Toy robots

人化非人的未来

华盛顿—人工智能等划时代科技进步对经济和劳动力市场运行的影响将是一个长期的热门话题。但杰里·卡普兰(Jerry Kaplan)的新著《人类不需要申请:人工智能时代财富和工作指南》(Humans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligence)给我留下了深刻的印象。它讨论了社会经济成本的真正规模。

关于数字革命对市场运行的一个相对著名的例子是通过“领先”其他所有人一微秒赢得巨大回报的高速交易。另一个例子是Uber等新电子做市商的价格歧视能力,它们能够榨取微观经济理论中的每一分钱“消费者剩余”。要不了多久就用可能冒出新型的加强版Uber,将汽车、公交、轮船、飞机旅行和饭店服务集合到一个超级应用中。事实上,一些汽车制造商正在朝这个方向努力。

一个关键问题是为何好的旧竞争没有迅速吞噬这些利润。答案常常在于商业模式。公司通过大量贷款启动,累积大量固定成本,并且一开始以亏本的低价进入市场。这使得它们能够在几乎没有竞争的情况下扩张,直到建立起事实垄断。然后,它们开始提高价格,相对自由地实施价格歧视。

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