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The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Google talk to look at effects of technology

Technology is the foundation of global trade, economics and conflict — a theme that organizers with the George Bush Presidential Library want students to gain a deeper insight into with a Friday talk by one of Google’s directors.
Jared Cohen, director of Google Ideas, will present his talk, “Technology Transforming the World,” to discuss how technology enables individuals to confront threats in the face of conflict, instability and repression, according to a press release from the George Bush Foundation.
Cohen is is the director of Google Ideas, and has served as advisor to the Executive Chairman of Google. He is an Adjunct Senior Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and he has served as a member of the Secretary of State’s Policy Planning Staff.
Fred McClure, chief executive officer of the George Bush Presidential Library Foundation, said Cohen was originally to speak at a panel in the fall during the 25th anniversary weekend celebration of George H.W. Bush’s presidency. McClure said Cohen was unable to make it then, which is why the foundation decided to invite him back.
“Jared had written a book with Eric Schmidt at Google called ‘The New Digital Age’ and so we hope what Jared will talk to the attendees about is basically the substance of the book but also the effect technology has on our lives,” McClure said.
McClure said Cohen’s talk will revolve around his book, emphasizing the importance of technology in the 21st century.
“Our objective as a foundation is to bring people to campus who have interesting conversations and thoughts about public service and public policy,” McClure said. “And what Jared and Eric’s book has done is it talks about connectivity and what that means for everything from international relations, to politics to how states govern themselves, how we deal with terrorism, how to fix revolution.”
Randy Kluver, communication professor, said Cohen’s talk is important because there is still much to understand about the effect of technology today.
“We are only beginning to understand how the rise of the Internet will impact geopolitical relationships, the relations between states and between peoples of other nationalities,” Kluver said. “This is critical, because the Internet has become the foundation for our economics, much of our media consumption, our trade ties and unfortunately, the ability of terrorist groups and others to communicate with one another.”
McClure said he hopes the talk will result in a more informed and involved community and student body.
“There is not a goal to move a needle,” McClure said. “The goal is to have more informed people so that they can understand the impact of technology on our lives, just like how Google has affected our lives dramatically.”
The talk will be held in the Annenberg Presidential Conference Center at 6 p.m. Tickets are required to attend, but are available free at the MSC Box Office in the Rudder Theater Complex.

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