Reuters hosts Newsmaker with Microsoft President Brad Smith

On Friday, Reuters hosted a Newsmaker event in New York with Microsoft President Brad Smith, to discuss his book, Tools and Weapons: The Promise and the Peril of the Digital Age.

Brad Smith and Stephen J. Adler

Brad Smith joined Reuters Editor-in-Chief Stephen J. Adler for a live discussion about the explosion of social media and artificial intelligence to growing cybersecurity threats, weaponization and heightened regulatory scrutiny, and the challenges and opportunities in the transformation of technology.

Among the highlights of the discussion:

-On misuse of technology, Brad Smith said that company turned down government requests for facial recognition software in cases where it fears misuse and will never sell the technology for surveillance. “We won’t sell facial recognition services for the purposes of mass surveillance anywhere in the world,” Smith said.

-On social media, Smith said that technology companies are likely to change how they moderate online platforms in response to new laws from foreign governments, regardless of whether U.S. lawmakers act to change a U.S. law that has allowed social media platforms to flourish.

-Smith also said of social media, “The laws around the world are going to change, and because technology is so global, American companies will adopt a new approach even if the United States Congress does nothing,”

The full interview can be viewed here

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[Reuters PR Blog post]