Eric Schmidt's book on the future to be released April 23

Alfred A. Knopf says it will print a first run of 150,000 copies for "The New Digital Age," co-written with Google Ideas director Jared Cohen.

Eric Schmidt's first book comes out in April.
Eric Schmidt's first book comes out in April. Sarah Tew/CNET

Eric Schmidt's treatise on the future will soon be hitting bookshelves.

Alfred A. Knopf said today that the book by Google's executive chairman and his co-author, Google Ideas director Jared Cohen, will be published on April 23.

The book, which aims to walk readers through the ways technology is changing the future, will be called "The New Digital Age: Reshaping the Future of People, Nations and Business." The title suggests a slightly broader scope than did the working title of the book: "Empire of the Mind: The Dawn of the Techno-Political Age."

Knopf said the book will trace how ubiquitous Internet access will change society.

"As this space grows larger," the authors write, according to a short excerpt, "our understanding of nearly every aspect of life will change, from the minutia of our daily lives to more fundamental questions about identity, relationships and even our own security."

The press release is short on detail, but said the book covers the changing relationship between the state and its citizens, threats to privacy and security, and the implications of companies like Google reaching unprecedented scale.

"These platforms constitute a true paradigm shift," the authors write. "And what gives them power is their ability to grow -- specifically, their speed to scale. Almost nothing, short of a biological virus, can scale as quickly, efficiently or aggressively as these technology platforms and this makes the people who build, control, and use them powerful too."

Schmidt co-wrote the book with Cohen, a former State Department official under presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Cohen left the department to found Google Ideas, a self-described "think/do tank" that tries to apply technology to entrenched global problems including violent extremism, organized crime, and fragile states.

"Schmidt and Cohen have written a clear-eyed, seminal book about our future," said Sonny Mehta, Knopf chairman and editor in chief. "It is a fascinating depiction of both what could happen and what will happen."

The book will be published in print as well as in electronic and audiobook formats.

As it is described, "The New Digital Age" calls to mind Bill Gates' 1995 book "The Road Ahead," which made a similar effort to predict the changes that would be wrought by the personal computing revolution. But predictions can be tough: In 2010, a review by The Atlantic found that Gates had gotten things mostly wrong.

 

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