It is far from clear that requiring payments for data makes sense

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. Of …

A limit to Bitcoin scale?

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, of course, Bitcoin. It is an incredibly clear issue so I figured I would recount it here. …

A Simple Tool to Start Making Decisions with the Help of AI

(by Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb); originally published in HBR Online 17 April 2018. There is no shortage of hot takes regarding the significant impact that artificial intelligence (AI) is going to have on business in the near future. Much less has been written about how, exactly, companies should get started with it. In …

Prediction Machines

My book with Ajay Agrawal and Avi Goldfarb is out now. It is called Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence. We have written some pieces that provide little excursions into the book. "A Simple Tool to Start Making Decisions with AI," HBR Online, 17 April 2018. "Make sure AI is right for your business …