This year's IDF kicked off in typical fashion with Pat Gelsinger, Intel Senior Vice President and General Manager, Digital Enterprise Group, taking the stage and giving a brief overview of what the event has to offer over the course of the next three days, including highlighting key speakers (the Woz on Thursday!), contributors, and sponsors.
Barrett hit the stage and quickly informed the crowd that he's been in the industry longer than many of the participants in the audience have been alive--about 40 years. Barrett commented on how Moore's Law from 1965 still applies over 40 years later and that current predictions see it applying for another 15 years.
Barrett sees the current responsibility of technology to not just stimulate how we work and play, but to also stimulate education and the economy. He says that technology now has a direct impact on the world's population--especially developing countries--in terms of improving healthcare and education.
As an example of how technology has impacted the world, at the time of the first IDF (with an attendance of only about 200 people--about half of them press), Intel had worked with Sandia Labs to built the first teraflop computer. That computer was made up of 9,200 processors and occupied hundreds of square feet. Today, teraflop processing exists on a single chip. As another example of change, Barrett says that there are more Internet users in China than there are people in the U.S.
Following World War II, the predominate manufacturing powers were the U.S., Western Europe, and Japan. But after the Cold War ended in the late 80's and early 90's, other countries and regions got increasingly involved in the world stage, such as India, China, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. Barrett says that this represents three to four billion new participants in the world economy. People with lower standards of living, who make lower wages, are now participating. In order for them to participate, grow, and compete on the world stage, however, they have to know how to use and understand technology. This is what Barrett refers to as the "human element."