Future of Technology - MIT

Future of Technology

Erik Brynjolfsson

Erik Brynjolfsson is a Professor of Information Technology, and the Director of the Center for Digital Business at MIT. Erik explores how advances in information technology contribute to business performance and change. He focuses on how the Internet and other digital technologies can help business. Brynjolfsson is assessing how investments in computers and networks alter economic growth, industry structure, and labor demand. Eric has as degrees from Harvard, and a PhD in managerial economics from MIT.

Erik shares how there are "amazing innovations in the pipeline." Below are highlights from the video produced by McKinsey and Company.

Big Data

Companies that are analyzing large volumes of data and creating more analytical management practices, are dramatically outperforming their competitors.


There have been big advances in vision and touch sensory systems, and other features, that have improved the capability and performance of robotics.

Google Self-Driving Car

The Google self-driving car is impressive. I felt "more secure in that car than I did riding with a typical Boston taxi driver."

Artificial Intelligence

There have been great advances in the use of artificial intelligence to answer questions. IBM’s Watson supercomputer can answer questions at call centers - on a whole variety of unexpected questions.

Man and Machine

We are now beginning to have the ability to talk to our computers and they understand us. There are limitations with speech recognition but the technology is advancing quickly.

Computers will be able to do more of what human's can do today. They will always have their limitations, but they can augment our capabilities. The most capable people in the future will be those they understand the strengths and weaknesses of computers and leverage the strengths in the best productive ways possible. There are several organizations attempting to create models and tools where people leverage computers to solve problems that couldn’t be solved in the past.

Productivity Paradox

Innovation and productivity are improving at a nice rate. The median worker in the US, however, has lower incomes today than in 1997. Employment to population ratios have dropped in the US and other developed countries around the world.

Historically, productivity and employment and median income have all grown together. We are in a new era. Technology is both creating jobs and destroying others. For instance, now less than 2% of the population work on farms. Jobs were lost, but, new technology related industries rose up. Henry Ford played a key role in developing the auto industry. Bill Gates and others helped to create the computer industry. People shifted their focus as the markets changed.

A goal of technological and economic progress is to create more value with less. The ongoing challenge for society is how to develop an economic system that changes as rapidly as our technology changes.

Eric on TedTalks

Future Prediction Articles

Future of Technology

By David Willden