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.

AI anxiety: Do intelligent technological “demons” spell dawn or doom?

Is technology, and thus the economy, stagnating? Or is technology moving so fast that we need to slow it down, lest it devour us? It’s an intriguing, if dissonant, debate, highlighted once again last week, this time by Tesla and SpaceX founder Elon Musk. “With artificial intelligence,” Musk warned, “we’re summoning the demon.” It was a brief comment in response to an audience question at an MIT aerospace event, but Musk’s manner, which turned solemn when asked about AI, showed just how seriously smart people are taking the idea of an AI threat to humanity. “I’m increasingly inclined to think that there should be some regulatory oversight,” Musk said, “maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish.”

Will Apple Pay be the technology that finally disrupts the banking sector?

Before and after Apple’s big September event, the headlines heavily featured the larger iPhone 6s and the new Apple Watch. The more people thought about it, however, largest looming may have been the announcement of Apple Pay. But why? We’ve talked about mobile payments for years. Lots of start-ups and consortiums of big firms are working on it. Perhaps Apple will streamline the system and really, finally jumpstart the mobile pay movement. But is...

The $3 iPhone

Later today, Apple CEO Tim Cook will unveil two new iPhones, a new iOS 8 operating system, and possibly the long-anticipated iWatch.

Based on reports and rumors, the iPhone 6 could feature a new 2.0 gigahertz dual-core A8processor, a first-ever sapphire crystal screen, a 13-megapixel camera, up to 128 gigabytes of flash memory, and a new Qualcomm LTE wireless modem that supports data speeds of up to 150 megabits per second in a 20 megahertz...

Innovation by Shutterstock

More disruption, please

Harvard historian Jill Lepore says the “gospel” of disruptive innovation, made famous by her Harvard colleague Clayton Christensen, is wrong. Worse, she wrote earlier this summer in the New Yorker, the very “idea of innovation is the idea of progress stripped of the aspirations of the Enlightenment, scrubbed clean of the horrors of the twentieth century.” Who knew Professor Christensen’s studies of disk drives and...

CloserLook by Shutterstock

A closer look: Netflix, Mozilla, and Title II

Two of the most prominent and forceful advocates of new Internet regulation are Netflix, the movie and TV-show streaming firm, and Mozilla, maker of the Firefox web browser. Last week, they filed comments in the FCC’s Open Internet proceeding. Though differing on a few details, each organization has proposed regulating the Internet as a Title II monopoly telephone service. We admire both organizations for their innovative contributions to the digital universe. Because they are leading the charge for the government to oversee the Internet as never before, however, it is important to understand — and to refute, where warranted — their positions. Here we select and scrutinize just a few of the technical and economic arguments and assertions from their FCC comments.