Artificial Intelligence, Economics, and Industrial Organization
Machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) have been around for many years. However, in the last 5 years, remarkable progress has been made using multilayered neural networks in diverse areas such as image recognition, speech recognition, and machine translation. AI is a general purpose technology that is likely to impact many industries. In this chapter I consider how machine learning availability might affect the industrial organization of both firms that provide AI services and industries that adopt AI technology. My intent is not to provide an extensive overview of this rapidly-evolving area, but instead to provide a short summary of some of the forces at work and to describe some possible areas for future research.
I am a full time employee of Google, LLC, a private company. I am also an emeritus professor at UC Berkeley. Carl Shapiro and I started drafting this chapter with the goal of producing a joint work. Unfortunately, Carl became very busy and had to drop out of the project. I am grateful to him for the time he was able to put in. I also would like to thank Judy Chevalier and the participants of the NBER Economics of AI conference in Toronto, Fall 2017. The views expressed herein are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.
Artificial Intelligence, Economics, and Industrial Organization, Hal Varian. in The Economics of Artificial Intelligence: An Agenda, Agrawal, Gans, and Goldfarb. 2019