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Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age

Category: Book
By (author): Browne, Carol Ann
Foreword By: Gates, Bill
By (author): Smith, Brad
Subject:  BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Leadership
  NON-FICTION / General
  POLITICAL SCIENCE / Political Process / Media & Internet
  TECHNOLOGY & ENGINEERING / Social Aspects
Publisher: Penguin Press
Published: September 2019
Format: Book-hardcover
Pages: 368
Size: 9.25in x 6.12in x 1.03in
Our Price:
$ 40.00
Availability:
Available to order

Additional Notes

From The Publisher*"A clear, compelling guide to some of the most pressing debates in technology today."-Bill Gates, from the foreword

From Microsoft's President and one of the tech industry's wisest thinkers, a frank and thoughtful reckoning with how to balance enormous promise and existential risk as the digitization of everything accelerates.


Microsoft President Brad Smith operates by a simple core belief: When your technology changes the world, you bear a responsibility to help address the world you have helped create. This might seem uncontroversial, but it flies in the face of a tech sector long obsessed with rapid growth and sometimes on disruption as an end in itself. While sweeping digital transformation holds great promise, we have reached an inflection point. The world has turned information technology into both a powerful tool and a formidable weapon, and new approaches are needed to manage an era defined by even more powerful inventions like artificial intelligence. Companies that create technology must accept greater responsibility for the future, and governments will need to regulate technology by moving faster and catching up with the pace of innovation.

In Tools and Weapons, Brad Smith and Carol Ann Browne take us into the cockpit of one of the world's largest and most powerful tech companies as it finds itself in the middle of some of the thorniest emerging issues of our time. These are challenges that come with no preexisting playbook, including privacy, cybercrime and cyberwar, social media, the moral conundrums of artificial intelligence, big tech's relationship to inequality, and the challenges for democracy, far and near. While in no way a self-glorifying "Microsoft memoir," the book pulls back the curtain remarkably wide onto some of the company's most crucial recent decision points, as it strives to protect the hopes technology offers against the very real threats it also presents. There are huge ramifications for communities and countries, and Brad Smith provides a thoughtful and urgent contribution to that effort.
Review Quote*"With clarity and candor, Brad Smith and Carol Ann Browne have crafted an indispensable guide to understanding and tackling the mightiest tech challenges of our time. Drawing on firsthand experience as well as the lessons of history, this perceptive volume shows that solutions will not be solely governmental nor corporate, but must involve collaboration across sectors and borders. Timely, essential reading for all who care about where the tech world goes next." - Margaret O'Mara, author of The Code
Biographical NoteBrad Smith is Microsoft's president, where he leads a team of more than 1,400 business, legal and corporate affairs professionals working in 56 countries. He plays a key role in spearheading the company's work on critical issues involving the intersection of technology and society, including cybersecurity, privacy, artificial intelligence, human rights, immigration, philanthropy and environmental sustainability. The Australian Financial Review has described Smith as "one of the technology industry's most respected figures," and the New York Times has called him "a de facto ambassador for the technology industry at large." Carol Ann Browne is senior director of communications and external relations at Microsoft. Browne and Smith have collaborated on a wide variety of writing, video, and other external engagements around the world, including their Today in Technology blog series.