There is little doubt about technology’s transformative nature. Never before has humanity reached this level of connectedness, thanks to the innovations that have emerged over the past few years. Today, the devices, services and programs we dream up, use and evangelize have the immense power to sway companies, nations and societies, not to mention individuals. And we’re just getting started.
With so much under our belt, it’s unimaginable to think of what tomorrow could bring. And yet, someone imagined it.
Like Bill Gates, who in 1995 put out the bestseller “The Road Ahead,” Eric Schmidt is taking a crack at it with a new book titled “The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Businesses.” In it, the Google executive chairman and co-author Jared Cohen, the company’s “ideas director,” have compiled their thoughts on the primary issues surrounding modern life and the tool that drives it: The Internet. “As this space grows larger, our understanding of nearly every aspect of life will change, from the minutia of our daily lives to more fundamental questions about identity, relationships and even our own security.”
Heady stuff, and ambitious too. In the tome, the authors tackle the tough questions, like:
In the future, will citizens or the state be more powerful?
Does technology make terrorism easier or more difficult?
How much privacy and security need to be traded in the new digital age?
What will be the impact of having both a full virtual life online, and a physical one?
Gates’ ”The Road Ahead” didn’t exactly pan out, and likewise, we’ll have to see if Schmidt and Cohen’s words stand the test of time. But for now, whether you agree with these assessments or not, this is destined to become a classic work for tech experts, Internet enthusiasts or anyone who’s interested in the sociological and cultural destiny of man.
Fittingly the book — which will be available in print, for people who still like their literature old-school style — will also debut in digital and audio versions on April 23.