Technological advances in data collection, data science, artificial intelligence, and communications systems are ushering in a new era in which digital agents, operated through algorithms, replace human choice with regard to many transactions and actions. While algorithms are given assignments, they autonomously determine how to carry them out. Indeed, scientists envision a near future “where humans do less thinking when it comes to the small decisions that make up daily life.” This technological change is facilitated by advantages algorithms offer, including speed, lower transaction costs, less bias, and efficiency in decision-making. Furthermore, artificial intelligence coupled with the analysis of big data enables algorithms to make more sophisticated and informed choices. At the same time, algorithms may create risks to social welfare.
Given the exponential growth of the use of algorithms in the marketplace, a thorough analysis of their benefits and risks is necessary. Accordingly, this workshop seeks to facilitate an in-depth and intcomerdisciplinary discussion over three types of potential risks that some scholars identify:
(1) algorithms can facilitate coordination among suppliers as well as buyers;
(2) algorithms can facilitate price discrimination among different buyers, possibly even enabling some sellers to engage in perfect price discrimination; and
(3) algorithms create risks in our social sphere.
Participation by invitation only