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Microsoft on U.S. elections: We must build new bridges to unite people

After a few days of tense anticipation, most media outlets have finally called the U.S. presidential race in favor of Joe Biden. Moving forward, the eventual transition in power to President- and Vice-President-Elect Joe Biden and Kamala Harris respectively brings its own set of challenges including formulating strategies related to numerous matters, including technology.

To shine a light on his own thoughts regarding this, Microsoft President Brad Smith has penned a blog post to congratulate Biden and Harris, as well as to explain how the U.S. government can work with tech companies to bridge gaps between people.

Smith has identified some key areas where technology can be utilized to "make a real difference in people's lives". One of this is to make affordable broadband available to everyone, especially in light of the current pandemic so that people can use digital services from within their homes. Secondly, it should work to make digital skills such as artificial intelligence and data analytics available to everyone so people can utilize them to positively augment their respective professions.

The Microsoft executive has also emphasized the importance of protecting democracy against cyberattacks. To that end, Smith has suggested that strong partnerships should be forged between private and public sectors with technological innovations shared between both. With the pace at which the use of technology is growing, the company has also urged formulation of new laws "fit for the future". Lastly, innovation in technology should be used to create more business opportunities to increase productivity and improve the economy. Smith went on to say that:

When we consider all these issues, it is apparent that there are opportunities to build new bridges between us and to strengthen the ties that bind us in common purpose. All these challenges are ripe for bipartisan collaboration and for government and industry cooperation.

This opportunity to build new bridges extends to the international arena as well. [...] None of this means that the differences that divide Americans are unimportant. We live with different views on many fundamental issues. As a company, we have not shied away from controversies that we care about, whether they involve racial equity, immigration or climate change. Under each of the last two American presidents, we found that we were served best by efforts to partner where we can, while standing apart where we should. And we will continue with this approach.

Along the way, we have learned that we have far more opportunities to partner across the political spectrum than most people recognize. But we need to move from debates about why we cannot succeed to conversations about how we can.

Smith has stated that if these bridges are built and crossed together, he is optimistic about the next four years.

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