Former U.S. President Barack Obama said in a discussion with Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff on Thursday that technology could have a major impact on the younger generation, according tomedia CNET. As a former president of the United States, Barack Obama lived in many luxurious presidential suites. While the rooms are beautiful and spacious, he says, they also illustrate two things: people don’t need so many things, and technology can make them harder.
“Michelle spent half an hour trying to figure out how to turn off the ceiling,” Obama said Thursday. Obama made the remarks at Salesforce’s annual Dreamforce conference in San Francisco. For Mr Obama, the story of the lights is not only an interesting anecdote, but also a broader picture of the challenges facing today’s society.
“We’re looking for the wrong thing,” he says. The desire for a higher status is partly satisfied by social media and technology. “My life has not gotten any better in a presidential suite,” Mr Obama said. “If I’m staying at a Hamptons hotel with a bed and shower, it’s great. “
Security guards and conference workers cheered the people entering the hall. San Francisco Mayor London Breed and Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf were in the audience. For live audiences, Salesforce issued strict guidelines. No one in the audience may take photos or record any audio or video. But unlike Michelle Obama’s 2017 speech at Dreamforce, attendees were allowed to post content on Twitter about Thursday’s conversation.
The U.S. technology industry is currently facing scrutiny and possible regulation of its business practices. Social media has been criticized over the past few years for its role in spreading false information before and after the 2016 U.S. presidential election. The U.S. Department of Justice has launched investigations into companies such as Google and Facebook and is considering splitting them up.
Mr Obama said having “devastating” information technology could sometimes be “dangerous”. “People don’t know what’s real, what’s not true, and what to believe. Technology like social media is not uniting people, it’s “splitting” them.
“If you watch Fox News, you’re going to live in a different reality than someone who reads The New York Times,” he says. We are isolating each other in a dangerous way. Mr Obama said this could have a big impact on the younger generation. He worries about three things: climate change; a lack of common culture and dialogue; and “extreme inequalities that globalization and technology are increasing”.
“It exacerbates inequality,” Mr Obama told Mr Benioff. “A lot of the political turmoil has to do with people’s insecurity. “