Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Saturday that pessimists forecasting that the economy will not reap sizable benefits from the computer revolution are likely to be proven wrong.
Bernanke told a college graduating class the long-range practical uses of innovations such as faster computers and the Internet are hard to predict. But he said inventors have only scratched the surface of commercial applications in such fields as medicine and clean energy.
Bernanke's remarks came at Bard College at Simon's Rock, a small liberal arts college in Great Barrington, Mass. His son Joel graduated from the school in 2006.
"We live on a planet that is becoming richer and more populous and in which not only the most advanced economies but also large emerging-market nations like China and India increasingly see their futures as tied to technological innovation," Bernanke said.
"The number of trained scientists and engineers is increasing rapidly, as are the resources for research being provided by universities, governments and the private sector," he said.
He told graduates the best way to succeed is to keep learning.
"During your working lives, you will have to reinvent yourselves many times," he said. "Success and satisfaction will not come from mastering a fixed body of knowledge but from constant adaptation and creativity in a rapidly changing world."