At Chicago Booth, there is a panel of famous economists who are posed various economics forecasting and policy questions and you can see which way the economic winds are blowing. The IGM Panel has been running successfully for a few years now.
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Vitalik Buterin posted a set of slides from a recent talk he apparently gave on “Transaction Cost Economics.” I didn’t see the talk but inferred some interesting take-a-ways from the slides that were worth noting.
Blockchain is one of several technologies du jour. It combines clever methods from peer-to-peer decentralized computing to provide an online tracing function for virtual transactions, and, once someone sets it up, it requires minimal intervention from a central auditor. While Bitcoin is the most well-known application of this innovative computer science, verification of authenticity and identity are key functions for many transactions.
News coverage of automation and machine learning tends to focus on extraordinary events, such as computers winning at Jeopardy and Go, and robotic arms flipping burgers in short-order restaurants. Additional headlines foster a sense of nightmares, conjuring pictures of autonomous cars killing pedestrians and newly automated establishments laying off their workforce.
A company called curio.io offered to take certain posts on Digitopoly and have a professional narrator read them. I have heard that many people like audio versions of written stuff and so was happy to let them at it. Their first post is below.
It is very easy to posit a sense of exploitation when it comes to data. Try this for size: “Networks are relying on data by individuals but they aren’t being paid and this is making those networks profitable.” Substitute “plantations” for “networks,” “labour” for “data,” and “individuals” for “slaves” and you get the picture.
Eric Budish has a new paper out on “The Economic Limits of the Blockchain.” He demonstrates a potentially fundamental contradiction at the heart of ‘proof of work’ schemes to support cryptocurrencies — the most famous of which is,
Google started its annual I/O conference yesterday. It was packed full of AI applications showing that Google really is going ‘AI First.’ It even changed its research arm name from Google Research to Google AI.
But perhaps the most draw dropping demonstration was when Google used an AI to make calls and book appointments. I strongly recommend you spend 5 minutes and watch this.
That was the topic of a panel I was involved in at the Chicago Booth Annual Antitrust Conference last week. One thing you get from a Chicago panel is a diverse range of opinions. The panel was motivated by an article in the Yale Law Journal by Lina Khan written when she was a student and, having heard her speak now, she has ‘future politician’ written all over her.