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Reviews

“The authors address the important questions…[and] urge us not to slay the monster but rather to leverage its power and reorient technology as a tool for good.”

Financial Times
A Tough Love Letter On Taming The Machines That Rule Our Jobs, Lives, And Future

echnology has never been more important. In the midst of the ongoing pandemic, it is key to how we create vaccines and cures, to how we communicate and work, and how we entertain and distract ourselves.

But with this importance, come new challenges. Every day we can see more clearly the downsides of technology – it’s role in creating echo chambers that weaken our ability to govern ourselves, in leading our children away from IRL towards virtual worlds full of bad behavior, in undermining many people’s foundational belief in truth and rationality.

We need, as parents, as leaders of organizations and institutions, as citizens, as people of good will, to step up to figure out how to harness the power of technology for good, and limit its power to do us harm - to tame it before it eats us alive.

This book explains how we do that.

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Reviews

“A bracing new book about some of the most pressing questions of our time.”

Carl Benedikt Frey, Oxford Martin Citi Fellow at Oxford University and author of The Technology Trap
About the authors
BEN-SMALL

BEN PRING is the director of Cognizant's Center for the Future of Work. In 2018 he was a Bilderberg Meeting participant and in 2020 was named one of world's top management thinkers by Thinkers 50.

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PAUL-SMALL

PAUL ROEHRIG heads strategy for Cognizant Digital Buisness & Technology. Previously he co-founded Cognizant's Center for the Future of Work and co-authored What To Do When Machines Do Everything and Code Halos.

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Ben and Paul, along with Malcolm Frank, co-authored What To Do When Machines Do Everything and Code Halos.

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Extract

SUNFLOWER: WHEN TECH MEETS CAPITAL

A young-ish person sits in a garage/dorm room/Starbucks and comes up with a cool idea.

Said young-ish person writes some code, finds some MVP funding, hires a small team, and sets out their shingle.

Through a completely mysterious and unpredictable set of circumstances, said young-ish person’s company/app — let’s call it Sunflower — starts getting traction.

Sunflower’s funders arrange the next stage of funding, bringing in other investors — typically large institutions.

Articles start appearing about the next great thing in tech — a small, stealthy startup called Sunflower.

Sunflower’s traction goes through the roof.

Said young-ish person appears on the cover of Wired. Then in articles in the Journal, the Pink ‘Un, the style pages of The Old Gray Lady.

The investors invite said young-ish person to a long weekend of “next-steps brainstorming” at the Rosewood Bermuda. “Bring a friend,” they say; “Hell, bring a few friends. Or we’ll find some for you.”

On the third day of spitballing — after the cruise on the 100-foot yacht, the dinner with Michael Douglas, the full treatment at the SENSE Spa — the investors lay it all out. “You’ve hit the payload. You can be the next Zuck, the next Steve. We’re going to make you a gazillionaire.”

Gazillionairization begins. The process is simple. Harvest profile data from the usage of Sunflower and sell ads against those profiles.

Gazillions flow.

Said young-ish person becomes unimaginably wealthy.The investors get wealthier yet.

Another great American success story.

"Or is it?"

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