The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business
Eric Schmidt, Jared Cohen
In an unparalleled collaboration, two leading global thinkers in technology and foreign affairs give us their widely anticipated, transformational vision of the future: a world where everyone is connected—a world full of challenges and benefits that are ours to meet and to harness.
Eric Schmidt is one of Silicon Valley’s great leaders, having taken Google from a small startup to one of the world’s most influential companies. Jared Cohen is the director of Google Ideas and a former adviser to secretaries of state Condoleezza Rice and Hillary Clinton. With their combined knowledge and experiences, the authors are uniquely positioned to take on some of the toughest questions about our future: Who will be more powerful in the future, the citizen or the state? Will technology make terrorism easier or harder to carry out? What is the relationship between privacy and security, and how much will we have to give up to be part of the new digital age?
In this groundbreaking book, Schmidt and Cohen combine observation and insight to outline the promise and peril awaiting us in the coming decades. At once pragmatic and inspirational, this is a forward-thinking account of where our world is headed and what this means for people, states and businesses.
With the confidence and clarity of visionaries, Schmidt and Cohen illustrate just how much we have to look forward to—and beware of—as the greatest information and technology revolution in human history continues to evolve. On individual, community and state levels, across every geographical and socioeconomic spectrum, they reveal the dramatic developments—good and bad—that will transform both our everyday lives and our understanding of self and society, as technology advances and our virtual identities become more and more fundamentally real.
As Schmidt and Cohen’s nuanced vision of the near future unfolds, an urban professional takes his driverless car to work, attends meetings via hologram and dispenses housekeeping robots by voice; a Congolese fisherwoman uses her smart phone to monitor market demand and coordinate sales (saving on costly refrigeration and preventing overfishing); the potential arises for “virtual statehood” and “Internet asylum” to liberate political dissidents and oppressed minorities, but also for tech-savvy autocracies (and perhaps democracies) to exploit their citizens’ mobile devices for ever more ubiquitous surveillance. Along the way, we meet a cadre of international figures—including Julian Assange—who explain their own visions of our technology-saturated future.
Inspiring, provocative and absorbing, The New Digital Age is a brilliant analysis of how our hyper-connected world will soon look, from two of our most prescient and informed public thinkers.
ultimately it will better serve the communities in need. The main component of a reconstruction prototype—and what distinguishes it from, say, more traditional reconstruction efforts—is a communications-first, or mobile-first, mentality. The restoration and upgrading of communication networks have already become the new cement in modern reconstruction efforts. Looking ahead, upgrading broken societies to the fastest and most modern version of telecommunications infrastructure will be the top
complete the process. It took years of prolonged fighting between the northern and southern sides in Sudan to produce the state of South Sudan (which we had the opportunity to visit in January 2013), so the urgent need for a comprehensive DDR program was recognized immediately by the new South Sudanese government and the international community. With more than $380 million in aid from the United Nations, China, Japan, Norway and the United States, the Sudanese on both sides of the border agreed
http://www.freedomhouse.org/sites/default/files/Worst%20of%20the%20Worst%202012%20final%20report.pdf, and “Percentage of Individuals Using the Internet,” International Telecommunication Union (ITU), ICT Data and Statistics (IDS), accessed October 15, 2012, http://www.itu.int/ITU-D/ict/statistics/. A team at Carnegie Mellon demonstrated in a 2011 study: Alessandro Acquisti, Ralph Gross, Fred Stutzman, “Faces of Facebook: Privacy in the Age of Augmented Reality,” Heinz College and CyLab, Carnegie
seen. If you think it is hard to get past a co-op board today, just imagine when it has the equivalent of your life story at hand. Because this development will affect a large portion of the population, there will be sufficient public pressure and political will to generate a range of new laws for the digital age. As this next generation comes fully into adulthood, with digital documentation of every irresponsible thing they did during adolescence, it’s hard to believe that some politicians
avoid identification, most extremists will use multiple SIM cards, multiple online identities and a range of obfuscating tools to cover their tracks. The challenge for law enforcement will be finding ways to handle this information deluge without wasting man-hours on red herrings. Having “hidden people” registries in place will reduce this problem for authorities but will not solve it. Because the general public will come to prefer, trust, depend on or insist on verified identities online,