With all the startups and new technologies popping up in the Silicon Valley, it may seem that the US is poised for a tech revolution. However, Swedish economist Fredrik Erixon doesn’t think we’re as innovative as we think.
DOE’s mission is critical to the nation’s security and prosperity, and includes managing the nation’s arsenal of nuclear weapons and reducing nuclear proliferation, coordinating the nation’s federal energy policy and functions, providing early-stage research and development for new technology, and helping key technologies overcome the “valley of death”--the gap between initial demonstration and commercialization--to help advance key industries.
For decades, the US Aircraft Carrier fleet has been hurling planes into the sky with the aid of steam. However, a new generation of ships are about to launch with the Electromagnetic Aircraft Launch System (EMALS). It’s been tested with weights and unmanned drones, but for the first time, a real fighter jet has been launched by the EMALS system on the USS Gerald R. Ford.
You might think the U.S. productivity slowdown is finally ending, but unfortunately the news isn’t as good as it first seems. Instead, we are specializing in a new and sadly necessary practice of what I call “defensive innovation.” Defensive innovation is when you create a new product or capability to protect yourself against an impending disaster, such as the worst scenarios for climate change.
Innovation is one of those words that can mean a lot of different things. Whether you’ve developed artificial intelligence software that can predict your schedule or just decided to put potato chips on a turkey sandwich (try it, seriously), innovation comes in all shapes and sizes. However, when it comes to the tech world, the word has a very specific meaning: your ability to disrupt your industry. And these cities house some of the most innovative people, companies, and attitudes in the entire world.
According to data from A.T. Kearney, innovation is easier to define than you might think. In their Global Cities Index, they ranked the cities of the world based on business activity, human capital, information exchange, cultural experience, and political engagement. And, with those metrics in mind, one clear winner shown through: New York City.
China wants to become a “premier global AI innovation center” by 2030. This plan seeks to redress current shortcomings and build up indigenous capabilities in innovation. The effort will include extensive government funding and investments, along with a focus on attracting and developing leading talent in AI.
The last few years have been inundated with major acquisitions, each creating buzz from within and beyond the business world. To name a few, in June of 2016, Microsoft acquired LinkedIn (which had already acquired online learning site Lynda.com the previous year). Fast forward to last month when Walmart announced it would buy Bonobos - a mostly-online men’s upscale clothing retailer - and Amazon announced it was set to buy Whole Foods Market.
For the last 35 years Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been promising much yet not delivering outside of the academic world. So what exactly is AI? There is actually a fair bit of confusion about even the definition of AI, and here I would like to take Gartner’s viewpoint, avoiding marketing terms like ‘cognitive’ in that AI stands for “Amazing Innovation”.
“The future is already here -- it’s just not very evenly distributed,” is an oft-repeated William Gibson line. (Especially by bloggers, I would imagine.) It’s an insight that may help explain the odd disconnect between innovation and productivity. If you look at the broad US economic growth and productivity statistics for the past decade -- actually a little longer -- it’s sort of like Silicon Valley doesn’t exist.