Can a superintelligence self-regulate and not destroy us?

One of the most compelling reasons why a superintelligent (i.e., way smarter than human), artificial intelligence (AI) may end up destroying us is the so-called paperclip apocalypse. Posited by Nick Bostrom, this involves some random engineer creating an AI with the goal of making paperclips. That AI then becomes superintelligent and in the single minded …

Facebook DOES NOT have a monopoly on the news

It is not even close. In this view (#expressyourunpopularopinion), I know that I find no agreement amongst my economist colleagues. Facebook is generally perceived to be a monopolist in something called the 'social network market.' The latest discussion of that comes in the Financial Times from Tim Harford. I rarely find myself in disagreement with …

The Safety Cost Savings for Autonomous Vehicles are Way Understated

For as long as I have been hearing about autonomous vehicles, I have been reading about potential lives saved if humans were no longer driving. 37,000 Americans died in car crashes last year and, in 2013, according to the World Health Organization, 1.25 million people died. These numbers seem high but given the amount of …

Netflix and Old Style TV

[This article was initially published in HBR Online on 19th October, 2017] Netflix hit the industry with some bombshell moves this month. First, it announced that it plans to spend $8 billion on original content next year (including on 80 new movies). This is far more than any other online player. Obviously, this is great …