Brad Smith

Friday, October 4, 2019
7:45-8:15am   Continental Breakfast
8:15-9:15am   Talk followed by book signing


Morning Live Talks Business Forum with

Brad Smith,
President of Microsoft

in conversation with David Kirkpatrick

discussing his book,
Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age

Gensler
500 South Figueroa Street
Downtown Los Angeles, CA 90071

PURCHASE TICKETS*
$46 General Admission section (includes book)
$20 General Admission section (on sale Sep 4, 10am)
* All tickets include continental breakfast from 7:45-8:15am)

From Microsoft’s president and one of the tech industry’s broadest thinkers, a frank and thoughtful reckoning with how to balance enormous promise and existential risk as the digitization of everything accelerates.

Brad Smith is Microsoft’s president, where he leads a team of more than 1,400 business, legal and corporate affairs professionals working in 56 countries. He plays a key role in spearheading the company’s work on critical issues involving the intersection of technology and society, including cybersecurity, privacy, artificial intelligence, human rights, immigration, philanthropy and environmental sustainability. The Australian Financial Review has described Smith as “one of the technology industry’s most respected figures,” and the New York Times has called him “a de facto ambassador for the technology industry at large.”

David Kirkpatrick is a journalist, commentator about technology,  the founder of Techonomy and author of the bestselling book The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company that is Connecting the World. He spent 25 years at Fortune, and founded and hosted its Brainstorm and Brainstorm Tech conferences. In addition to writing for Techonomy, he contributes to Forbes and Vanity Fair. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

“This is a colorful and insightful insiders’ view of how technology is both empowering us and threatening us. From privacy to cyberattacks, this timely book is a useful guide for how to navigate the digital future.” —Walter Isaacson, bestselling author of The Innovators and Steve Jobs

“Coming from an industry driven by disruption, it’s refreshing to read Brad Smith’s call for the tech sector to assume more responsibility. In Tools and Weapons, Brad and Carol Ann Browne wrestle with some of the world’s toughest technology challenges with common sense and valuable insight reflecting their inside experience. The ideas in Tools and Weapons won’t solve all our problems, but they’re a very good place to start.” —Reed Hastings, CEO, Netflix

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. While sweeping digital transformation holds great promise, we have reached an inflection point. The world has turned information technology into both a powerful tool and a formidable weapon, and new approaches are needed to manage an era defined by even more powerful inventions like artificial intelligence. 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.

In Tools and Weapons, Brad Smith and Carol Ann Browne bring us a captivating narrative from 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 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. There are huge ramifications for communities and countries, and Brad Smith provides a thoughtful and urgent contribution to that effort.

 

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