Technology and Science

Foreign Affairs Article

The Robots Are Coming

Author: Daniela Rus

Robots have the potential to greatly improve the quality of our lives at home, at work, and at play. Customized robots working alongside people will create new jobs, improve the quality of existing jobs, and give people more time to focus on what they find interesting, important, and exciting.

See more in United States; Technology and Science

Foreign Affairs Article

The Next 
Safety Net

Authors: Nicolas Colin and Bruno Palier

As advanced economies become more automated and digitized, almost all workers will be affected, but some more than others. Those who have what the economists Maarten Goos and Alan Manning call “lovely jobs” will do fine, creating and managing robots and various digital applications and adding lots of value in service sectors such as finance.

See more in Global; Digital Infrastructure

Foreign Affairs Article

Drone On

Author: Gretchen West
In the beginning, drones were almost exclusively the province of militaries. At first little more than remote-controlled model planes used in the World War I era, military drones advanced steadily over the decades, eventually becoming sophisticated tools that could surveil battlefield enemies from the sky. Today, the terms “drone” and “unmanned aircraft system” denote a vehicle that navigates through the air from point A to point B and is either remotely controlled or flies autonomously.

See more in Global; Space

Foreign Affairs Article

The Democratization of Space

Authors: Dave Baiocchi and William Wesler IV

Starting with the Soviets’ launch of Sputnik in 1957, early space missions were funded exclusively by national governments, and for good reason: going to space was astronomically expensive. Setting up a successful space program meant making major investments in expertise and infrastructure, along with tolerating a great deal of risk—which only the superpowers could do.

See more in Global; Space

Foreign Affairs Article

The Nordic Model

Author: Niklas Zennstrom

A native of Jarfalla, Sweden, Niklas Zennstrom studied business, engineering physics, and computer science at Uppsala University and the University of Michigan. In the mid-1990s, while heading up the Danish division of the Swedish telecommunications firm Tele2, he hired Janus Friis to run customer support, and soon the two of them decided to collaborate as entrepreneurs.

See more in Europe; Innovation

Foreign Affairs Article

Start-Up Slowdown

Author: Robert Litan

Americans like to think of their country as a cradle of innovation. After all, the United States has produced many of the world’s finest entrepreneurs, from Andrew Carnegie and Henry Ford to Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg.

See more in Global; Innovation

Foreign Affairs Article

As Objects Go Online

Authors: Neil Gershenfeld and JP Vasseur

Since 1969, when the first bit of data was transmitted over what would come to be known as the Internet, that global network has evolved from linking mainframe computers to connecting personal computers and now mobile devices.

See more in Global; Technology and Science