Productivity

The Nonsense of Techno-Exponentialism

May 10, 2014
| Blogs & Op-eds

“Techno-exponentialism,” the idea that current innovations are evolving explosively and increasing societal change as never before, has gone viral with the claim being made at every third TED talk, on the pages of mainstream publications and even on web sites of leading companies. There’s only one problem: the rate of change is not speeding up, certainly not exponentially. 

How Important Is Digital Technology to Our Economic Future?

April 22, 2014

In an interview with Economic Assessments, Rob Atkinson discussed the central role of technology in enhancing productivity, economic development and job growth.

In 2012, overall productivity rates in India stood at just 10 percent of U.S. levels and significantly trailed those of most peer developing countries, including Brazil, Russia, China, and Malaysia.

Productivity is a central measure of the innovation and technical capacity of a nation and has a direct impact on the ability to compete in the increasingly high tech, global marketplace. India should abandon its current focus on innovation mercantilist policies and adopt a pro-growth strategy that can raise across the board productivity and enhance innovation-based competitiveness. This is the best way to promote long term economic and job growth. 

Choosing A Future: "The Second Machine Age" Review

April 4, 2014
| Reports

In Issues in Science and Technology, Atkinson reviews "The Second Machine Age" by MIT professors Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee. "The Second Machine Age" is the latest example of a wave of “innovation optimist” writing that holds that technological change is accelerating, leading to vast new innovations and profound transformation.  But Atkinson argues that the evidence does not warrant such utopianism. Moreover, the authors’ continued fanning of the flames of neo-Luddite fears of wide-scale job loss from innovation not only are not borne out by history or analysis, they encourage the public and policy makers to want to slow, rather than accelerate innovation. 

Tech Fear-Mongering Must Stop

March 26, 2014
| Blogs & Op-eds

Belief in progress has been a key factor in the success of the American experiment. However, unwarranted fears of technology being raised by an increasingly vocal group of neo-Luddites threatens our economy and society. 

Right Time to Step Towards a Self-Service Society

Singapore Today
ITIF estimates that the cost for an online banking transaction is only $0.25, a fraction of the $5.39 per transaction at a physical bank branch.

Can Google's Robots Build a New Future for US Manufacturing?

The Verge
The real choice is between continued erosion of our manufacturing capabilities or a more revolutionary transformation through technology.

Robots Are Not the Problem

February 4, 2014
| Blogs & Op-eds

Despite the claims of many Luddites, automation and technology promote business development and international competitiveness, raising employment in the long run. To create the right economic policy framework, we need to overcome the simplistic fears of robots stealing our jobs and focus on the broader needs of an innovation and technology based economy.

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