Intel Turns to Sci-Fi Writers to Help Envision Future

Susan Hall

Intel hired four science-fiction writers last year as it struggles to shift from a more-speed-is-better mindset to one in which devices use chips that use as little power as possible.


It's all under the purview of Brian David Johnson, Intel's resident futurist, according to a Bloomberg story in the San Francisco Chronicle.


According to the article:

Users "don't care about the technology anymore," said Jim McGregor, chief technology strategist at researcher In-Stat. "They care about how they can use it. It's cultural change that needs to happen" at Intel.

The sci-fi writers were hired to envision how cutting-edge processors might be used in the near future and produced an anthology of stories, "The Tomorrow Project," which was published online in February. Tom's Hardware provides links to the stories.


The work is part of Intel's 12-year-old social science division, which seeks to spot trends by sending anthropologists and sociologists out into the world to determine how people use technology and what the company needs to do to design chips for the future.


Bloomberg quotes Intel engineer Jack Weast, saying:

It's an incredibly useful technique for those of us who grew up watching 'Star Trek,' or still do.

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