Issues

Innovation and Economic Growth

Researchers today are trying to understand how information technology affects innovation, productivity, and economic growth while studying the impact of political and legal ground rules. Academics featured here are looking at the potential to create jobs and keep policymakers aware of emerging trends in technology.

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Quotes

Trump’s Plan to Keep America First in AI

"Are they aware enough of its social impacts and thinking about the effects on society and how to address the problems it creates? That’s what we have to watch for." — Ryan Calo, Professor of Law, University of Washington


M. Ryan Calo
Source: Wired
February 11, 2019

Why Business Leaders Shouldn’t Have Blind Faith in AI

"I’ve seen companies blow hundreds of millions of dollars by letting engineers make decisions without the input of business people. Machine learning solves simple problems, but it is not sentient. And it struggles when applied to many business problems." — Susan Athey, Professor of Economics, Stanford Graduate School of Business


Susan Athey
Source: Fast Company
February 6, 2019

Tech Is Splitting the U.S. Work Force in Two

"The view that we should not worry about any of these things and follow technology to wherever it will go is insane. In the standard economic canon, the proposition that you can increase productivity and harm labor is bunkum." — Daron Acemoglu, Professor of Economics, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Daron Acemoglu
Source: The New York Times
February 4, 2019

Is that tweet from a human? N.J. lawmaker wants bots to identify themselves, but experts have concerns.

"So while on its face it doesn’t require someone to say who they are, as enforced it has that potential, and it creates a tool to unmask people just by calling them bots." — Ryan Calo, Professor of Law, University of Washington


M. Ryan Calo
Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
December 28, 2018

China Is Achieving AI Dominance by Relying on Young Blue-Collar Workers

The article explains how China is embracing a new type of work in order to be a world leader in artificial intelligence: the country relies on young “data labelers” who work eight hours a day processing massive amounts of data to feed algorithms and train automated systems. James Bessen, Boston University School of Law, is quoted.
James Bessen
Source: Motherboard
December 21, 2018

Our Pick of the Decade’s Eight Best Young Economists

The Economist names MIT’s Heidi Williams among "the decade's eight best young economists." Professor Williams is lauded for her pursuit of a "more rigorous understanding of technological progress in medicine and health care."


Heidi Williams
Source: The Economist
December 18, 2018

Big Tech Is Way Too Big

"There's been a profound change in the tech economy, and I think one that's very dangerous for the United States' economy. Right now, what we're seeing is a lack of innovation. A lack of starts. That's why I think it's important to have a shake-up of the industry every so often." — Tim Wu, Professor of Law, Columbia University


Tim Wu
Source: CNN
December 17, 2018

Facial Recognition Has to Be Regulated to Protect the Public, Says AI Report

"It’s time to regulate facial recognition and affect recognition. Claiming to ‘see’ into people’s interior states is neither scientific nor ethical." — Kate Crawford, Distinguished Research Professor, New York University


Kate Crawford
Source: MIT’s Technology Review
December 6, 2018

Facebook Increasingly Reliant on A.I. To Predict Suicide Risk

"The way it would happen would be we would take something that everybody agrees is terrible — something like suicide, which is epidemic, something like child pornography, something like terrorism — so these early things, and then if they show promise in these sectors, we broaden them to more and more things. And that's a concern." — Ryan Calo, Professor of Law, University of Washington


M. Ryan Calo
Source: NPR’s All Things Considered
November 17, 2018

Manufacturers Say Their Worker Shortage Is Getting Worse. Here’s Why

"We’re undergoing rapid technological change, and there just aren’t people with certain skills out there, so it’s hard for firms and manufacturers to hire people with the skills to handle the technology." — James Bessen, Law Lecturer, Boston University


James Bessen
Source: PBS Newshour
November 16, 2018
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TAP Blog

Erik Brynjolfsson and Kate Crawford Share Thoughts on President Trump’s “American AI Initiative”

Artificial intelligence scholars Erik Brynjolfsson (MIT) and Kate Crawford (AI Now Institute) react to last week’s Executive Order outlining President Trump’s plan to support the development of artificial intelligence technology.

TAP Staff Blogger

Fact Sheets

Innovation

Innovation is a word used to describe new ideas and inventions that have impact – impact to consumers, to markets, to industries, to the economy as a whole, and even to society and culture.

Featured Article

Internet Architecture and Innovation

This book analyzes the architecture of the internet, how it fosters innovation, and what that suggests for the future.

By: Barbara van Schewick