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With a foreword by Bill Gates. From Microsoft’s President, one of the tech industry’s wisest thinkers, a frank and thoughtful reckoning with how to balance risk and promise 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. Companies that create technology must accept greater responsibility for the future, and governments will need to regulate technology by catching up with the pace of innovation. In Tools and Weapons, Brad Smith and Carol Ann Browne take 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 artificial intelligence, 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 pulls back the curtain to a remarkable extent, as the company strives to protect the hopes technology offers against the very real threats it also presents. There are huge ramifications for communities and countries, and Brad Smith provides a thoughtful and urgent contribution to that effort.

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