|Eric Schmidt - Co-author, “The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business”
twitter (has links to reviews etc.)
his page at google
Forbes profile (Forbes Lists: #138 Forbes Billionaires, #45 in United States, #45 Forbes 400)
Assorted recent headlines:
What Assange, Slim, Kissinger and Others Told Eric Schmidt for His New Book
Eric Schmidt on Google Glass, tax and terrorism: In a wide-ranging radio interview Google’s Executive Chairman claimed wearable technology will reshape etiquette, and that terrorist hackers pose a ‘significant’ threat.
Google chairman Eric Schmidt defends tax avoidance policies: Search engine is accused of treating tax as voluntary after paying just £6m in UK corporation tax
We pay £6m tax on £2.6bn UK profits, but that's OK because we help start-ups: Google boss Eric Schmidt under fire over comments on corporate tax
Why Eric Schmidt's connected future isn't a total pipedream
(note: the (apparent) actual book cover looks like a 'we don't have a photo for this' placeholder.)
at books.google.com, because obvs.
Publisher's Weekly review:
From Barnes & Noble
To learn about the future, it's best to go to those who are helping create it. By any standard, the co-authors of this book qualify as sources: Eric Schmidt is an executive chairman of Google and its former CEO and Jared Cohen is the director of Google Ideas. Their laser-sharp appraisal of the emerging digital age offers breathtaking scenarios of tiny gizmos that will improve our lives and privacy invasions that could imperil us. Illuminating glimpses not only into tomorrow, but also the day after tomorrow.
Two Google executives examine how emerging technologies will change the future of foreign affairs. "Forget all the talk about machines taking over," write Schmidt and Cohen (Children of Jihad: A Young American's Travels Among the Youth of the Middle East, 2007, etc.). "What happens in the future is up to us."...The ability of technology to change the world for the better sometimes comes across as either excessively optimistic or bordering on science fiction. In one passage, the authors surmise that witch doctors, false holy men and procurers of child brides could all soon change their ways, since "[w]ith more data, everyone gains a better frame of reference." Conversely, the chapter on the future of terrorism is especially chilling, offering such possibilities as mobile explosive devices made from parts easily bought online or a well-coordinated, simultaneous bomb explosion in multiple American cities, followed by cyberattacks to cripple emergency services. The likelihood that technology could create a future that is both better and worse, in different ways, is probably the book's most accurate prediction. A thoughtful and well-balanced prognostication of what lies ahead.
This transformational work from Google's Schmidt and Cohen examines the boundaries of the physical world we currently inhabit and offers a vision into our digital future: a world where everyone is connected, and what it means for people, nations, and businesses. Global connectivity can help generate more jobs in internet security and intellectual property and privacy law, while offering visible figures access to media outlets for self-promotion. Schmidt and Cohen address global connectivity and the relationships between invasion of privacy and government's control over people's private information; such connectivity opens doors to identity theft and increases the risk for cyber warfare. Societies will be at risk of fragmentation, facing ethnic and religious strife, as well as trouble emerging from online communities. The possibility of cyber terrorism and cyberwarfare will increase the likelihood of "new code wars" in which silent attacks are inevitable. Schmidt and Cohen outline plans to reconstruct societies and offer ideas for innovative policies that may allow societies to recover quickly. Technology connects us all, but as we become more dependent on it, will it eliminate physical human contact altogether?
Oy. Another CEO!Man book? Techno-version, natch. But apparently not a glowing-future techno-puff piece.
When it comes to books forecasting the future, tech statesmen like Eric Schmidt don’t have a stellar track record. Even Bill Gates, in his 1995 “The Road Ahead,” famously ignored the Internet just as it was about to transform the world.
If Schmidt, Google (GOOG)’s executive chairman, and Jared Cohen, Google Ideas director, manage to sidestep any Gates-style howlers in “The New Digital Age,” it’s because their view of what’s ahead is complex, and not particularly pretty.
A common thread runs through their vision of how technology is redefining ideas of society, nationhood and business. It’s that technology is just a tool, albeit an incredibly powerful one, and the good or evil ends to which it’s put will be limited only by the imaginations of those deploying it...
The biggest flaw in “The New Digital Age” may be a tendency on some issues to have it both ways. The authors first decry the free-information-at-any-cost ethos of WikiLeaks as “a dangerous model,” then provide a lengthy, respectful and remarkably judgment-free explication of its philosophy, based in part on an interview with the house-arrested Julian Assange.
Similarly, they extol the vital role of news organizations as verifiers and analyzers of the flood of information generated by the future newsgatherers of Twitter and other social networks -- but offer no suggestions as to how those organizations can afford such a role while their economic viability is drained by, among others, Google.
Meanwhile, just what does the future hold for Google itself and its fellow tech companies, which provide the tools and services that will shape the future? The authors predict a bumpy ride ahead, as they increasingly become targets of anger from all sides.
Some of it, they acknowledge, will be justified, “but much will be misplaced. It is, after all, much easier to blame a single product or company for a particularly evil application of technology than to acknowledge the limitations of personal responsibility.”
wsj blog: Exclusive: Eric Schmidt Unloads on China in New Book
CNET review(thoughtful, thorough):
Google execs' 'New Digital Age' resists cyber-siren song: Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen are more sober than starry-eyed in this worthwhile look at how a pervasive Internet changes censorship, privacy, identity, government, and war.
AP review (worth reading in full):
When two executives at the world's most optimistic technology company write about humanity's digital future, you might expect a book brimming with excitement about the wonders to come.
Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen offer plenty of that, but what makes "The New Digital Age" worth reading is the correspondingly healthy dose of pessimism. The book, released today, ultimately is persuasive in making the case that people can steer technology so it helps us more than it harms us.
The book, with straightforward writing and compelling details, seeks to predict what happens as today's online population of 2 billion relatively wealthy people are joined by 5 billion others in the next few years.
Here's the short version: a big, contradictory mess...
...Little in the book will surprise technophiles...But those very technophiles are probably the very people who'd benefit most from a measured look at the ups and downs of our connected future, a look that goes beyond wealthy countries and the near-term dramas of patent squabbles and market-share statistics. Cohen and Schmidt offer detailed assessments of drone warfare, cyberwar, terrorism and counterterrorism, and the future of censorship in China.
Unfortunately, amid the clear-headed thinking, you'll also have to endure some gushing about the wonders of coming technology. It can sound as uncritical as last century's ads that promised dishwashers, washing machines, and refrigerators would free us from drudgery and elevate us into a higher plane of happiness.
"Haircuts will finally be automated and machine-precise," they write. I can't wait to check that off the list.
The book is good for a general audience -- nothing requiring an understanding of MapReduce or TCP/IP. But it seems aimed in particular at politicians, about whose technological savvy the authors clearly are worried given how much power they hold...
...But there is insufficient scrutiny of their own roles in building an online future. Legislation is important, but so is what companies do on their own. And major international tech companies are picking up a lot of that power when it's being transferred away from states... But the private sector has an opportunity to get ahead here, doing the right thing by users rather than waiting passively for the citizenry and legislators to address the problem.
Most of the book takes a measured tone, avoiding things like hysterical warnings about a terrorist-controlled drone swarm. But the opening chapter of the book suffers from a bit of technology overexcitement...
Some illuminating books already have been written about Google's catalytic role in a technological upheaval that is redefining the way people work, play, learn, shop and communicate.
Until now, though, there hasn't been a book providing an unfiltered look from inside Google's brain trust.
Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt, who spent a decade as the company's CEO, shares his visions of digitally driven change and of a radically different future in "The New Digital Age," a book that goes on sale Tuesday.
It's a technology treatise that Schmidt wrote with another ruminator, Jared Cohen, a former State Department adviser who now runs Google Ideas, the Internet company's version of a think tank...
The resulting book is an exploration into the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead as the lines blur between the physical world around us and the virtual realm of the Internet. Schmidt and Cohen also examine the loss of personal privacy as prominent companies such as Google and lesser-known data warehouses such as Acxiom compile digital dossiers about our electronic interactions on computers, smartphones and at check-out stands...Not surprisingly, the book doesn't dwell on Google's own practices, including privacy lapses that have gotten the company in trouble with regulators around the world...
As much disruption as there already has been since Google's inception in 1998, Schmidt and Cohen contend that the most jarring changes are still to come...These aren't far-out concepts to the tech cognoscenti, or even younger generations who can barely remember what it was like to surf the Web on a dial-up modem, let alone use a typewriter.
The ideas will be more unnerving to older generations still trying to figure out all the things that their smartphone can do...
...Schmidt and Cohen emerged from their research convinced that most governments don't fully understand the implications of ubiquitous Internet access and mobile computing. They expect repressive regimes to do everything in their power control the flow of information and to abuse databases to spy on citizens. They also foresee smaller countries waging computer-based attacks on countries they would never target with troops and weapons.
Even as they address the dark sides of technology, Schmidt and Cohen hypothesize that the world ultimately will be better off as more people spend more time connected to each other on the Internet. Societies will be more democratic, governments will become less corrupt as their transgressions are exposed and people will become smarter and better informed.
"Never before in history have so many people, from so many places, had so much power at their fingertips," Schmidt and Cohen assert.