Ex-Google CEO Shares Vision of Tech Future

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PICEDITOR-SMHSAN FRANCISCO — Some illuminating books already have been written about Google’s catalytic role in a technological upheaval that is redefining the way people work, play, learn, shop and communicate.

Until now, though, there hasn’t been a book providing an unfiltered look from inside Google’s brain trust.

Google Executive Chairman , who spent a decade as the company’s CEO, shares his visions of digitally driven change and of a radically different future in The New Digital Age, a book that goes on sale Tuesday.

It’s a technology treatise that Schmidt wrote with another ruminator, Jared Cohen, a former State Department adviser who now runs Google Ideas, the Internet company’s version of a think tank.

The book is an exercise in “brainstorming the future,” as Schmidt put it in a recent post on Twitter — just one example of a cultural phenomenon that didn’t exist a decade ago.

The ability for anyone with an Internet-connected device to broadcast revelatory information and video is one of the reasons why Schmidt and Cohen wrote the book. The two met in Baghdad in 2009 and were both struck by how Iraqis were finding resourceful ways to use Internet services to improve their lives, despite war-zone conditions.

They decided it was time to delve into how the Internet and mobile devices are empowering people, roiling autocratic governments and forcing long-established companies to make dramatic changes.

The three years they spent researching the book took them around the world, including North Korea in January over the objections of the U.S. State Department. They interviewed an eclectic group that included former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, Mexican mogul Carlos Slim Helu, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange and the former prime ministers of Mongolia and Pakistan. They also drew on the insights of a long list of Google employees, including co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

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