Eric Schmidt at Techonomy

Uploaded by Google on 14.10.2010

>> KIRKPATRICK: The first panel is really going to look at this question of, what is
Techonomy and does it make sense as a concept? And how do we make it more understood if it
does make sense? So, yeah. Kevin this is good. Right in the right order, you guys are excellent,
thank you. >> HOPKINS: We do as we're [INDISTINCT], you
know, we do what we're told. >> KIRKPATRICK: So, here we have Kevin Kelly,
who's one of the founding editors of Wired and has written a book called "What Technology
Wants," which if you didn't notice, we have copies of out in front even though it's not
published for a month or so--two months? We got special advanced galleys for everyone
here. So, that's a real treat because we feel that his book is probably the best explanation
of, what we believe, anything we've run across. Debbie Hopkins, what's your exact title here?
It's a... >> HOPKINS: You know, [INDISTINCT].
>> KIRKPATRICK: Chairman of Venture Capital Initiatives and Chief Innovation Officer of
Citi, but really a representative of, in fact, old industry thinking smart. Eric Schmidt
doesn't need much introduction, example of new industry thinking smart. And finally Lisa
Randall, who is a Theoretical Physicist at Harvard University and somebody who's writing
her own book about Science and how it's conducted and a very big thinker. So, we're very happy
to have her. So--oh, before I get started, I want to just say, the reason I'm holding
this is that in addition to the comments and questions we want you to make by standing
up and saying your name when someone hands you the mic, and we will be happy to do that,
you're also welcome to Tweet in questions at least during the sessions that we announced
that for. And we're--I think, they're going to--we're going to do it for a lot of them.
And the--so the way to do that is to put @TCMYQA at the beginning of your Tweet--@TCMYQ--oh,
we got it up there, thank you. And you can start doing that as soon as the session begins.
I'll be looking at that on this little thing here, but we do want to hear from you in person
if you feel like it. So, we've tried to define Techonomy briefly before on stage. And I guess
rather than saying anymore deductory remarks, I don't think it's necessary. Peter and Brent
did an excellent job of that. But Kevin, you know, you are what we consider a Techonomist
par excellence and your book really does articulate some of these ideas. When you think about
what we're trying to do and you hear what we're saying about it, does it make sense
to you? >> KELLY: Absolutely. I think the kind of
thought that serves--suddenly dawn in a lot of us, is that technology is really the most
powerful force in the world. I mean, there's really--there's nothing else. If--it's--whenever
you trace something happening in the world you can usually trace it back to some new
technology that has been introduced. And I use a very broad definition of technology,
just as you do. For me, it's very close to almost being culture. But there's a difference
between culture and technology. I think--we tend to think of technology as hard stuff;
wires, gadgets, you know, lasers and things. But, of course, law can be technology, a novel
can be technology and so that goes into the realm of culture. But the difference between
culture and technology as we normally understand it, is that technology and the Technium as
I defined it, entails this idea that all the things that we're making are so interdependent,
so woven together, so vast that they form an emergent behavior--an emergent thing itself,
that is more than just a passive culture, it's actually dynamic. It actually responds.
It has its own emergent behaviors. It has its own tendencies. It has is--in certain
sense, its own agency. >> KIRKPATRICK: But that doesn't mean it's
inexorable and we could just sit back and wait for it to happen, right?
>> KELLY: Not at all. Because what's happening is that we're still involved because we are--it's--ourselves,
technology. We have invented ourselves. Technology is anything that comes from our mind. The
first animal that we domesticated was humanity, humans. We've made ourselves. And so, we're
still making ourselves. We're still inventing ourselves. We're not done yet. We have physically
changed our bodies through agriculture or we have an extended stomach called cooking
and that has changed our teeth and jaws. We're--our genes are now changing 100 times faster than
they were 10,000 years ago. So, we are still in a process of remaking ourselves. So, we
are both masters of technology and we are also the children of technology, both at the
same time. And we will never ever escape from that tension between being the subject and
the object of our inventions. And so, we still have agency but we have to recognize that
this thing that we have made also has agency. And so my question that I have been asking
is, well, if it has agency, what does it want? >> KIRKPATRICK: Thank you. That's interesting.
And so, to go from that very macro view to a more pragmatic way of looking at this--in
terms of, you know, technology changing us, this is something inside Citi, in a big company,
you are concretely attempting to change the entire enterprise through a different way
of thinking about technology. Just quickly talk about how you think about that and what
you're doing at Citi, Debbie? >> HOPKINS: Absolutely, I think as we really--when
Vikram Pandit came in to be CEO at the really--at the beginning of the financial crisis, and
he was looking around, he said, "I better have some people thinking about the future."
And really we went to work a couple of years ago trying to create a much more human connection
to both our clients and our customers. Really trying to understand how they want to live
their lives and how we can empower that. So, it's a very, very different way of thinking
about pushing product out the door. It's much more bringing them inside and understanding
how we have to create a very different interaction with these individuals. And it was--Brent
mentioned about, you know, much less vertical, this is what we talked about a lot. It's flipping
that on its side. That the future is really about the horizontals, about partnerships
and collaboration and this is how we do our work. So, it's a very exciting way to change
the way we bring capabilities to our customers, our clients, cities, which we think are really
important part of all this. Because we see the world becoming so urban and in fact, instead
of being a set of countries that connections--connecting dots between cities and that is really kind
of front and center of how we're thinking about really creating a different interaction.
>> KIRKPATRICK: We're going to hear a lot more about that cities thing over the next
couple of days. But can you be concrete about one or two things you've done at Citi as a
result of that concept? >> HOPKINS: Absolutely. We really started
a few years ago changing the approach to transit and created--started out kind of this little
idea, putting a chip on a card and then people get into a transit system in Singapore, and
then grew into a very cool different way of saying, "Well, millions of people on their
way everyday go through subway stations, what if we created an opportunity for them to engage
with us on their way instead of making them come to us?" So, we created a very hi-tech,
hi-touch environment for them where they could get things done on their way to work. Which
then grew to a very exciting project that is our first example, I think of what I call,
systems design where we fundamentally re-did the entire consumer banking approach in Japan.
And totally took out paper, took 150 processes, [INDISTINCT] it to 12, and created a very,
very different way for our customers to come into their neighborhoods and have an engagement.
And it's been very exciting to see their reaction. >> KIRKPATRICK: That's great. So Eric, you
know, we at Techonomy, we personally think of Google as probably the ultimately Techonomic
company. You know, moving quickly, absolutely a believer in the power of technology to make
a world a better place and to solve our problems. So, when you hear this Techonomy idea of ours,
does that make sense to you? >> SCHMIDT: It does. And I'll put it in the
context of my daily life, which is I spend most of my time assuming that the world is
not ready for the technology revolution that will be happening to them relatively soon.
One, because people don't understand what's going to happen; and second, because of the
compounding that's occurring. There were five exabytes of information created by the entire
world between the dawn of civilization in 2003. Now that same amount is created every
two days. No wonder we're sort of over loaded. We can now...
>> KIRKPATRICK: Wait, every two days, we create as much as we created up 'till 2003?
>> SCHMIDT: That is correct. And by the way, the growth rate of course is, accelerating.
It's probably faster this month. I'll give you another example, with online--with these
sorts of devices... >> KIRKPATRICK: That's because of all those
trucks you're driving around taking on WiFi? >> SCHMIDT: You bet you. But the real issue
is--the real issue is user generated content. People are describing enormous amounts of
things about themselves... >> KIRKPATRICK: Yeah.
>> SCHMIDT: ...with video and photographs and so forth. So, you take this sort of device,
right? And with products like Google Latitude, you can tell us where you are and then you
can tell your friends where you are. Well, we can using AI techniques predict where you're
going to go. Pretty interesting. Good idea, bad idea? We can take a picture and if you
have 14 pictures on the internet within a 95% confidence interval, we can predict who
you are. Now, you say you don't have 14 pictures? You have Facebook pictures, so there, right?
So, all of a sudden, a lot of assumptions that we make about daily life are going away.
And... >> KIRKPATRICK: And that kind of could be
a good thing or a bad thing depending on what we do with that data?
>> SCHMIDT: Well, in the first place the technology of course is neutral. And but, society is
not fundamentally ready for the questions that are going to be asked by the explosion
of... >> KIRKPATRICK: Right.
>> SCHMIDT: ...user powered technology of one kind or another. And I think it's time
for people to get ready for it. >> KIRKPATRICK: And now that's going right
to the main question we ask here, can the world be turned in a more techonomic direction
which would be really about, you know, will we be able to move forward? Will enough people
understand what can be done? And will they do it in the most productive way given the
scope of our problems? And you spend a lot of time talking to heads of state, CEO's of
all kinds of companies, government leaders all over the place. Do you feel like there
is an understanding of the centrality technology is playing in modern life?
>> SCHMIDT: It's completely predictable by the age of the person you're talking to. So,
the people who are quite old acknowledge it, but ask their secretary to read their email
to them. People who are in my generation, heck, can read their email but they don't
understand quite what instant messaging and Twitter is. And folks of the generation below
that sort of get it. I don't think there is a consensus though at societal level of how
we're going to do this. My proposal for example is that like other society things in life,
it will be possible at the age of 21 just to change your name because all that recorded
history of you as a teenager, you can just deny it. You know, that's not me, I didn't
look it--I don't look like that anymore, I wasn't there, I'm not guilty. I mean, these
are fundamental societal issues we have to face.
>> KIRKPATRICK: Yeah. There's a lot of stuff we could pick, we could drill down...
>> SCHMIDT: Raise your hand if you were a well behaved teenager.
>> KIRKPATRICK: Yeah. >> SCHMIDT: Right? Come on, tell the truth.
Well, I was in the 60's. >> KIRKPATRICK: But I mean--I guess--just
one more Google question because, I mean, Google really does have this sort of core
belief about the power of data to make the world a better place. So, even though some
people question certain things you do, clearly you've made our lives hugely more efficient.
Everyone in this room without any question and everyone who might be listening to anything
coming out of this room. You're probably the most centrally used technology service. But,
I guess I just want you to go a little bit further down this path of, you know, can the
world be turned in a tech--I mean, are you fundamentally optimistic about how we are
going to be able to incorporate technology in the broadest possible sense in the ways
that Kevin talks about, to deal with global climate change and these issues that were...
>> SCHMIDT: I do, I do. And partly is because there's things that we can do now that we
couldn't do before. You can in fact measure where people are and where things are down
to the inch. You can actually know the answer to questions of did everyone actually get
this service or use it? And much of government and much of politics has been around estimates.
Well now, we can actually know. We can actually track the spread of disease. We can actually
predict outcomes and so forth. And overall, that will make the world a better place. And
I think in--if you go back to Kevin's argument, you are in fact seeing that as a result of
collective intelligence--he has a more elegant way of articulating it--does in fact move
society quite a bit forward. >> KIRKPATRICK: Okay. Lisa, I mean, a lot
of people say what's a theoretical physicist doing on this panel? I think you even wondered
that. And thank you for indulging us anyway. But, now when you hear what we're saying up
here as a really serious scientist, how does it relate to what you do in your mind?
>> RANDALL: Well, first of all I mean, it's clear that technology has--I mean, had a huge
impact and I think the sort of scale and piece of change is enormous and impressive. With--but
though even the words centrality of technology gets to the fact that technology is neither
the beginning nor the end in the sense that what are the questions we want to do and what
are the big seed changes that enter into technology that then exponentiate. And what are the incentives
we have to do the right thing? It's really easy to get distracted by gadgets because
people like them, it's profitable. And how do you keep going forward with the really
big issues? And I think, you know, Kevin said that I think technologies is the most powerful
force, but then I think in that case Physics should be interpreted as sort of the creator
of the most powerful force. Because it was really interesting for [INDISTINCT] us to
realize that first of all--well, the--all of electronics is based on transistor technology
now, which came out of understanding quantum mechanics. I mean, quantum mechanics--I mean,
nothing could see--have seemed further from having applications. It was really a very
basic understanding of what's going on in anatomic scale. And seriously, people that
were looking at that, they did not think about having applications in mind, they were really
doing pure Science. And in fact, against their will, they were forced into these premises.
They had no applications in mind. The worldwide web came about and one could argue it would
have come about in other ways and it probably would have. But the fact is, it came about
from a bunch of particle physicist at CERN where the Large Hadron Collider now happens,
where protons collide. But it was because scientist were working together internationally
and needed a format--a platform where they could all work together on the same experiment
even though they were in different places. And, you know, and it goes on and on. And
if you think about electronics, I mean, just the discovery of the electron, who really
thought that would be useful even back then. And it's hard to get back into that mindset
because we're so integrated into the way we do things and it happened so quickly. I mean,
electricity, it's changed the face of the planet. All of these basic discoveries were
not done with an IT technology in mind, yet that's really where we all are. And so, I
think it's very easy to lose track of that in sort of the speed and excitement of technology,
to remember that there's all these basic Science issues that we need room for, we need time
for them. And so, in some ways, I would argue that the boundaries are good that we should
have this different time scale and this different investment that we have in sort of long term.
But then, at the end of the day, we really want the intent to structure to be such that
we all can really move towards the goals, that there's a real way that we're all going
to do that. >> KIRKPATRICK: Well, how are we doing? Are
we putting enough resources into the fundamental Science to ultimately get the technology out
later, not that it should be thought of so cause and effect but obviously, you're saying
we need to take this fundamental research endeavor seriously, are we?
>> RANDALL: I mean, it's certainly true that we're financing Science, but I think we really
have seen a trend towards trying to be more [INDISTINCT]. And that's not bad. A lot of
the applications are good. But if you think about it, a lot of the major breakthroughs
have not happened that way. I mean, we've been working on trying to solve the problem
of cancer for a long time and we've made progress, but it's really been incremental because--and
in some sense, you might argue that some of it's too directed. It's very hard to just
say, "Let's go and do research this wild, crazy idea." It's much easier to get funding
for things that you can point to where it's going to end up. But that's not where the
big changes come from a lot of time, I would argue.
>> KIRKPATRICK: On an--yes? Yeah, go. >> KELLY: I will actually--I, very--rarely
disagree with Eric, but he said something that I think I want to clarify. Because it...
>> KIRKPATRICK: I disagree with him a lot, I'm surprised.
>> KELLY: fits--it fits into what you're trying to say, which is, he said that technology
is neutral. I actually have concluded that it's really not. It's absolutely positive.
And it's positive in this way, it may take--it may take a minute but here's how it goes.
Is that what technology expands when you deduct all the negative things at any technology--of
new problems any technology would create, is that what it--what it expands is choices
and possibilities and that even if it--as a technology that we reject, the very fact
that we have a choice about that is itself a good. And so, you have--so the increasing
choices, even if they're choices that, you know, we can decide we want to do human cloning
or not, we suddenly have that choice. And that choice alone is good. And so there--so
that puts--even it was a 50/50 chance, we'll recruit--we're creating or destroying 50%
of what we, you know, a year. We have on this hand it kind of weighs out. The fact that
we even have something to weigh, the fact that we even have a choice, that is a positive
which pushes it over to--let's say that overall technology is a positive force in the world,
because what it brings us constantly, relentlessly is more choices, more opportunities, more
possibilities, and that is good in itself. And I think--I want to try and suggest that
we shouldn't just tolerate progress. We shouldn't just tolerate technological events. We should
actually try and make it happen and accelerate it. That what we get from it is so good that
we should do more of it. And what we get from it is usually these possibilities and these
chances for people to have their full expression, to have the way in which they can find their
dream, to do the thing that they're made for in terms of their suite of talents. But to
do that we need technology. >> KIRKPATRICK: But what kind of grade would
you give the world on how they're doing on that right now?
>> KELLY: I think we get 51%. I think that all we need is 1% better than 50%--1% better
positive than negative to win. I mean... >> KIRKPATRICK: And you're comfortable we're
at that place now? >> KELLY: Yeah, yeah. I mean, 50% of the world
could be [INDISTINCT]. 50--49%, lets say. >> RANDALL: Can I respond to that a little
bit? >> KELLY: Yeah.
>> RANDALL: Because it's interesting, because, I mean, we've really discussed technology
but we haven't discussed economics really. And I think quite of the answer to this question
lies in, sort of, the economic models [INDISTINCT], but they're not really based on having--on
the pace of change that happens with technology. And so, I think we've, you know, we've think
very much in terms of short-term policies. But here the impact can be so [INDISTINCT]
and we don't necessarily take risks into account when we anticipate what's going to happen.
So, we end-up with these disasters today that could have been anticipated and could have
been prevented if we had thought about the pace of change and built that into the economic
model like what the net cost of things would be.
>> KIRKPATRICK: At the corporate level, do you think of it that way? That be at all--like
that, maybe you're building in more risk management mechanisms by becoming more techconomic, if
we were to use the word? >> HOPKINS: Absolutely. I mean, I think that's
the core of what we're focused on. We see data as one of our most critical areas of
focus. And what some of the things that Eric was talking about, we're deploying. We're--really
see everything going into a mobile kind of format and the opportunity for an individual
to totally customize their relationship with their money is real. It exists, it's going
to happen and it's because of technology. It's because of location based services. It's,
you know, being able to know where you are, offer you a special offer because you're a
great customer, being able to tell you where your nearest bookstore is, that's all doable.
And it's--people are going to be able to make, you know, make payments just tapping their
phone. All this technology exists, it's now coming together. And I think you're going
to see a lot of these things happening where people can really say, "This is how I want
it to work, not how you're going to tell how it works." That's the opportunity.
>> KIRKPATRICK: When we were talking to prepare for this, I guess, yesterday, you were saying
that, you know, the big picture way of describing what you're doing is trying to figure out
what is the future of money. >> HOPKINS: Right.
>> KIRKPATRICK: Like is that... >> HOPKINS: Absolutely. I think, you know,
we... >> KIRKPATRICK: That's what a company has
to do? That scale of thinking? >> HOPKINS: Absolutely. A core part of what
we focus on is what we call responsible finance. So, one of the things we're really looking
at is everything we do has to have a positive impact to society. That's a very different
approach, than where we [INDISTINCT] in financial services. It's really making financial services
human. And really having a personal connection with individuals or with, you know, corporations
to create a very, very different dynamic to drive these changes and to create these, kind
of, capabilities of funding some of the things that have to happen for, you know, like in
our cities and so forth. So, that kind of change is really smarter money. Helping people
make better decisions is really core to what a lot of the things we're focusing on.
>> KIRKPATRICK: This issue of companies needing to be good is that happens to be a particular
passion of Mark Zuckerberg. I forget whether I put that in the book or not. But it's related
to a question--Doc Searls has got some very good questions, more than one. But one is
for Eric, which is very pertinent to what Debbie just said. The question is, "Who is
the 'we' that can know to the nth so much stuff? Is it only Google and the government?
How about any of us?" I mean, it's an interesting question. What do you think about that?
>> SCHMIDT: I'm not so--I'm not so happy about the Google and the government. Let me just
speak. Let me... >> KIRKPATRICK: you don't see that [INDISTINCT]...
>> HOPKINS: You got his attention on that one.
>> SCHMIDT: Let me just speak on the--on the Google side. The fact of the matter is that
the devices that we all use, the searches, the information that we do is generally an
enormous amount of information about us. And my guess is a lot of that will end up getting
regulated overtime, because if there will be abuses, hopefully not by Google. But the
fact of the matter is that information can be used for many, many things, for good and
bad things. And I think people will find it's very useful to have devices that actually
remember what you were supposed to do, because you forgot. And a reasonable model is that
10 years from now computers will do what computers are really good at, which is doing deep analysis,
remembering things exactly, accurately and so forth. And humans, well, we'll do what
humans are very good at, which is intuition and feelings and so forth and so on. And that
separation of power is a reasonable one. And the fact of the matter is I don't think we're
quite ready for the--in terms of the data, for the application of modern AI technology
on top of it. >> KIRKPATRICK: A real live question. Identify
yourself. >> BRYNJOLFSSON: I'm Erik Brynjolfsson at
MIT. And I know that Kevin and Eric were hesitant to disagree with each other. I'm hesitant
to disagree with both of them. They're two of the smartest people
in the world, if not necessarily on that panel up there right now. But when you say that
technology is obviously neutral or that it's positive, I mean, it seems that there are
a lot of counter examples, that there are technologies that are overwhelmingly negative,
you know. Recently the sequence for the 1918 flu virus was published. I'm not--it's hard
for me to see how that's a net positive. There are--there are lots of destructive technologies
that are available, or when we look at developing of--what, you know, new types of digital money.
Some of them could trace people or some people--some would have complete anonymity. It's not obvious
to me which one of those is even better or worse, but I doubt that they're both exactly
equally good for society. So, you know, that--I don't think it's--you can just abdicate the
idea that technology--that we don't have to worry about what technologies do. It seems
that you do have to think about whether they're going to be used for good or [INDISTINCT].
>> KIRKPATRICK: In the laundry list of possible bad things, I want to add one from Wes Bron.
>> SCHMIDT: Can I--can I actually respond to...
>> KIRKPATRICK: Yeah. Yeah, this will--good, you could respond, yeah. This one also you
can respond to. "Do we run the risk of losing our individual identities in the face of the
speed and rate of interconnectivity?" >> SCHMIDT: So, when I said technology was
neutral I was referring to the device not the point that Kevin made overwhelmingly,
which I actually agree with. So, you find that the two of us actually agree with. And
the fact to the matter is--well, I actually agree with you for the following examples.
I can think of hundreds of pathological examples of the application...
>> KIRKPATRICK: Right. >> SCHMIDT: ...of technology, of which you
just cited a couple, which if misused could actually bring down the fall of all human
beings relatively quickly, and we all understand that. And furthermore, there are in fact evil
people on the world and I know it's shock, right? So the fact of the matter is there
are evil people and they do actually have access to this, and society as a whole is
going to have to figure out a way to prevent them from getting access to it or at least
using it. It'll have to be criminalized, it'll have to be, you know, killed, shot, whatever,
you know, to do this because it's too--you can't kill all the people at once, right?
So there's a question in our industry as to our own sort of moral liability for this sort
of stuff, and I worry about this a lot, and the fact of the matter is that crimes are
committed using cell phones. Crimes are committed using money and the people who invented money,
credit cards, and so forth and so on. So how do you define the line? And I think these
are broader suicidal questions. So when I talk about technology, my overwhelming view
is that on balance, technology is positive and that the principles that we all take advantage
of which are openness and transparency make sense. I would make a stronger point that
the only way to manage this set of issues that we're facing is going to be by much greater
transparency and no anonymity. >> HOPKINS: Right.
>> SCHMIDT: And the reason is that in a world of asymmetric threats, true anonymity is too
dangerous. You'll have to have at least some ability. If you look at banking, for example,
there's this "Know Your Customer" law, and you're actually required [INDISTINCT] and
prove that you are human being. One of the errors that, I guess easy if you show up as
a human, one of the errors that the Internet made a long time ago is that there was not
a--there was not an accurate and none revocable identity management service, and the best
example of an identity management service today that's reasonably reliable is Facebook,
right, but you need a more generalized service or set of services. And people can actually
say, "I really am a human and I really can be held account for whatever evil thing I'm
about to do." >> KIRKPATRICK: Do you think Facebook can
be extensible to do even more base on that identity matrix and stuff?
>> SCHMIDT: Well, you of course are much more of an expert on Facebook.
>> KIRKPATRICK: No, I'm not. Not the new. >> SCHMIDT: But I'm sure it can and--but I
think it's reasonable to say that you need a name service for humans.
>> HOPKINS: Right. >> SCHMIDT: And that name service--it's just
too--the information is too powerful, and it can be misused, and the governments are
going to require it in some form. They're just--are going to. It's not going to be okay
to have random terrorists doing random terrible things under the cover of absolute anonymity.
By the way, this was never true. You know, 200 years ago in a small town, you could not
sneak around if people didn't know who you were.
>> KIRKPATRICK: Oh, this is one of my favorite points; Facebook recreates this small town
in an era of urbanization, in a way, the visibility of the small town.
>> KELLY: So that's a negative. There's actually another positive reason which is that we all
want--what we all want from technology is basically absolute customization, absolute
personalization. We want other people and technology to treat us as individuals. Well
the only way you have absolute personalization is with absolute transparency.
>> HOPKINS: Yup. >> KELLY: So you can't have both. You can't
have people treating me as an individual without knowing me as an individual. So I think--I
think you have to have--I mean, personalization comes along with transparency.
>> HOPKINS: I agree. >> SCHMIDT: And then--Can I just add one more
thing? Lisa thinks--said it right, which is that the fundamental modeling that everybody's
doing in the technology industry does not anticipate what's really going on. The physicists
have always understood this because they can actually do, you know, dynamic equations in
their heads and they understand these things as flows. So the one way to think about technology
and what we're all talking about is you take the combination of power loss, right, plus
optionality around choices and absolute scale, and then you get the chaotic nature of what
we're all doing, and you can translate that in the mathematical way, much better than
I can. >> KIRKPATRICK: Back there, identify yourself
please. >> REYNOLDS: Josh Reynolds with Helen Holton.
My question is this; who is most threatened by turning toward a more techonomic direction
and why? If a revolution could be defined as movement against a resisting force, or
an evolution is defined as adaptation to a resisting force, what's the resisting force
here? >> KIRKPATRICK: Good question. I could venture
an answer but I'm not in panel. >> SCHMIDT: Well let's start--let's start
with autocratic governments that ban the use of...
>> KIRKPATRICK: Right. >> SCHMIDT: ...powerful information who...
>> HOPKINS: Right. >> KIRKPATRICK: That's the instrument. Those
who hold the power autocratically today. >> SCHMIDT: ...[INDISTINCT] against--right.
But let's start with--let's start with the Tron flash mobs and the use of Twitter. There
are plenty of examples where self organizing systems could lead to a social movement and
tanks trump the mobile phone every time. >> KIRKPATRICK: For that matter, it also--it's
companies that are run, you know, in a autocratic fashion, you know, the same--in a company
and a country, is equally true. >> RANDAL: But in fairness, I mean, there
are probably are also individuals who value privacy, and there is scientists, and writers
who have worked at a slower--at a very different pace for years. And I don't know that it's
not attacking them, but I think it's valuing less what they're contributing. And so it's
not only bad people that would be pushing back, I mean, there's probably some good people
that also are pushing back. >> KIRKPATRICK: Do you think that, Kevin?
>> KELLY: Well, I mean, I think in general, to my observation that on average that there's
very little resistance to it. If you look at worldwide, what's happening worldwide is
that people are stampeding by the billions towards more technology. They're grabbing
cell phone as fast as you can manufacture. >> KIRKPATRICK: That was what the forum--world
economic forum session was just about. >> KELLY: It's...
>> KIRKPATRICK: The [INDISTINCT], it's happening so fast.
>> KELLY: It's happening so fast. So that, while there may be pockets of people who are--would
see themselves as loser, I think on average, most people in the world see themselves gaining
by increasing the choices that technology gives them. And so they're running to it as
fast as they can. >> REYNOLDS: So did the follow-up that is...
>> HOPKINS: Well that's what we saw in the--I'm sorry--in the paper today. We're talking about
how--you know, looking at some of the facts coming out on the last quarters' spending,
people are spending way more in technology and less in some of the goods that they used
to buy because--which is driving this whole consumerization and where we're seeing the
lines between the consumer and business just blurring.
>> SCHMIDT: A lot of incumbencies are opposed to these things because they--technology tends...
>> REYNOLDS: Yes. >> SCHMIDT: threaten the power and structure
of incumbency. >> KELLY: If we were talking about publishing,
it's like, right now, this is the best time in the world to be a reader. Readers have
never had it better. Now, publishers, that's a different story.
>> KIRKPATRICK: Yeah. >> KELLY: And so I think business--so the
people who are threatened are the people who have current business models that are working.
>> HOPKINS: Exactly. >> KELLY: But the rest of everybody--if you
like music, this is the best time in the world ever to...
>> KIRKPATRICK: Well, people who have business models that are working that aren't changing
rapidly. >> KELLY: Right, right.
>> KIRKPATRICK: So here--even the--the problem by the way with all these Twitter questions,
we have way more than we can deal with, but I do like real world questions. So we'll have
some more Twitter ones. Go. Identify yourself. >> SHAH: Yeah, Jigar Shah, I run the Carbon
War Room. And I was a solar entrepreneur before that. I--I'm not exactly sure how to--how
to frame this so I'll give you a little bit of comment first. I think--I use technology
a lot for my job and what I do, and it's fantastic, but because I work on the infrastructure side,
I used to work for BP and then started a solar company, et cetera, that, you know, I see
how much we have to do as an infrastructure side to support you, right? So, today, 30%
of all new electricity used in this country, it powers technology. New datacenters, new--new
iPhones, new whatever, that electricity comes from largely extractive industries, right?
Those extractive industries have severe consequences on people from water quality issues to other
things around the world. You know, things from our own population growth. I mean, in
things that we do that are zero-sum game, you know, I mean, you would--the oil industry
spends somewhere in the order of a trillion dollars a year to keep us running, right?
New exploration, the whole nine yards. If we wanted to actually power all of the 1.6
billion people around the world that don't have electricity and, therefore, right now
have limited access to a cell phone or a mobile device, that's a zero-sum game. I mean, there's
so much--there's only so much money that Citibank actually allocates to the power sector. And
so, they actually have to allocate that to a credit where they counterparty like Google
to do their datacenter or to figure out, when you guys do microfinance, to help out these
other folks. And I do think that it may not be a zero-sum game because of some sort of
like theoretical bottle neck, but there are practical bottle necks around where BP spends
its money or solar companies do or whatever else, to meet all of the infrastructure needs
that the technology guys use--ran rampant. >> KELLY: Well, I think that's the beauty
of it. I think that by definition, the techonomy--the economy is a non zero-sum game. I mean, there's
this billions of dollars more this year than there were 100 years ago, 5 years ago, is
growing. That's a zero-sum game, I mean, that's a non zero-sum. So, the techonomy--technology
is non zero-sum. It has this multiple magic that it's able to self-generate more to self-create,
expand. That's the beauty of it. That's--that is the fantastic aspect of this techonomy.
>> KIRKPATRICK: Mark Anderson. Oh, did somebody--yeah. >> ANDERSON: Yeah. Thanks, David.
>> KIRKPATRICK: Mark, let's keep it going. We got--got just a few more minutes.
>> ANDERSON: Mark Anderson, Strategic News Service. As you know, I'm a believer, so I'll
just say that out front. And thank you, all of you, for putting this great show on. Thanks
a lot. It's--I'm really glad to be here. >> KIRKPATRICK: You're one of our role models,
so good. >> ANDERSON: Thank you. So, I am a believer
and I do believe everything that Kevin said is true. I'm there. However...
>> KIRKPATRICK: There's always a however. >> ANDERSON: However, Lisa, I think--made
a good point, which you guys haven't quite picked up on and I'll add two more words.
So, economy is one word. We all work 90 hours a week and the technology we're making helps
us work a 110. I know it's true for you and me and you know. So, that's not necessarily
wise, so there's a word, doesn't make us happy necessarily, happy. There's a lot of research
on it, being happy. And so I'd like to ask a question--and one more word I'm going to
throw up is beauty. >> Yeah.
>> ANDERSON: And I live in a very strange place.
>> KIRKPATRICK: Doesn't have to be a question. You could just make this a comment.
>> ANDERSON: I opted for beauty where I live. So, the point is what about people who are
opting today for health or for a more constrained life, fewer gadgets, less technology, as a
reaction to all the stuff that we're doing here. I do believe that we're doing the right
thing, but there's an elephant in this room which is--there's a very strong cultural backlash
right now... >> KIRKPATRICK: This is a form of answer to
the guy back there about the losers, yes. >> ANDERSON: I think we're all together on
this. So, any comments you guys would like to make about, isn't there a missing part
of this conversation... >> SCHMIDT: Now, this is--this is why God...
>> ANDERSON: ...where we achieve beauty or we achieve...
>> KIRKPATRICK: Or we're going to [INDISTINCT] like God.
>> SCHMIDT: This is why God invented the off-button. >> HOPKINS: Yes.
>> SCHMIDT: We're not hitting it. >> KIRKPARTRICK: Do you use it a lot? Do you
go and totally shut off sometimes? >> SCHMIDT: Yes, I actually do.
>> KIRKPATRICK: For how long can you go? >> SCHMIDT: I could do it for at least 90
minutes. >> KIRKPATRICK: That's not enough. Can you
go for--can you go for... >> SCHMIDT: [INDISTINCT], have time for a
dinner, you know. >> KIRKPATRICK: Okay, Deb. What about two
days, could you do that? >> SCHMIDT: No, no, no, but 90 minutes. Give
me 90 minutes. Give me 90 minutes. >> KELLY: I have an [INDISTINCT]...
>> KIRKPATRICK: We only got two minutes left, so very quick.
>> KELLY: So, here's the thing--the thing is that if you want to do that, you have that
choice, that possibility. There is--there is the Amish who are doing this. You could
go and live with the Amish. You could--I could give you a $20 bus ride and you could be there,
all right? So, what--why don't you do that? Now, you can do it if you want. If you want
to go back into the Stone Age, you can do that. You have that option. That's the beauty
of it. All those options still exists. And so the--and so that is--there are people who
are doing it. The Amish, actually, they optimize for leisure. They actually have more leisure
than we have. That's what they're optimizing for, but they're not optimizing for choices.
So, if you want a society that optimizes for choices, this is it. This is what we're getting.
And so you can still have that choice to minimize your choices. That's the beauty of it.
>> RANDALL: That's a little bit unfair. We could all, you know, we could all, like, not
eat junk food but we do. >> KIRKPATRICK: Well, back there, we have
somebody. Stand up and identify yourself, please.
>> MALE: [INDISTINCT] from Ghana. I think that the technology neutrality issue can be
humps. The framework of the [INDISTINCT] humps. It's not that--what that--what is at stake
is what about technology, has net for positive or negative effect, but whether, it amplifies
the trends towards positiveness and negativeness either way. So, does technology amplify the
positive trends or amplify the negative trends? And how you enhance that ratio?
>> KIRKPATRICK: But, didn't you already answer that in the 51% point in a way? I mean...
>> KELLY: Yeah. I think there's no doubt that there are pathological technologies. There's
no doubt that there is--that we destroy a lot. But all we have to do is create 1% more
than we destroy every year compounded over centuries and that's what we get, civilization.
So... >> MALE: Yes. But, the issue is still whether
the concentration of power that is necessitated by technology as opposed to the concentration
of--the diffusion of knowledge and how you balance that ratio? We have the knowledge,
is technology helping us to get the knowledge to handle the technology--to handle that power
that is generated? >> SCHMIDT: But there is something fundamentally
going on, which is that in our lifetimes, literally, in our entire lifetimes, we'll
go from a very small number of people having access to information and power to at least
five, six--at least five billion people on the planet having pretty much access to all
the world's knowledge in their local language. That is a remarkable achievement. It has an
awful lot of implications including the negative ones that we're talking about. But you--when
you talk to somebody who has never been able to get to read a book, had no textbooks in
college and whatever, and now you have a device strategy where they can actually literally
compete in the knowledge world that we all take for granted here. That is a remarkable
thing. We're talking about a couple billion--billion people entering the connected world and I'm
very proud to be part of that. And I think that this conference is really a lot about
the consequences of that. >> KIRKPATRICK: And it's all about empowerment.
I mean, to me, empowerment is the single biggest manifestation or ramification of all this
stuff. Empowerment at the level of the individual, which...
>> SCHMIDT: Exactly. >> KIRKPATRICK: ...Google is one of the ultimate
progenitors of. We have to wrap up, but I wanted to say one thing. There's a good reason
why--you know, Kevin Kelly is not only up here now. He's actually going to be at the
end too. We like the way he thinks so much which you could probably see why that he's
going to be here at the close on Friday too. So, sorry we don't have more time. Sorry for
all the Twitter questioners who didn't get their questions answered. But now, I'm going
to turn it over to my colleague Brent. And thank you to the panel.
>> KELLY: Very good. >> SCHMIDT: Thank you.
>> KELLY: Thank you.