Cook has criticized U.S. President Donald Trump's policies but offered only a gentle joke at the president's expense on Friday, telling students it is obvious they have taken over Trump's Twitter account. "I'm concerned about humans becoming computers without compassion".
Unlike Jobs, who famously dropped out of college, Cook earned a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Auburn University in 1982. He described his own long struggle to answer the big questions: "Where's all this going". He was lost, he said.
"Most of the time [technology] is a force for good", Cook said.
He also said that although Apple's systems are end-to-end encrypted, there is still information technology companies can send over to help investigations in the form of metadata. He previously served as chief operating officer and headed the Macintosh division.
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"Cook said that technology can also be a contributor to the world's problems, bringing up his meeting with Pope Francis in 2016: "[The Pope] expressed a shared concern in a powerful new way, never has humanity had such power over itself, yet nothing ensures that it will be used wisely".
The insight into Cook's work with the United Kingdom government followed a reporter's question concerning the strength of Apple devices' privacy and security features. Cook, along with Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, and others, are expected to join what is seen as a continuation of a December meeting Trump held with technology leaders before his inauguration.
"And it takes all that we can do to do it and we don't think out users should have to think through all this stuff".
But through 15 years of career advancement, meditation, and religious and philosophical quests, Cook said, "nothing worked, and it was really tearing me apart".
Cook also added that he believed Apple was able to provide authorities with "some valuable information".
The homepage of the WWDC event site features an unattributed Jobs quote front-and-center, which Cook paraphrased on Friday.
Following the London Bridge terror attack, Prime Minister Theresa May said that technology companies must stop being a "safe space" for terror suspects.
"Sometimes the very technology that's meant to connect us, divides us", he said, adding: "Don't listen to trolls, and for God's sake, don't become one".