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“I’m an unrepentant tech optimist, there’s no question of that,” said Nadella. “But I’m also grounded. There are unintended consequences of technology.

“And it’s not that we can just use more technology to solve those problems, and technologies by themselves cannot solve these. But I do believe that it’s up to us to ensure that some of the more dystopian scenarios don’t come true.”

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The main screen in the conference hall then lit up with Orwell’s 1984 and Huxley’s Brave New World.

“[Think about] what Orwell prophesied in 1984, where technology was being used to monitor, control, dictate,” said Nadella. “Or what Huxley imagined we may do by just distracting ourselves without any meaning or purpose.

“Neither of these futures is something that we want. So the question is: what are we going to do? Are there practical ways we can make progress?”

He urged the importance of people trusting in technology.

“I think it starts with us taking accountability. Taking accountability for the algorithms we create, the experiences that we create, and ensuring that there is more trust in technology with each day.”

“We want to think about people,” Nadella concluded. “But we also want to think about the institutions people build.”

While well-spoken, is it possible that Nadella’s words are empty, and merely just a diversion from the truth? Examining Microsoft’s history, and acknowledging how much the company has worked with the government, it seems possible Nadella is only trying to keep people from realizing Microsoft is, indeed, prepared for such an Orwellian future.


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