Andrew Keen: "How to Fix the Future" | Talks at Google
I've. Been at Google nearly 10 years and literally, for every one of those 10 years andrew. Has been banging, on about the shortcomings of the internet. And. Just know, that everybody. Else is has, joined the that game he's. Moving on ever the contrary, into something, else so the new book is certainly not without its criticisms, trenchant, criticisms, of Silicon. Valley but also, there's, there's suggestions. On how. To to. Fix the future and resolve some of the issues that he has banged on about for so, long so, um welcome. Andrew thank you Peter and it's nice to be it wonderful, audience. So I suspect you are going to tell us you. Told us so. Yeah. I. Firstly. I made, a lot of mistakes as, well I'm one of my books I predicted, that Facebook wouldn't survive. So. I am NOT as prescient, as I'd like to think I am I think I was a little lucky and I think I took. A gamble on cult of the amateur in, 2007. I mean, it seemed, obvious. To, me but it could have easily ended in a different way I mean I don't need anything inevitable, about it so I. Think. I was a little lucky, and and. I've made many errors along the way so I don't want to sound too cocky here. And. You talked early. On about do. You think I was right. To. Talk. There's certainly some important, points that you definitely made some important points and I think, that's a mattock, way of saying I was right and. Some of the points I would disagree with but. I. Always. Joke about my book I know my. Books come out people always come up to me sort of half apologetically. And they say we, kind, of agree with 60% of what you write and I, always joke and it's not really a joke well so do I. When, you talked earlier on about you said there's, people who are yes distributed no one particular maybe and you say you're a maybe so what does that mean well. Maybe means that the. Revolution, the digital revolution that you guys are engineering, more than anyone else it has huge potential it's the, great event of the early part of the 21st century, in many ways it's the equivalent of the mid, 19th century early, 20th. Century Industrial. Revolution the, next chapter, you, know some people call it a second Machine Age the fourth Industrial, Revolution. It, hasn't, I think in overall terms it hasn't lived up to its billing we, were promised. Democracy. More. Equality, more. Jobs a, renaissance. Of culture, I don't think we've got that I think we might get it maybe but at the moment it's not there, there's. A couple of terms that you use right the way through the book mayor you should explain what, you describe is Moore's, law which is not Murs law but it's Moore's law but you talk a lot about that and you also talk about team, human, what and what it means to be human. Well, Moore's laws my phrase team human actually is Douglas rushkoff so I stole that one from him but you. All, know of course. Gordon. Moore's law, the. Law I think he, came up with it originally. It was just a throwaway remark in 1965. The, computer, chips would double in power every 18 months or two years that's. The engine of the digital, revolution and usually, when you read these books about you. Know industry, 3.0. And the. Second, Industrial Revolution and, the second Machine Age there's, always an opening chapter on Moore's law as the engine as the driver of the change it's. It's clearly a law. A scientific. Law whether it will continue, forever is arguable, but so far it's driven the revolution, my, argument in the book is that the problem, with Moore's law is not a critique of Moore's law and you can't really criticize more, so it's just an observation about, the way the world works and the way technology works, but.
My Observation about, Moore's law is it's is the, technology has, moved so fast that it's actually got beyond. Humans, we. Are being, outrun. By. Technology. And, I think that explains. Why we're feeling, increasingly. Uncomfortable. Awkward. Disempowered. In the face not, only of all this amazing new technology. From. The internet to AI to. Augmented. Reality to. Smart. Machines and all the rest of it just mark cars but. Also in, the context. Of large. Companies like yours a lot of people feel. Intimidated. And to put it politely by, large by the large platform. Players there aren't many of them you know who the others are. So. That's a reality so how do we catch up with, Moore's. Law how do we as humans, catch up with Moore's law so I invent, at the beginning of the book in Chapter one another. Kind of Moore's law this one is derived from Thomas, law Thomas. Moore the author of. Utopia. 16th century Englishman most of you would have read, his or certainly familiar with his books from university, or school he. Of course famously wrote. Yeah. Are we good now oh yeah so he wrote. He. Wrote a you aiiow. Would argue he wrote a very. Realistic, book, which is in part a critique of utopia, but, in the book the heart of utopia. Of mores utopia I, think is a reminder, to people that the, core thing about their responsibilities. As humans, is, agency. To take responsibility. For society. And to build a better world, what, Moore was reminding, people in the 16th century particularly. In the light of Luther, and prudent predestination. And all these. Incredibly. Disruptive traumatic. Scientific, discoveries, which, suggested, that we weren't at the center of the universe and the God was so Infinite didn't, matter how we behaved, we were still you. Know our, faith was determined, before we were born, what, Moore was reminding, people is actually. Human, beings still, count that's. For me what Moore's law is about it's all about agency. My. Definition. Of humans. In the 21st, century is that, we've invented these smart machines or people like you are inventing these smart machine that can do most things but the one thing they can't do is have agency, so. The challenge, for us in. This age not. In smashing, technology, not in controlling, it not necessarily, in breaking up Google, or Facebook or Amazon but. In managing. The world in building a better world that, reflects our interest, rather than the interest. Seemingly. Of technology not that technology, has its own interests or the interests of large platforms. Moore's. Law is the guiding, principle of my book and I reminding, people that the dominant, theme, in the 21st, century is human, agency it's the one thing that distinguishes us from. Smart. Machines because the otherwise smart machines can do everything that we can do and. I think we look we obviously, agree that that, the the Internet age has, thrown up a whole lot of of issues and, society. These days has all kinds of things that are, unappealing. About. It and you, kind of come up with with, five. Fixes. That, will help the future no they're not I mean they're not very controversial, are they. Maybe. You can rattle them off quickly well. It's, important to remember that my argument is that we've always had five fixes, as human beings five broad areas, where we've been able to deal. With disruption. And build a better world as what if you like articulate, Moore's well the, first is innovation, companies, like Google the, second is regulation, of companies. Like Google perhaps the, third is. Consumer. Choice and, workers, choice the fourth is citizen engagement which, is a kind of pure manifestation, of Moore's law and the fifth is education. And every, time, there's a great disruption, whether it's the industrial, age or the Renaissance, or the Reformation, we've, always had these tools, to.
Shape. A better world the, key in my view is that they work together, the. Mistake, many, people make is to rely on just one of these tools so I think the mistake Silicon, Valley has made has. Been to rely on the market and I'm not saying. Certainly. Google UK, I'm not sure you fall, into that category but. Of course the the Peter Thiel's of the world and, the Marc Andreessen, these, people believe that if you just stay, out of it the market will eventually, resolve all scarcities. And create. A better, for everyone I think we've been staying out of it for long enough to know that that's not the case but. On the other hand of course the Europeans, or you will probably tell me the Europeans, are too fixated, on regulation. Which maybe there's some truth to that so you need a mixture, of the the. Two the, key argument, in the book again it's probably fairly self-evident although not everyone in Silicon Valley will agree is that. There is no app to fix the future there's no simple, fix just as there was no simple fix in the industrial, age it, takes a, generation we, need to be patient and of course patients. In our networked, age is something that doesn't, always come to us naturally. But. I. Sort. Of used the metaphor the analogy, of the tech stack, in terms, of these five tools. And they're mixed together and sometimes you. Know some reg regulation. Is often innovative the best regulation. And you and I may disagree on this but I think for, example what Margaret Wester ger is trying, to do in Brussels. At. Least in her mind a interviewer, in the book. She's. Trying, to protect innovators. She's not. She's. Not punishing. Innovation. She's not against. Innovation that, doesn't mean all regulation. Is, for. Innovation. But, I think, the best kind of regulation, only works with innovation, I thought you were quite won over by mrs.. Vestroia have you met her doing, that famous office, no no she was probably nicer to me and she was - you, seem.
Very Nice - you definitely very very helpful but I thought you'd come out in favor of some things that are perhaps. Quite. Surprising, that you you seem to be championing. Or supporting I was quite surprised by Singapore, for example and. You you accept, that it's not a utopia, but your sort of theme is the. People who are trying to build digital, utopia, and you point to Singapore, and, Estonia. As well, if Tony is my best model if there is a utopia, it's Estonia, a small country unique. Obviously, post-soviet. Place, which. Benefited, because it was in the old Soviet Union it was the sort of it, was the, place where they they had good technical, universe, is now, is I think the most wired the worst Network place in Europe with tremendous tremendously. Innovative, policies in terms of e citizenship. In re. Architecting. A social. Contract between consumers. Or. Between citizens, and government over, data I, think. You're right on Singapore, I'm ambivalent about Singapore I think what Singapore is doing on smart on their smart nation initiative is interesting, but of course the big question with Singapore, is the. Lack, of democracy and, the fact that as the nation becomes smarter, and smarter in a, country without, democratic. Accountability one. Can become quite nervous of. The. Power of government over citizens, I would, say that Estonia. Is the best case the worst case is China Singapore. Is somewhere in between yeah, I mean you talk a lot about trust, Trust trust it's, trust this yeah but trust is the you. Know the two great scarcities. And again you guys know this better, than I do the two great scarcities, of our network, age are trust. And attention. And. It's. No coincidence that, we have a crisis, of trust I think in a digital age particularly, in the sort of the. Age of user-generated, content. And social networks, where, everyone, is continually, undermining, Authority, now it's not just because of the Internet you know Fox and MSNBC and. I'm sure a lot of English TV stations do the same thing but, there is a connection, between the crisis of trust and the, appearance, of sort, of networked culture, but, do you think people in in this country or indeed more broadly in Europe, would accept.
A Government. Intervention at the level that the, dystonia, and and Singapore, do and would, trust them cuz I mean the. Level of trusted among, Singapore, citizens, in their government is remarkably, high but I think if you tried to do what Singapore does in in, the UK you might get a very different calm where's. Chicken-and-egg, I mean the the crisis, in England it's, both in England in America I think have a crisis, of legitimacy of, democratic, institutions. I sort. Of redundancy, of political parties in ideology, so when you start to rebuild that, the. Estonian, model is interesting, in that. I I. Used the Adelman Trust, Barometer which, is the sort of the, gold standard for determining who. Trusts, what and it's always falling, every year it's amazing oke he, releases, that every year at Davos and every year is the same story, there's less and less trust but, what do you think he found in Estonia, was people trust the government but they may not trust the political parties, which, is interesting. I'm. On. The data front, I think what the Estonians, are doing is interesting, because they are I talked. To the former, Estonian president, who, was. The real architect, of many of their reforms, sky, could elvez very, charismatic. Figure, his. Argument, is that. Privacy. Is history. His. Argument, is in the age of smart everything. It's, increasingly. Difficult. If, not impossible to. Maintain a, kind, of 19th, century version. Of privacy, the, one that was protected in laws by people like Louis Brandeis in the US and John Stuart Mill in the UK so. What, what. The. Estonians, have tried to do is say okay well with. All the digital reforms, that the Estonians, are doing the, government is going to know a lot about you your health records, your tax records, your car records, everything is online Estonia. Is the first country to really go online. What. The Estonians, are trying to do and I'm sure it's not perfect, but it's an interesting idea is, to. Say look we do know everything about you but. If we, choose to look at your data we will tell you so, the government, has an accountability. It's a kind of almost, it's, not based on blockchain technology. But it's a blockchain like, thinking, which, may be one way of rethinking, a social contract. You. Know we can cling, to our romantic. Notions. Of privacy I'm, just not sure how realistic that is particularly since we're on the verge of. You. Know smart everything, from cars to, cities, to bodies I don't, quite know in this age how, we protect, our, privacy either. From companies like yours, or from governments, so, perhaps. Rather. Than trying to do that which is a kind of Sisyphean, task it. Might be better to, force. The government under law to, be much more accountable. So I think what the Estonians, are doing is interesting, I think I'm more as, you can tell from the Singapore chapter, I'm a little bit more ambivalent but, I think. It's too, easy for, you, know British or American people to write off the Singapore, experiment. It's a miracle in economic, terms they have the best education system in the world they have a remarkably, innovative economy. So, to write them off as sort. Of neo, authoritarian. I think it's slightly on but you you're you're clearly, pro-government. You're pro statism is that. No. Let. Me explain what you mean like, give. Me an example you're, in favor of the the intervention. Of governments. To regulate. I am, in favor of regulation. As one of the five tools I believe. That, the biggest mistake in America, was the sort of retreat, of government, from the digital terrain I think you, guys got very lucky with safe harbor, you, guys you know Eric Schmidt did a very nice job on, Barack. Obama. And. You. Know God knows what Trump's up to but I think. That the state. You call it whether it's the government and elected government, has, a responsibility, to regulate. Some. Aspects, and I use the example of the Industrial, Revolution with, other industries. So, we look at food, without. The. Regulation. Of the food industry, we'd all still be poison, without, the regulation. Of labor laws you'd still have 11 year-olds in in working in factories without. Regulation. Unions. Would still be outlawed, so I think you have to be realistic just, this. Is an English audience in America, I think, people here a little bit more realistic about this in America any time you suggest, any kind of regulation, you're accused of being a Stalinist, which is absurd it's, just one, piece of the puzzle one, bit of the stack but, to deny it significance. I think is extremely, unwise. I think it's unwise of you as well not you personally bit your company I think you and I think you are acknowledging, that government, is a, reality. I mean we're in Steve. Cases. Third stage, where politics, becomes relevant I mean if you didn't realize that you wouldn't be spending so much money lobbying. In Washington DC, it's not a bad thing.
We. Need accountable, government I'm very disappointed in, many ways with the US government, but. I think the EU, government, is doing a better job not idea I think some of the things that some, of the European states doing are absurd you know they're the the. French Spanish initiative. To force. Google to pay newspapers. For sending them traffic from Google News is obviously, absurd it's an example of. Short-sighted. Of counterproductive, regulation. Not all regulation. Is right but, I think the gdpr. Is, an interesting initiative to make data, portable. I think, vestiges, work in antitrust, and, Taxation, is important, and, I thought the I thought the comparison, you made with I mean do you agree well, I was, gonna make a he's, avoiding the question I. Thought, the comparison. You made with the car industry yeah and and Ralph Nader, unsafe. At any at. Any speed was a very yeah, helling and, let me but the only did the difference I would make there is that the because, of poorly, designed cars literally. Millions of people died yeah that's. True but my argument. About the American car industry and again, I'm speaking to you I guess you know we're, in Britain but you're still an American company my. Overall, argument is I think some companies, perhaps including, yours have, lost, sight of their. Customers. In I don't know who your customers, are their users interest. So. I think your business model is profoundly, flawed in the long term I think it's. Flawed because it essentially, transforms, the user into, the product and whilst. You, someone, here will argue well people don't complain you're, right but ultimately, they will I think people, don't want to be watched all the time people, don't want to be turned into the product and I use the example of the American car industry which, was fat and happy in the 50s, so fat and happy indeed that, they started designing cars, that were essentially, death traps. Nader. And 65, wrote is unsafe, at any speed that, exposed. The. Bad design, and lack of respect for their users in the car, industry and, you, know pre Tesla the American car industry is never. So I think it's important, whether it's Google or any other tech company, to, think, about the real interests, of what their users won now everyone you know in terms of search engine obviously. Everyone wants a high quality search engine which you have but, you and I have had this conversation before, I still, think people would like to pay for their search engine, if they were guaranteed complete privacy, and that their data would be left alone I wish that. You would offer that I don't see why it's a problem and you point to examples of organization, other organizations, who are who, are doing that kind of thing I mean and that's that's the market doesn't add work, if there is demand for it people, will come, yeah but bet it's the old Steve Jobs argument, as well you know if Steve Jobs had waited for the market we never would have had the iPhone you.
Guys Know your market, and the mentality of your users, better than anyone and I think in a sense that you need to become a little bit more responsible, accountable in pushing. Your users, it's. Towards, say. Paying for services either you know whether it's in content, and, YouTube. Whether it's on search I think that, the biggest. Tragedy. Of the history of the web was, our fetishization. Of free I think, that has been the most destructive. Mistake. I think it's essentially, destroyed the media industry or much, of the media industry, and a, spoiled consumers, into thinking that they shouldn't have the right to pay for stuff which you know it's very misleading and, destructive, and certain subscription, to sawing that is coming both in news and in which is good which I hope you know larger companies like yours would get behind, it. Offers another business, model yeah so, I mean the big, disagreement. I would have with you about the book is that as far as I could see there literally. Is no acknowledgement. Of the benefits, of, Technology in the book and and the last time we. Had a lot of time you were here we did play a rather cheap shot which was to play you the famous, can, we do much the Romans ever do for us clip, from which I haven't got it but I'm going to read the quote which, is what, John Cleese says all right but. Apart from the Sanitation the. Medicine the education, the wine. Public, Order irrigation. Roads fresh water and. Public health what, have the Romans ever done for us. Okay. But I could you know we're not we're not doing Monty Python now but we can tend to do Monty Python and I could say and I wouldn't but. I could say. Fake. News. Technological. Addiction. Increasing. Inequality, not that so. But, might better hit but here's the point is that with Peter, would be on that discussion, I wrote whenever let me come back on this this, is not a book about that, everyone, acknowledges that, the Internet's done amazing, things that's not the issue anymore we've moved on from that debate it's it's not useful anymore to, be continually, discussing, whether or not the internet is benefited, you managed okay clearly it's done some good and there are lots of problems so what I'm doing in the book is saying okay. What's. The. Time. I read a book I have to. Know. But. There should be an acknowledgement there should be a balance because the point is well, when I speak to you you're very reasonable then I read your book. Okay. Couple of nurses generally. Speaking not unreasonable but let me give you example of quotes from the very much. Of the digital innovation, of big tech companies like Google and Facebook isn't, currently, working yeah. Come on you can't stand by that I mean you can speak. On. Our friends in facebook let's leave Google out of this do you think I, don't, know anyone from Facebook do you own Facebook, yeah. That's. Next week. It's. Facebook working, its infested, with fake news Zuckerberg, has absolutely. No idea of where to go in terms of his business strategy kids. Wouldn't, be seen dead on, Facebook. It's. It's the perfect, sort. Of place. You know Putin spends. You know millions of dollars a year hiring. People to post lies on Facebook, I. Think. Mostly. And we see more and more research showing that kids, are addicted to this thing again it doesn't mean that everything, about Facebook, is bad we don't need to get into that but I would say in overall terms Facebook is not working, and I think even.
Zuckerberg, Is acknowledging, I mean he acknowledged, that most people now realize, that Trump. One, of the main reasons, why Trump won the election, was, because, the, Russians gay, Facebook. Its. Base book working I would acknowledge that there are there were definitely. Issues, our. Point our point is police. Holster can't for what we do and generally. Speaking don't bundle us together, and bundles together in the same. Okay. But, here's, another quote here's another quote which I wish, I find. Going. A little far it seems almost normal, for online audiences, of millions to, watch revenge, porn live, beheadings, and suicides, that's. Not true. Almost. It. Depends on your. But. But would you accept that there has been a profound, sort of corrosion, of the culture, in that. The. The, kind of content, on on. This media which is absolute, where there's lacking curation, is very troubling, in many ways the you, know the the infestation of, sexism, and racism and, and sort, of cults of violence, those are realities my point is I don't think, I think. That you know if you want me to I'm. Gonna do it again I'm going to bundle you and Google, and Facebook all together I think, you have to acknowledge and we've had this conversation before, you have to acknowledge that your media companies, and you have a responsibility, for, the. Content that's published on your network you have the same responsibility, as a newspaper or, a movie, studio and I, think the sooner, you. Not, you personally but, the. Certain companies, acknowledge, that the. Better for everyone do you do not look at I don't disagree with that and. I would agree with what you talked about which is the the combinatorial. Approaches. Isn't it there's no one club to fix these problems it's, a range of things and I think actually if you look at a hit, speech or violent extremism yeah, being. A combat or incredible, some. Of the things you're doing right what I argue though, is that we can't just rely on. Your. Generosity. To, humanity. That. The only way that large, tech, companies, are coming. To the table to fix these solutions, is when. They're threatened, with major fines you only do it with. The bottom-line threat it's. Not enough to just tell, these people to take responsibility. And that's why I think I applaud some of the even, what the the Germans are doing with, with YouTube, and some of the other media I think. That's the only way it works and I think the, other mistake is, we're on a Facebook, Google, ran the. Other mistake that's.
Happened, I'm, not sure if this is certainly not true of you but of some people, in these, large tech companies, is they believe their own hype they they, believe their own kool-aid. Or they've drunk the kool-aid so, much that they've started to believe it and one, of the delusions, of I think this was true of Google in an early stage maybe, not now but you know in the early days and Larry and Sergey, and the do no evil stuff, it was this idea that you could be incredibly, successful and, do good simultaneously. And that you were in facebook you were breaking the mold of capitalist, companies that, the Tripucka capitalist, company was an oil company or, or a big bank and they weren't they may not be evil, but they had no benefit, to humanity the, idea of the Google IPO and the Facebook IPO and, so much of the the kind of ideology that came out of Silicon Valley in the web 2.0, a Jap and two maybe three or four years ago was, that we are different we are reinventing. Re-architecting. Capitalism, and i don't think that's true i don't think big. Tech companies, they're any worse than, you, know big banks, or big pharma companies, but they know better either. One. Thing, one. Thing up to a point one thing that is one thing an outdoor story, that struck me about the book was that not, a great deal of mention of of the. User and. I think the big, difference with. Google and other, tech companies is that we are extremely, answerable, to the user and when we get things wrong that we hear about it very very quickly I think that's a fair point and I still think, you. Know the. Since. You're being so Frank. And open I think one of the weaknesses of the book is that, I still, assume. That, users will rebel and, most. I I'm, sure you do a lot of research and how you're users are and I assume they're reasonably happy my. Fear, and prediction, is that we still haven't had a major. Data. Event, we still haven't had an Exxon Valdez or certainly a Chernobyl, and I, still feel something, will happen it may be a state-to-state. Digital. Event which. Will open people's, eyes you know I did you know click you know the the, burden media search engine, that's designed to take on, Google. I did. A win, win there the, chief technology, officer Belgian. Guy I think there's an old friend of Larry and Sergey very, smart guy he we, sat in in their office in Munich and he showed me how much you can find out about anyone, online if you know what you're doing and, I think when you show regular, people that they would be terrified, because people still value their privacy yeah I like the line that you use about nothing, nothing nothing and then bang, and you kind of you're kind of suggesting, that yeah, and I think it's always at a time where you, know no business, model no company, last forever I think since. I'm being self-critical the week another weakness of the book is on the one hand I. Worry. About monopolies. And huge, companies, and, on the other hand I predict, their demise so, I think there is some I mean. I wouldn't talk about that publicly of course but I think there is. Yeah. But YouTube's back. There's. Only four headings we're gonna have a ritual, beheading at the other. So. Towards. Towards the end of the book you talk you talk about the kind of public, spiritedness, and, an, education, I need for education and, actually you talk about the universal. Basic. Income as, well which I think you kind of come out in support of I. Look. Universal. You know coming. Out against, Universal income is basic, incomes like coming out against, apple pie or you. Know baby. Yeah. Awesome, views if you give people money without a job they going to spend on drink, well. That's true another night. Yeah. But what. Do you make of the argument and, again it's a popular argument in Silicon Valley what do you make of the argument that. The. Technology. May take away so many jobs that there just are gonna be jobs what's that gonna do, not everyone can work for Google you know Google what's the market cap of Google's almost a trillion how many people work for you. 70,000. Yeah I mean exactly, so and and we know there'll be less and less as AI becomes, more and more central, in your company. The. Thing about what, I like about the guaranteed minimum income is, it's thinking big. Just. As in the middle of the 19th century there was no social security net no. Way of protecting unlucky.
Workers, From the ravages of industrial. Capitalism so, Bismarck, whose surname was anything but a socialist. Pioneered. Social security then, it was developed in Scandinavia. In the UK and, in, the, u.s. I. Think we need to be thinking in those big, terms. My problem, with universal, basic income is it. Seems to satisfy the, conscience, of Silicon. Valley. Billionaires. Like Sam Altman, but. I'm not sure if we have you, know 80% of the people in our in our society, living on $2,000, a month. The. Whole world will look like San Francisco be. You know a few, noblemen. And barons, in their mansions. And everybody else living out on the streets so. The problem, I think with universal, basic income is it can kind of. Institutionalize. The. Already. The. Inequalities. Of origin you're right I mean look we're we you and I grew up in in in the age of the doll in the UK where a lot of people did just sit on the doll and do nothing and drink and watch TV. So. That is an issue but. I think we need to think creatively in the book I go, to Switzerland. Which is the first country to have a referendum, on it this is becoming a real issue it's a real issue in Finland, it's, an issue in Canada it's an issue in Brazil we, need to think big we can't just fall back on the old certainties, because they don't work I mean, what, do you think about you. Know every economist, from you know even McAfee, and Bryn Johnson who are. Relatively. Optimistic. Are. Concerned. About the impact of smart technology, on jobs just because technologies, in the past have created jobs doesn't guarantee in the future. So. I do think, we have to acknowledge this, and if, indeed, this technology, as many economists, predict, do. Put. 30 40 percent of us out of work we've got to come up with something otherwise. You know there's a revolution, on the street people are you, know people have nothing to eat it's, an important, issue to think about. Yeah I would. Say that you know the the experience. Of history is that technology.
Has Made the, world a better place. Every. Single time throughout, history and there's no reason to suppose that the last. Wave is gonna be any different but it doesn't mean that there's not bumpiness or but it depends but, that's. A sort of a linear view of the world I think. If you lived in Germany in the 1930s, technology. Wasn't making the world a better place, certainly the experience of the Soviet Union didn't make the world a better place so you, can you can find examples of how the Industrial Revolution work, and you can find examples of how the Industrial Revolution failed, and even you know I talked about environmental. Regulation, and the way in which the. Industrial Revolution in, that sense has been tamed but we know from people, like Naomi wolf that you know global warming remains, a huge problem may indeed be the biggest problem of all with with smart smart, machine, so I. Think, it's bumping us along the way and that's the purpose of but it's not a Linux, like you but my book, is a map, I used the metaphor of the map but, it's not like a Google, map where you go from point A to B it's a much more complicated, map, the, future, is not linear, and, just. As we, move forward so there'll be new challenges new, opportunities there. Are many routes into the future, many, opportunities. So I think there. Was also no, singular. Route as you, know the book is you know it deals with Estonia, in Germany in Europe in the US and India and Singapore and I suggest, that there are many routes and that, the, idea. That, the. Internet creates. A one world, global. Village I think has been proved to be wrong now it doesn't mean I glorify what's happening in China or Russia but, I think we have to acknowledge the, reality of the Splinter NER that, is the future of the digital, world for better or worse okay. We're going to have some questions from the audience in a second so get ready but just just, before that just some quick questions what one-word answers all right yeah a Simba's, or a thumbs up big thumbs up or a big thumbs down okay big them up or big thumb down Bitcoin. In. What sense. Unbalance. Are you in favor or is it a good thing or a bad thing, more. More or less than 50 percent favorability. Well. Can I say that but then I would say for blockchain there okay. What change do that okay uber, I. Use. It all the time. Up. And down. Up. Especially. Since Travis isn't there anymore adblock. Plus. Up. Amazing. What do you think were you you've, appropriated that, right I haven't you don't that into chrome well we we've, acknowledged. That let me ask you this question since, with we're, all family here. What. Aren't. You killing your own business. By. Introducing, adblock. Into inter chrome trying, to make the improve. The overall ecosystem in which we acknowledge there were problems I'm. At the political, next. Thumbs up or. Thumbs down Karl Marx. I'm. Stan Facebook. Well. You know that one Google. I've. Since I'm here in your Elizabeth I, look. I I'm as I'm as Google, does anyone I probably use it a million times a day I what. I don't have though is a, Google account I had to do this interview on you. Still have this thing what is it Google Chat. That. Guy you what's the thing you screwed up in social media. That's. Yeah google, chat rather than something but I don't have a Google account I don't use Gmail, so, I sort. Of have this romantic idea that, none. Of you were watching me although I'm sure you are because, I just used the search engine without having a gmail account or a Chrome, account so, but I you. Know Google, has I couldn't, write my books without Google I could write my books without Facebook in, fact I'm not on Facebook so yeah. Questions. Oh. Sorry. I'm, very fair questions, by the way peter is a gentleman. Hey. Andrew I Thanks. For writing another great book about us thank you I, think. It's a great book you'll be ready I've just skimmed a little bit of it it's enough I was. Actually skimming the bits about the Steyr and in, Brussels I think, everyone. In this room would agree that there is a need for regulation and, in, some of the examples that you cite things like the Corvair or meat yeah safety, food safety regulations, even antitrust, going back to Standard Oil it was always based on evidence and I think that what, I see a little bit in the bits of your book that I just skimmed in a lot of this discussion, around these issues there's a lot of rhetoric a lot of argument, and not a lot of evidence wow that's the guys again.
I'm Not well you remember that she was just relying on hurt well, she's. Not, some you know smell off the street I mean she has what three antitrust. Investigations. Of you guys, and. The staff farm you know I you, know. Wow. So I'm not sure whether we can have a you, know whether. We, have a compromise, here but you. Know I mean the stuff on travel. I mean that stuff is real. That's let me let me put it another way what we've always had is a press or people, like you who write books or actually are. Independent. And look at these issues in an independent way there. Was evidence that the Corvair was deadly before regulators, intervened, and it wasn't just Ralph Nader standing up saying I don't like this car we, actually based, regulation on a system of rules and a system of evidence and I think what's interesting about the Internet is that nobody. Feels obliged, to use, those standards, anymore maybe the standards should shift but, don't think that the discussion let's but let's use the example of uber you know rhesus oral report this week that suggested that, the, average uber driver earns three. Three. Per I think it's three dollars fifty an hour. And. In the book I talk about the, way in which again, I don't pick on over there are other sharing companies do the same thing, I'm not conforming, to laws, in terms of protecting the rights of their workers I mean these, are real things I, mean they're not to be ignored, doesn't, make them necessarily rubber, barons, they may not be equivalent, of the textile. Mills where people lose their arms, and. You know eleven year old slave, away. But, still it's a problem, these are issues that need to be resolved. You, know fake news is another huge, issue that has implications, in our politics in our culture, the, impact, of you, know a technology in terms of addiction, is also, very, real so I think it's unfair to say that. No. I agree, but you so you're particularly talking about antitrust I mean look you know a lover more you'd kill me on an antitrust argument, but, I'm, not sure you'd kill Vesta guy I mean she's, killing you and it's working progress. Hi. I want. Questions. So your anniversary. Pitch into tech companies, the responsibility. For fake news like democracy, it's where dream of sexism racism and so on and so on but well. You kind of mentioned it in your talk and but. Isn't, like the tech companies, they are the light that shone, and show that there are problems because there always been there and just. The smartphones gave access, to. Express. Themselves, to uber drivers which was before reserved to, Oxbridge. Educated, white. Men, who are you know writing in The Times now. Everyone, can express themselves and suddenly we see all this you, know. III, think you know I've been, arguing against, the idea that somehow is that. The old early I mean you have new elites firstly, I mean you have people with you know millions of Twitter followers, huge, YouTube following so, we have a new elite that it maybe it's not on Oxbridge elite or the, I'm sure some of these people went to the top universities, in fact, if anything I think that we have. Sort. Of a narrow elite and the disappearance of the, middle in this.
Culture, I'm. Not blaming, Altai I mean you can't blame, Facebook. Or, YouTube. When people you know when people do really nasty things, but. I do think, that under law there needs to be more accountability because, otherwise how'd you clean it up the. Problem, is again without Willett wishing to acknowledge there a media company they're, not hiring curators, and the only way to fix the problem is not through an, algorithm but through people and it's also a way of creating jobs. Hi. I wanted to touch him what you said on you bi and and. I agree with you that we have a certain amount of responsibility for, disruption in the job market and automation all of that kind of thing but. I would argue that actually we need to think even bigger than you bi and think about how much actually, what we put a monetary value on so, for instance and there's, also like a feminist argument here that a lot of care work etc doesn't, have a monetary value it's a lot of stuff that people do emotional, labor good. Good in society, that we don't put a monetary, value on and actually. Society. Should be valuing, that so actually that's. Kind of swathe of things I think that it isn't controversial, to say we should have a universal. Basic income for, those yeah. Well. I think that. What. The, smart machines are doing is, making. Us realize that, certain. Human things like empathy and sympathy, and, the ability to communicate these are things that we need to focus on and I think we need reforms and in my education, chapter I focus on this with Waldorf education and other humanistic. Traditions, so. I think you're absolutely right and I think that. You. Know it's clearly technology, is beneficial, in many ways I mean the invention of the washing machine was one of the most remarkable inventions. Of in. Human, history liberated. Women from you know cleaning clothes which is a remarkable, step forward obviously. No, one would ever criticize, that I think, you're absolutely right. So. The. Key though is to figure out how if you like to monetize, empathy. What. Kinds, of new companies are going to exist that build their business model surround empathy, the, services, and the product so you know you may it's the old argument, you may have machines that can detect, sickness, and illness, and, disease but you won't have machines that can tell someone, that they're sick, that's. Always going to be a human thing and I have you want to quit you ask the question of what. What are humans good for yeah what are humans good for what I think the humans are good for agency, humans, are good this. Might seem a kind, of avoidance for the question but humans, are good for the very things that smart machines can't do in the smart machine age now, the idea, I'm. A little wary of defining humanity, it's such a big word. And it's so kind of meaningless and amorphous so. I argue, that every age we have a different definition of, what humanity is and, I suggest, in the 21st, century, what. It means to be human is being, able to do things that smart machines can't do. So. It's it's the empathy, it's the it's, the agency, stuff that. I bet that laces the book I do have one question for you guys be but, maybe you can answer it maybe there's someone in the audience I'm, interested, in you. Know that I do have one section on kind of moral responsibility of.
The, New elite what. You think the responsibility, not necessarily, of you individually, but if you're the senior executives, at this company, particularly, the. Founders, of the company how. They should actually be and, I want to just pick on them I mean you could include Zuckerberg, as well and Benioff and Vsauce, what. They should be giving, back to society and, whether the, analogy. Of Carnegie. Is useful and a 19th, century rubber barons the you know I thought that section was interesting and you spoke. Pleasantly. About, deep mind yeah. It. Gets good press deep yeah I actually, understand, you didn't mention sundar, pichai at, all yeah, in the book and again I think that I had well yeah I had you shoot on and I think actually soon that's probably out with would probably agree broadly, with your your five principles. What, about Larry and Sergey I think, they were an. Eric. Everyone. The, whole guy I make. It very clear in the book that I'm not against the market, and I'm not against capitalism, but, on the other hand that doesn't justify, everything I just did an interview with Chris Hughes the co-founder, of Facebook in. The beginning of his book he said he made half, a billion dollars for three years of work as, an undergrad at. Harvard. Because he happened to share a dorm room with Mark Zuckerberg got, very lucky knowledge, he got very lucky he says that's wrong and I, think your point is is a fair one I might look my book can't, deal with everything, Piketty, is already written and a number of other economists, have written important, books about the, inequality seemingly. Inherent, in. Contemporary. Capitalism I, am, NOT an economist, and I couldn't really address that but I agree I think the problem, is one of. Contemporary. Capitalism, but, increasingly, it's becoming, digital. Capitalism. And the kind of wealth that's being created for individuals, I think it's, just unhealthy, for everyone including, them I mean in the book I suggest I think the nine wealthiest, people, in Silicon, Valley if. You add up all their wealth it's the same as you know two billion, people in the world that's just unacceptable now. You can't blame Silicon Valley for that they're playing by the same rules they're not they're. Not acquiring, that wealth illegally, but, it is a huge problem and ultimately, it doesn't benefit the tech community because. You have the vilification. Of tech tech is you, know when you have Bernie Sanders, and Elizabeth. Warren and Ted. Cruz and, Steve. Barron, all talking about antitrust all saying that there's a problem in Silicon Valley then. There's a problem, last. Question here. You. Mentioned that one of your assumptions is that at some point consumers. Or users will rebel. What. Do you think would be the tipping point what would it take well. As I said I think a. Major. When it comes to say, your business model a major. Data. Event, know. David, Kirkpatrick. It. Was a very well-known. And responsible. Respected, tech journalist. I used. To be the tech editor of fortune, he wrote the book on the history of Facebook, I bumped, into him at CES, in. January, he. Said to me that there's rumors that the Chinese, government is actually acquiring, all the data of everyone, in America, and that's a sort of form of economic or, data war now, I don't know if that's true but if people like Kirkpatrick are talking about that it becomes a reality and, it's clear with what the Russians have done in terms of American democracy it's, clear what the Russians are doing with every election in Europe from you, know Italy to check, us the Czech, Republic, to the UK, and brexit, that. That. There are a lot of problems with what's. Going on in the day to world in, politics, so, I think stuff, well you never know what's gonna happen but stuff will happen stuff. So serious, that it will wake people up you know no one could have I guess you could have predicted Chernobyl. But no one did until it happened, and then, it seemed obvious and inevitable, and the same will happen I think, your chairman this is really my message to Google is your, dominant you've won, you think you've won I'm not saying you but it, seems to me as if you think. You're. You're. So far ahead that you can't be caught I think. As always in human history the rules of the game change with. You, know Harold Macmillan's, famous remarks, about you know what, why, did you change your mind he said events, there boy events, and that's what's going to happen here events, dear, people, events, and then. You will see I don't know what it's going to be I have no idea, but, digital's becoming central and everything particularly in state to state relations, and my guess will be that, somehow China will be involved, China is a much bigger, threat I think both to Google and to.
The US and the West and then Russia I think we've got it wrong with Russia I mean they are of course they're. Like a fly. They're annoying flying, and, and China, is much larger, much more destructive, much, more problematic in, the long run and much more sophisticated in, their use of data. With. That advocating. Thank you very much thank you. You.