His name is not as well known as that of Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, but Michael Dertouzos was "an icon in the technological world".
Gates says in a tribute to Michael Dertouzos that remains published on the website of the MIT, the prestigious Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where the computer scientist led the Computational Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) for nearly 30 years.
This Monday, Dertouzos would have turned 82 years old. But he died almost two decades ago, on August 27, 2001, at 64.
Google wanted to pay tribute to him with one of his famous doodles, the illustrations with which he celebrates dates, places and important people in history.
The fourth revolution
The "predictions" of the Greek computer go back to the late 70s, when he predicted that in the 1990s there would be a personal computer in one in four homes. He also described what a network like the internet would be like and talked about the fourth revolution.
"The first three socio-economic revolutions are all based on things – the plow of the agrarian revolution, the engine of the industrial revolution and the computer of the information revolution," he wrote in 1999.
"Maybe the time has come for the world to consider a fourth revolution that no longer points to objects, but to understand the most valuable resource on Earth: ourselves," he said.
"A humanist technologist"
Gates said Dertouzos was a "computer visionary."
One of his greatest achievements, says the founder of Microsoft, was "to understand as anyone in their field that technology – especially computing – must serve the needs of the people, and not the other way around ".
The American businessman describes Dertouzos as "the first humanist technologist", because "he believed that technology did not really have value unless it improved people's life, communication, work and leisure".
This is one of the most famous phrases of the Greek scientist: "We made a big mistake 300 years ago when we separated the technology of humanism, it's time to unite them again" (Scientific American magazine, 1997).
"He seemed optimistic, confident that we were closer than ever to achieving harmony with technology. I knew we still had a lot to do"wrote Gates.
But he had many more compliments.
According to MIT, Dertouzos was "a pioneer of technology" that made it accessible to people. And the magazine Time He was cited as "the most influential computer scientist in the world".
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