Innovation pessimism_ Has the ideas machine broken down_ _ The Economist

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Unformatted text preview: mbined. The other side of the sky As an ex ample of this ac c eleration­of­effec t they offer autonomous v ehic les . In 2004 the Defenc e Adv anc ed Res earc h Projec ts Agenc y (DARPA), a branc h of Americ a’s Department of Defenc e, s et up a rac e for driv erles s c ars that promis ed $1 million to the team whos e v ehic le finis hed the 240k m (150­mile) route fas tes t. Not one of the robotic entrants c ompleted the c ours e. In Augus t 2012 Google announc ed that its fleet of autonomous v ehic les had c ompleted s ome half a million k ilometres of ac c ident­free tes t runs . Sev eral Americ an s tates hav e pas s ed or are weighing regulations for driv erles s c ars ; a robotic ­trans port rev olution that s eemed impos s ible ten y ears ago may be here in ten more. That only s c ratc hes the s urfac e. Ac ros s the board, innov ations fuelled by c heap proc es s ing power are tak ing off. Computers are beginning to unders tand natural language. People are c ontrolling v ideo games through body mov ement alone—a tec hnology that may s oon find applic ation in muc h of the bus ines s world. Three­dimens ional printing is c apable of c hurning out an inc reas ingly c omplex array of objec ts , and may s oon mov e on to human tis s ues and other organic material. www.e c onomist.c om/ne ws/br ie f ing/21569381- ide a - innova tion- a nd- ne w- te c hnology- ha ve - stoppe d- dr iving- gr owth- ge tting- inc r e a sing 5/8 1/31/13 I nnova tion pe ssimism: Ha s the ide a s ma c hine br oke n down? | The Ec onomist An innov ation pes s imis t c ould dis mis s this as “jam tomorrow”. But the idea that tec hnology ­led growth mus t either c ontinue unabated or s teadily dec line, rather than ebbing and flowing, is at odds with his tory . Chad Sy v ers on of the Univ ers ity of Chic ago points out that produc tiv ity growth during the age of elec trific ation was lumpy . Growth was s low during a period of important elec tric al innov ations in the late 19th...
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This document was uploaded on 02/16/2014 for the course MGMT 237 at UPenn.

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