1945

Managing the risks of technological change

Every technological advance brings potential benefits and risks, some of which are not easy to predict. The benefits of technologies can be far greater than what their creators foresaw. When Guglielmo Marconi invented the radio in 1895, he intended it for two-way private communication, not for broadcasting. Today the transistor is heralded as one of the most significant inventions ever—but on its invention in 1947 foreseers could think of few uses beyond developing better hearing aids for deaf people. In the 1940s IBM thought that the market for computers would never amount to more than a few unit sales a year.

Related Subject(s): Economic and Social Development
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