President George Washington knew that invention and innovation were key to American growth. He urged Congress to pass a patent statute where "there is nothing which can better deserve your patronage than the promotion of science." In 1790 the first patent statute was passed and the United States leadership in industrial innovation began.
Almost two centuries later, President John F. Kennedy said in an address to the Irish Parliament in 1963 "The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were."
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Larry Kilham is a Sloan School of Management graduate from MIT, received three patents, and has founded two high-tech companies. Many of his product designs required innovative use of computers, and as early as the 1960s he was researching artificial intelligence (AI).