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

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

With a foreword by Bill Gates

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. Now, though, we have reached an inflection point: Silicon Valley has moved fast and it has broken things. A new understanding has emerged that 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 that is impacting our communities and changing the world.

In Tools and Weapons, Brad Smith takes 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 AI, 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 opens up 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. Every tool can be a weapon in the wrong person's hands, and companies are being challenged in entirely new ways to embrace the totality of their responsibilities. We have moved from a world in which Silicon Valley could take no prisoners to one in which tech companies and governments must work together to address the challenges and adapt to the changes technology has unleashed. There are huge ramifications to be thought through, and Brad Smith provides a marvelous and urgently necessary contribution to that effort.

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Title:Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age
ISBN:9781984877710
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    Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age Reviews

  • Shilpa Rao

    Picked up this book in the hope I would learn something on evolving policy and tech companies, governments and data protection, but the book is a PR exercise for Microsoft. Very disappointing, and of ...

  • Lisa

    Democracy, privacy, cybersecurity, rural broadband, government regulation of tech and more – this book is so much more than just “will AI-infused robots take over the world.”It’s a quick, easy...

  • Matthew Gabert

    This was a very good book, full of information and details about things that I knew about at a cursory level, but never knew the full details of. This book is about Microsoft, and has little to do wit...

  • M.a.

    Brad Smith, President of Microsoft, wrote this book with Carole Ann Browne, about all the wonderful things Microsoft has done in the realm of the digital revolution. A more appropriate and less mislea...

  • Mike

    I really enjoyed this book. If you have any interest in the future of technology, but also what goes on at companies like Microsoft, Brad Smith gives you a great insight through "Tools and Weapons." I...

  • The  Conch

    It is all about how Microsoft is protecting their customer from worldwide hacking effort on their server or product. This books gives glimpse of coming terror which can devastate IT sector. However, a...

  • Jas

    Really great book! What are the technology threats that can change the world. How should individuals, companies, countries, and governments work together to control these; and what have they done so f...

  • Liz

    It's a great skim across the landscape of the tech issues we're facing today, from the point of view of one major company (it's also neat to see your own work referenced in a book!)...

  • Mark Smith

    This is a book that needs to be read now. I like how on point the messages this books delivers for the world we live in today. It address questions that technology is creating now and how it will effe...

  • Ubaid Dhiyan

    Great title, not so great content. Reads essentially as a history of Microsoft’s PR - which admittedly includes many admirable and important initiatives - but comes across as bland and uninspiring....