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Publisher's Summary

With a foreword from 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 digitisation 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 marvellous and urgently necessary contribution to that effort.

In Tools and Weapons, Brad Smith takes us behind the scenes on some of the biggest stories to hit the tech industry in the past decade. From Edward Snowden's NSA leak to the NHS WannaCry ransomware attack, this book is essential listening to understand what's happening in the world around us.

©2019 Brad Smith (P)2019 Hodder & Stoughton Ltd

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great book

Great book except for the CCP apologism. I particularly appreciated the inside perspective and the diplomatic insights.

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Great book. Some good inside stories

Brad and Carol have written a fantastic book with some interesting inside stories about how Microsoft and governments are dealing with technology.

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  • 18-02-2020

Mainstream views

Mainstream, name dropping, unimaginative views on various topics written in CEO-speak. This is a monopolist CEO type person, the kind of person we need to be reigning in, who has gained an unfair monopoly. His hollow pleas to say "we've changed" we're breathtaking. To listen to him boast about his adventures meeting world leaders begging for his industry to be regulated, thereby solidifying his company's market share, its pretty horrifying to think these people have the arrogance to try to speak on behalf of the industry when they are the problem.

The lack of irony and self awareness is disappointing, only once does he show a glimmer of self aware thinking when he talked about Github, but even then he's thinking about a company Microsoft acquired. It's just amazing he doesn't realize this is the problem not the solution. "oh there goes an independent profitable and innovative company, quick let's aquire it"

Avoid this audio book unless you like hearing what the mainstream CEO types are telling themselves.

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