Ali Velshi, chief business correspondent for CNN and forum moderator. Photo by Tom Sullivan.

Ali Velshi, chief business correspondent for CNN and forum moderator. Photo by Tom Sullivan.

even if we did want to retrain them, we don’t actually have a system by which we do that.”

Peter Diamandis, chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, agreed that the United States has seen the collapse of key industries, especially in manufacturing. But he added that in recent years we also have seen the “seemingly overnight creation of billion-dollar industries.” He pointed to seven technology areas that are now or soon will be in periods of exponential growth: artificial intelligence, robotics, nanotechnology, ubiquitous computing networks, medicine and the human-machine interface, biotechnology and bioinformatics, and alternative energy and production systems. The important question, Diamandis said, is where these technologies will be developed and commercialized. As a historical example, he cited the contrasting experiences of St. Louis and Chicago. In 1904, when St. Louis hosted a world’s fair, it was the fourth largest city in the United States, largely because it was on the Mississippi River and at the center of the riverboat industry. But as railroads began to take business away from steamboats, St. Louis did not embrace the new technology to the extent that Chicago did. Today,



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