randy manages the day-to-day operations of WXXI News on radio, television, and online.