Artificial Intelligence And Big Data: Good For Innovation?
— September 7, 2017
By Robert Seamans
The most dramatic advances in AI are coming from a data-intensive technique known as machine learning. Machine learning requires lots of data to create, test and “train” the AI. Thus, as AI is becoming more important to the economy, so too is data. The Economisthighlighted the important role of data in a recent cover story in which it stated “the world’s most valuable resource is no longer oil, but data.” In this sense, both the ability to obtain data about customers, together with the ability to program AI to analyze the data, have become important tools businesses use to compete against each other, and against potential entrants.
A potential entrant that lacks access to good data faces substantial hurdles, and this has led some regulators to question the extent to which control over data creates barriers to entry. For example, in December 2015 FTC Commissioner Terrell McSweeney asked: “Can one company controlling vast amounts of data possess a kind of market power that creates a barrier to entry?” This is a worry, because if barriers to entry are too high, entrants will not enter, established firms will not feel competitive pressures, and innovation may suffer. Thus, in March 2017 CFPB Director Richard Cordray noted: “We recognize that data access makes it possible to realize the many benefits of competition and innovation.”
Read the full article as published by Forbes.
Robert Seamans is an Associate Professor of Management and Organizations.