4th July

From 1776 to today: the technological revolution powers on

From the spinning jenny to AI technologies, America’s unwavering commitment to innovation continues to shine.

Back in 1776, the American colonies were on the edge of a political revolution. But another revolution was already under way: the First Industrial Revolution, where invention after invention transformed life and work. James Hargreaves’s spinning jenny, an automated spinning wheel, completely disrupted the “cottage industry” of home spinning wheels, sending masses of women into factory jobs for the first time. And the list goes on: the Franklin stove, bifocals, hot air balloons, and steam-powered mills.

241 years later, the age of invention continues, defined by innovations as diverse as robotics, flying cars, gene editing, even cloning. And the crown jewel of today’s Fourth Industrial Revolution: artificial intelligence, of course, a technology poised to reinvent, transform, and disrupt practically every aspect of our lives. Ben Franklin would approve.

Rapid and inspired innovation, an explosion in productivity, and the transformation of everyday life and work—the world of 1776 set off a technological revolution that powers on. 
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