Bret Swanson

Bret Swanson

Bret Swanson is a Visiting Fellow at AEI's Center for Internet, Communications, and Technology Policy and president of Entropy Economics LLC, a strategic research firm specializing in technology, innovation, and the global economy. He advises investors and technology companies, focusing on the Internet ecosystem and the broadband networks and applications that drive it. Swanson is also a scholar at the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation, where, since 2005, his research has centered on economic growth and policies that encourage it. For eight years Swanson advised technology investors as executive editor of the Gilder Technology Report and later was a senior fellow at the Progress & Freedom Foundation, where he directed the Center for Global Innovation. Swanson began his career as an aide to former senator Richard Lugar (R-IN) and was then an economic analyst for former representative Jack Kemp (R-NY) at Empower America.
The world's top Go player Lee Sedol and Demis Hassabis, the developer of AlphaGO, pose for photographs with the go board used for the Google DeepMind Challenge Match in Seoul, South Korea, on March 15, 2016. REUTERS

Google, Go, Gelernter, and the future of artificial intelligence

When the computer AlphaGo defeated Lee Sedol — who is perhaps the world’s top Go player — by a match score of 4-1 last week, Google’s DeepMind division showed that artificial intelligence (AI) is beginning to deliver on some of its promises. Go is an Asian board game far more complex than chess, and it has been viewed as the last great game challenge for AI. When DeepMind set out to conquer Go, some people thought the project would take 10 years. In fact, it only took the team about one year.

Regulation by narrative, Part III: The set-top box diversion

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has continued its campaign to regulate as much of the digital economy as possible before the next election. As usual, its regulations are guided by a superficial ring-true narrative with little underlying analysis. The supposed target this time is cable TV set-top boxes, and the stated goal is to give consumers more choices. The real objective, however, is to remold the structure of the entire video market.

Regulation by narrative, Part II: Opposing usage-based pricing means opposing all commerce

In a recent blog, I described the increasing reliance by regulatory agencies on narratives, instead of careful analysis, to make policy. Such a narrative was the key driver of the Federal Communication Commission’s (FCC’s) 2015 imposition of telephone-era rules on the Internet in the name of net neutrality.

Regulation by narrative, Part I: How to turn the Internet into a monopoly

In a recent talk summarizing a new paper, Tim Brennan — who was chief economist of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) at the height of the net neutrality wars — called the agency’s 2015 Open Internet Order an “economics free zone.” That was a nice way of saying the new regulations were driven by a narrative, not by real analysis.

Innovation: Can the good news of 2015 continue in the new year?

Technology once again provided much-needed good news in a year otherwise filled with tension and tumult. Moore’s law, the exponential trend of silicon chip scaling, turned 50 and continued to propel firms in numerous industries across the globe.