Technology giant Google, having conquered the Internet and the world around it, is taking on a new challenge: violent extremism.
The company, through its eight-month-old think tank, Google Ideas, is paying for 80 former Muslim extremists, neo-Nazis, U.S. gang members and other former radicals to gather in Dublin this weekend to explore how technology can play a role in de-radicalization efforts around the globe.
The “formers,” as they have been dubbed by Google, will be surrounded by 120 thinkers, activists, philanthropists and business leaders. The goal is to dissect the question of what draws some people, especially young people, to extremist movements and why some of them leave.
“We are trying to reframe issues like radicalization and see how we can apply technology to it,” said Jared Cohen, the 29-year-old former State Department official who agreed to head Google Ideas with the understanding he would host such a conference. “Technology is part of every challenge in the world and a part of every solution.”
Or, view a shorter, easier to watch interview here.