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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As facial-recognition technology grows, so does wariness about privacy. Use at a school in Seattle fuels debate.

"Those with unfettered access to your data, and especially those whose usage of your own data you cannot inquire about or limit, have power over you." — Alessandro Acquisti, Professor of Information Technology and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

Alessandro Acquisti
Source: The Seattle Times
September 28, 2018

The Always-On Police Camera

"Facial recognition is probably the most menacing, dangerous surveillance technology ever invented. We should all be extremely skeptical of having it deployed in any wearable technology, particularly in contexts [where] the surveilled are so vulnerable, such as in many contexts involving law enforcement." — Woodrow Hartzog, Professor of Law and Computer Science, Northeastern University

Woodrow Hartzog
Source: The Atlantic
September 26, 2018

IBM Has Invented Coffee Drones – and They Predict When You Need a Cup

"It's a combination of technology that is ready for prime time and technology that clearly is not ready for prime time. It's a drone that flies coffee around. It's going to be hard, cross referencing all these (factors) ... Why not use a land-based cart?" — Ryan Calo, Professor of Law, University of Washington

M. Ryan Calo
Source: CNBC
August 22, 2018

Massachusetts Gives Workers New Protections Against Noncompete Clauses

"Employee mobility spreads knowledge of new technology around. More people can learn and adopt the technology." — James Bessen, Economist, Boston University

James Bessen
Source: Ars Technica
August 21, 2018

Artificial Intelligence Will Replace Tasks, Not Jobs

"Tasks within jobs typically show considerable variability in 'suitability for machine learning' while few -- if any -- jobs can be fully automated using machine learning. Machine learning technology can transform many jobs in the economy, but full automation will be less significant than the re-engineering of processes and the reorganization of tasks." — Erik Brynjolfsson, Professor of Economics, MIT Sloan School of Management

Erik Brynjolfsson
Source: Forbes
August 14, 2018

In America, Immigrants Really Do Get The Job Done

"One out of every 11 patents developed in the United States today is either invented or co-invented by an individual of Chinese or Indian ethnicity living in the San Francisco Bay Area." — William Kerr, Professor of Business Administration, Harvard University

William R. Kerr
Source: Forbes
August 1, 2018

The Future of Work: Will Robots Take My Job?

"Automation is almost always about automating a task, not the entire job." — James Bessen, Economist, Boston University

James Bessen
Source: Knowable Magazine
July 28, 2018

What the Russia Hack Indictments Reveal About Bitcoin

"Yet what makes Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies appealing to criminals also limits their usefulness to them. Bitcoin transaction records helped investigators find the Russian agents under indictment." — Kevin Werbach, Professor of Legal Studies & Business Ethics, University of Pennsylvania

Kevin Werbach
Source: The New York Times
July 22, 2018

Bots of the Internet, Reveal Yourselves!

"Political commentary comes in different forms. Imagine a concerned citizen sets up a bot to criticize a particular official for failing to act on climate change. Now say that official runs for re-election. Is the concerned citizen now in violation of California law?" — Ryan Calo, Professor of Law, University of Washington

M. Ryan Calo
Source: The New York Times
July 16, 2018

Unmasking A.I.'s Bias Problem

The most powerful algorithms being used today "haven’t been optimized for any definition of fairness. They have been optimized to do a task." — Deirdre Mulligan, Associate Professor in the School of Information, University of California, Berkeley

Deirdre Mulligan
Source: Fortune
June 25, 2018
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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.

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Featured Article

Innovation, Reallocation and Growth

The authors use a model to suggest which sorts of industrial subsidies encourage growth.

By: Daron Acemoglu, Nicholas Bloom, Ufuk Akcigit, William R. Kerr