Synopses & Reviews
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.
“This is the most important — and fascinating — book yet written about how the digital age will affect our world. With vivid examples and brilliant analysis, it shows how the internet and other communications technologies will empower individuals and transform the way nations and businesses operate. How will different societies make tradeoffs involving privacy, freedom, control, security, and the relationship between the physical and virtual worlds? This realistic but deeply optimistic book provides the guideposts. It’s both profoundly wise and wondrously readable.” Walter Isaacson, author of Steve Jobs
“This work of futurology combines optimism and pessimism in an informed and level-headed presentation.” Booklist
“Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen’s thoughtful, well-researched work elucidates the staggering impact of technology on our daily lives, as well as what surprising and incredible developments the future may hold. Readers might be left with more questions than answers, but that’s the idea — we are at our best when we ask ‘What’s next?’” Elon Musk, cofounder of Tesla Motors and PayPal
“Every day, technological innovations are giving people around the world new opportunities to shape their own destinies. In this fascinating book, Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen draw upon their unique experiences to show us a future of rising incomes, growing participation, and a genuine sense of community — if we make the right choices today.” Bill Clinton
“At last, a brilliant guide book for the next century — what the future holds for entrepreneurs, revolutionaries, politicians, and ordinary citizens alike. Schmidt and Cohen offer a dazzling glimpse into how the new digital revolution is changing our lives. This book is the most insightful exploration of our future world I’ve ever read, and once I started reading I was simply unable to put it down.” Sir Richard Branson, founder and chairman, Virgin Group
“Few people in the world are doing more to imagine — and build — the new digital age than Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen. With this book, they are looking into their crystal ball and inviting the world to peek in.” Michael R. Bloomberg
“This brilliant book will make you re-examine your concepts of the digital age, the way the world works, what lies ahead, and what all this means for you, your family and your community. A must read.” Mohamed El-Erian, chair, President Obama’s Global Development Council
From two of Google's leading thinkers, the widely anticipated book that describes a new, hugely connected world of the future, full of challenges and benefits which are ours to meet and harness.
The New Digital Age is the product of an unparalleled collaboration: full of the brilliant insights of one of Silicon Valley's great innovators — what Bill Gates was to Microsoft and Steve Jobs was to Apple, Schmidt (along with Larry Page and Sergey Brin) was to Google — and the director of Google Ideas, Jared Cohen, formerly the youngest member of the State Department. Never before has the future been so vividly and transparently imagined. From technologies that will change our lives (smartphones that accurately diagnose illness and injury, wristwatches that allow us to silently communicate with others, and customized microfinancing and small business management) to our most important future considerations (curating our online identity and fighting those who would do harm with it) to the widespread political change that will transform the globe (through revolutions in online journalism, increasingly active citizenries, and nations operating simultaneously in the physical and virtual realms) to the ever present threats to our privacy, Schmidt and Cohen outline in great detail and scope all the promise and peril awaiting us in the coming decades. A breakthrough book — pragmatic and inspirational at the same time, and totally fascinating.
About the Author
Eric Schmidt is executive chairman of Google, where he served as chief executive officer from 2001 to 2011. A member of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Schmidt also chairs the board of the New America Foundation and is a trustee of the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey.
Jared Cohen is director of Google Ideas and an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. He is a Rhodes Scholar and the author of several books, including Children of Jihad and One Hundred Days of Silence. He is a member of the Director’s Advisory Board at the National Counterterrorism Center.