Simon has allegedly scrapped the idea he was working on with Jada Pinkett Smith, Will Smith's wife, to find the best DJ, and has turned his energy to the X-Factor for Tech discussion (working title).
There's no doubt that since the first iPhone, tech and assorted geekery around smartphones and tablets has become more mainstream than ever, especially with the younger crowd, so trying to find the the best talent other than in song and dance would diversify the X-Factor franchise, and take it away from the often frowned-upon reality show whiff.
Will.i.am has a nonprofit called i.am.angel, where one of the goals is to inject "education, opportunity and inspiration" and transform lives, with a subsection on spotting and nurturing the next Bill Gates, and apparently that idea caught the attention of Simon, too.
We’re working on a project called X Factor for Tech - and it’s going to be out of this world," said Will.i.am. "Singing and performance create a couple of jobs. But this will create lots.... It’s about getting in touch with youth and giving them a platform to express themselves — whether that’s in science or mathematics.""
A pretty commendable undertaking, given how America needs a boost in science, math and engineering grads, as Microsoft recently complained the lack of skilled candidates in the US to fill thousands of its vacant positions is approaching crisis levels. And a hit TV contest form like the X-Factor might just add that aura of "cool" that is needed to nudge you in that direction.