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The key to growth? Race with the machines
Erik Brynjolfsson explains that technological advancements, solely, cannot lead to the growth and productivity of the second industrial revolution because of its decoupling from jobs. There are improvements of technology in various fields of the industrial revolution that are not beneficial to the productivity growth within the industries. Incorporation of electricity in American industries igniting the second industrial revolution and manufacturing could not elevate the productivity of the industries for nearly 30 years. Electricity is an example of a general-purpose technology that improves economic growth because of diversification of innovations, industrial redesigning and reinventions of production processes.
The general-purpose technology of current age is computer technology with vast speed and intelligence to advance industrial growth because of its versatility. Brynjolfsson asserts that, despite all the technological knowledge and improvements, technology alone is incapable to steer the development of industrial productivity. He advocates that people should shape their destinies in production processes by venturing in redesigning and reinventions processes. Productivity has increased and the world income grown at a faster rate in the past decade than ever in history. All the technological advancements understated individual progress because the new machine age is more about knowledge creation than the physical production in industries.
Back in history, American factories started to electrify their operations, hence prompting the second industrial revolution. Remarkably, there was no significant improvement in productivity rate for a long duration because of poor production structure by the managers. The first set of industries subsidized steam engines with electric motors but they did not redesign the factories to enjoy the full advantages of electronic flexibility. Lack of reinvention by past generation managers for bringing new and updated industrial techniques yielded no fruits because of insufficient human machine intervention. Growth is not dead, but there are intelligent individuals who argue that the world has reached its end.
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