An exclusive extract from The New Digital Age, by Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen, the men who run Google.
Hi. I’m Eric.
Hi, I’m Jared in bold. This is how all books will be written in the future, like cut and pasted instant messenger chats.
Let’s crack on.
Right. We already know everything about you. Where youve been, who you know, what you think. We know about your health, work, home finances and dreams. We can even single out your stool from a million others with the latest Fecal Recognition technology. And thats today, so just imagine what were capable of in twenty years time?
Yeah, were going to turn you into cyborg automatons unquestioningly obeying our every command.
Works every time. No chillax guys, were going to be super cool with the incredible power well wield over the entire world. Getting corrupted by power is so American.
Dont you mean Googlican?
Exactly. We’re renaming America in 2023. Anyway, what would a 70-year-old tech boss rejuvenated by bio-digital body parts want with total dominion and a harem of the most beautiful women on the planet anyway?
Beats me. So tell them about the future Eric.
Well, driverless cars, wearable computers, holograms and a device embedded in your heel of your shoe that gives you a gentle pinch a reminder that you must swear allegiance to The Cloud or you will be deleted.
Ooo sounds harsh! What do you mean deleted Eric?
Erased from history like a spelling mistake. The press of one button and as far as the world is concerned you dont exist.
Oh yeah I remember! We can and will do that.
The beauty of The Cloud is that it’s a planet-ruling hive mind with an innocuous-sounding name. If it was called Skynet everyone would be freaking out. It’s like Google, which sounds like a friendly clown that drives a collapsing car, not a vast bunker full of unfathomable computing power. Jared, tell them about The Cupcake.
The Cupcake, youll love this!
The Cupcake is the robot that disposes with your physical remains if you dont obey. Its essentially a human hoover with a massive tentacle that sucks you out of your home and spits you into a holding container where you’ll be used for experiments.
We think its really cool and so will you! Like you have a choice.