The factory of a Chinese carmaker in the southern city of Zhaoqing touts 100 per cent automation for the installation of car bodies at its welding workshops, with over 200 robotic arms. Firms tend to overinvest in automation to increase the return to capital and managers, at the expense of employees. Photo: SCMP Pictures The factory of a Chinese carmaker in the southern city of Zhaoqing touts 100 per cent automation for the installation of car bodies at its welding workshops, with over 200 robotic arms. Firms tend to overinvest in automation to increase the return to capital and managers, at the expense of employees. Photo: SCMP Pictures
The factory of a Chinese carmaker in the southern city of Zhaoqing touts 100 per cent automation for the installation of car bodies at its welding workshops, with over 200 robotic arms. Firms tend to overinvest in automation to increase the return to capital and managers, at the expense of employees. Photo: SCMP Pictures
Dani Rodrik
Opinion

Opinion

Dani Rodrik

From AI to medical research, why innovation must not be left to innovators alone

  • The innovation agenda has been captured by narrow groups of investors and firms whose values and interests don’t necessarily reflect society’s needs
  • The public sector provides the essential social, legal and educational infrastructure that sustains private R&D and can thus help ensure innovation mirrors social priorities

The factory of a Chinese carmaker in the southern city of Zhaoqing touts 100 per cent automation for the installation of car bodies at its welding workshops, with over 200 robotic arms. Firms tend to overinvest in automation to increase the return to capital and managers, at the expense of employees. Photo: SCMP Pictures The factory of a Chinese carmaker in the southern city of Zhaoqing touts 100 per cent automation for the installation of car bodies at its welding workshops, with over 200 robotic arms. Firms tend to overinvest in automation to increase the return to capital and managers, at the expense of employees. Photo: SCMP Pictures
The factory of a Chinese carmaker in the southern city of Zhaoqing touts 100 per cent automation for the installation of car bodies at its welding workshops, with over 200 robotic arms. Firms tend to overinvest in automation to increase the return to capital and managers, at the expense of employees. Photo: SCMP Pictures
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Dani Rodrik

Dani Rodrik

Dani Rodrik, a professor of international political economy at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, is the author of Straight Talk on Trade: Ideas for a Sane World Economy.