About us

We are an interdisciplinary group at MIT that studies the foundations of progress in computing: what are the most important trends, how do they underpin economic prosperity, and how can we harness them to sustain and promote productivity growth.

Our mission

Economic growth is underpinned by advances in computing: miniaturization of integrated circuits, the discovery and refinement of algorithms, and the diffusion of software computing systems. Advances deliver productivity growth and enable scientific and technological progress. But recent shifts (such as the fading of Moore's law) threaten these gains and so research is needed to understand the economic implications of trends in computing and how these are changing. Importantly, these trends need to be tied back to their effects on productivity growth and societal prosperity.

By drawing on computer science, economics and management, we aim to identify and understand trends in computing that create opportunities for (or pose risks to) our ability to sustain economic growth. Our goal is to understand and identify levers of influence that enable leaders in computing, scientific funding bodies, and policymakers to better promote the computational foundations of prosperity. We run seminars and conferences to better connect the field of computer scientists, economists and innovation scholars to build a thriving global research community.

Our impact

Our research has been published in leading journals and conferences, including Science, Nature Communications, Communications of the ACM, IEEE Spectrum, and many more. Our research has been covered by the Washington Post, Nature, Wired, VentureBeat, HPCWire, The Guardian, The Economist, IEEE Spectrum, and many others.

We also advise governments, nonprofits and industry, including via National Academies panels on transformational technologies and scientific reliability, the Council on Competitiveness’ National Commission on Innovation and Competitiveness Frontiers, and the National Science Foundation’s National Network for Critical Technology Assessment.

Our Funders

The FutureTech project is supported by grants from Open Philanthropy, the National Science Foundation, Accenture, IBM, the MIT-Air Force AI accelerator, and the MIT Lincoln Laboratory.