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The theory of technological parasitism for the measurement of the evolution of technology and technological forecasting

Mario Coccia ()

Technological Forecasting and Social Change, 2019, vol. 141, issue C, 289-304

Abstract: How to measure the evolution of technology in order to predict innovations that grow rapidly? This study suggests a new perspective based on the theory of technological parasitism, which can measure and assess the dynamics of technological evolution for technological forecasting. In particular, the evolution of technology is modelled here in terms of interaction between a host technology (system) and a parasitic technology (subsystem). The coefficient of evolutionary growth of the model here indicates the evolution of parasitic technology in relation to host technology, suggesting the evolutionary pathway of overall system of technology over time (i.e., underdevelopment, growth and development). This approach is illustrated with realistic examples using empirical data of of product and process technologies: farm tractor, freight locomotive, electricity generation and smartphone technology. Overall, then, the proposed model, based on the theory of technological parasitism, can be useful for bringing a new perspective to explain and generalize properties of the evolution of technology and predict which innovations are likely to evolve rapidly in society.

Keywords: Measurement of technology; Technometrics; Technological evolution; Technological change; Coevolution; Nature of technology; Host technology; Parasitic technology; Technological parasitism; Technological innovation; Technological forecasting; Technology assessment; Technological progress (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: O30 O31 O32 O33 O38 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2019
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