OECD Observer
Algorithmic improvement

The algorithmic society…I wonder what George Orwell would have thought about that? 

Artificial Intelligence can no doubt tell us the most efficient way of going from A to B; But it can’t define B for us i.e. where we want go. It is like productivity, which is nothing more than the way of getting more output for a unit of input. It doesn’t tell us what goods and services we should be producing to get to “better lives”. Ask Charlie Chaplin what Fordism did for better lives in “Modern Times”. The problem of the OECD is that economies and the technologies that drive them are means, not ends. That is what is changing the OECD ball game, indeed the global ball game. Hold your breath and look closely at the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)!

Ron Gass, commenting on “There’s an algorithm for that. Or there soon will be”, http://oecdinsights.org, May 2016

©OECD Observer No 307 Q3 2016