Intel anthropologist learns lessons from Kicking Pat Gelsinger

Right after Justin Rattner’s  frightening keynote  we briefly met with Intel Fellow Genevieve Bell in the press centre@IDF. We’ve  known  the Australian lady for a few years now, always enjoying her  specifically non-tech talks at conferences. One might wonder why some of  Intel’s works are so far off what people really want since Genevieve has tried to change that for 12 years now.

However, apart from Mike’s example of context aware computing involving girlfriends, motes and ruined carpets, we tried to come up with  something more corporate to explain our fears about “aware” computers.

Say we record the activities and feelings of all of Intel’s VPs for a  year. Rattner might not have felt good during his keynote, and Otellini has bought a new sports car, and  speeding on the highway but still had no  fun. Of course, we’ve made all this up .

Our aware system combines this data with AMD gaining market share, press  reviews of Intel products overall not being too good and the emails of  the Veeps indicating budget cuts and layoffs. At the end of the year the  machine would suggest: “Hey, dear user, you better sell those 1,2 million  pieces of Intel stock. This company will go bankrupt in three years from now.”

Mrs. Bell, hearing this went from a quick moment of amusement into well  acted outrage: “That’s naughty!” Bang. “You´re not helpfull!” That bang  was her fist on our upper arm – right where we luckily did not get that  tattoo that we intended to do for so long. That said,  she turned away.

While we might question in general, if a member of the press should be  too “helpful” for a multi-billion corporation, we´d like to welcome  Genevieve to the club of violent Intel staff. A couple of years ago,  Mike Magee got kicked by Pat Gelsinger. Intel somehow lost the  charismatic engineer, CTO and late senior VP, so it´s great to see Bell  keeping up with the family tradition. H ad we known her rewards for a  joke, we might have actually been frightened: only days before,  she  explained that she grew up, Down Under “killing things” for fun.

If Genevieve applies the same form of discipline in meetings with Intel  engineers, her efforts might actually have some – can we say “impact”?