Intel shows its human side

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Technology is a tool not a panacea, Intel chairman Craig Barrett said during his keynote speech at the opening of the Intel Developer Forum in San Francisco..

Barrett issued a "call to innovate", urging the audience to "help improve the well being of people around the world through technology" rather than developing technology for technology's sake.

"Every nation around the world realises that technology and education are key to advancement and competing on a global level," he said.

However, Barrett warned that some countries, the US in particular, are failing to spur the younger generation into technological education and innovation.

Barrett gave examples of some new developments in education, healthcare and the environment, showing how a small idea had been developed into something that could have a significant impact for a lot of people.

Examples included a cheap whiteboard using a Wii remote, a mobile barcode to carry vital medical information while abroad, and solar cells made from plastic rather than silicon.

"To succeed you need four things: smart people, smart ideas, an investment in innovation and the right environment to bring this together," he said.

"It starts with teachers. It's not about throwing money at the problem, it's about throwing good qualified people at it and giving them the resources to solve the problem."

Barrett explained that it is important not to get too wrapped up in the technology, but to remember that it is a tool to be utilised by innovators.

Intel recently launched the Inspire Community to help raise awareness and support for improving education around the world.

The site includes a series of videos of people sharing tales about education and a variety of life-changing moments. Users are encouraged to upload videos of their own stories.

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