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IDE Director Examines GDP, Digital Economy

August 2, 2018

The recently announced second-quarter U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) rise of 4.1 percent is impressive, but it’s not the primary reason for economic optimism.

In a July 26 opinion piece in the Financial Times, MIT IDE Director Erik Brynjolfsson, writes that GDP growth “bounces around a lot: it was just 2.6 percent in the first quarter. What’s more, about half a percent of the current growth is likely to be due to the temporary stimulus of the deficit-financed tax bill. That is not sustainable.”

Brynjolfsson says a deeper cause for optimism is more fundamental: Advances in machine learning, “will fuel a productivity and growth surge — not just in the U.S. but around the world.”

The full article with Brynjolfsson’s explanation of the impact of ML on economic growth and productivity is accessible by subscription only.

Read the research paper on this topic here.
 

Brynjolfsson was also interviewed recently by the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), in India, in a wide-ranging conversation about AI and the digital economy. Read the full interview here.