Toy robots

Humanizar un futuro inhumano

WASHINGTON, DC – El impacto que los avances tecnológicos innovadores tendrán en el funcionamiento de nuestras economías y mercados laborales, como por ejemplo el impacto de la inteligencia artificial, ha sido un tema candente desde hace mucho tiempo. Pero, el libro recientemente publicado de Jerry KaplanHumans Need Not Apply: A Guide to Wealth and Work in the Age of Artificial Intelligenceha hecho que realmente me dé cuenta de la verdadera magnitud de los aspectos socioeconómicos que están en juego.

Un ejemplo relativamente bien conocido del impacto que la revolución digital tiene sobre el funcionamiento de los mercados es la capacidad de obtener enormes ganancias en negociaciones de alta frecuencia, al situarse un microsegundo “por delante” de todos los demás. Otro ejemplo es la capacidad de discriminación de precios gracias a los creadores de nuevos mercados electrónicos como Uber, que mediante estos mercados asignan cada centavo del antiguo “excedente del consumidor” de la teoría microeconómica. Pronto un nuevo tipo de Uber mejorado podría surgir, integrando servicios de viajes en vehículos, buses, barcos y aviones, así como habitaciones de hotel, en una “súper-app”. De hecho, en la actualidad algunos fabricantes de automóviles están trabajando exactamente en eso.

Una pregunta clave que se debe formular es por qué las formas de competencia tradicional no recortan rápidamente estas ganancias. La respuesta se encuentra a menudo en el modelo de negocios. Las empresas piden prestado mucho para poner en marcha sus actividades, acumulan grandes costos fijos y ofrecen precios tan bajos al principio que pierden dinero. Esto les permite expandir sus negocios en una manera que es prácticamente libre de competencia, hasta establecer lo que es, esencialmente, un monopolio. En ese momento, pueden subir sus precios y participar en la discriminación de precios con relativa libertad.

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