Artificial intelligence, big data, platform capitalism and public policy: An evolutionary perspective

Please cite the paper as:
Marc Jacquinet, (2019), Artificial intelligence, big data, platform capitalism and public policy: An evolutionary perspective, World Economics Association (WEA) Conferences, No. 1 2019, Going Digital, 15th November to 16th December, 2019


The present paper aims to discuss the change in political economy when considering the new context and complexity of social, environmental and economic issues today, and more recently all the debates around artificial intelligence, big data and platform capitalism. First, it is important that the reflection be situated in the new and latest phase of transformation of the capitalist system, either globally or locally. Second, the convergence between artificial intelligence, big data, computer science and platforms is not fortuitous and there is more than buzzwords, but new real economic processes emerging. Third, the evolutionary perspective adopted here is based on complexity theory and the recent developments in the study of innovation, technological change and institutions, from a rather heterodox view mixed with economic history. Fourth, the historical dimension of change and the need to adopt a long view of historical processes, namely because of uncertainty, ignorance and constraints on economic agents. Finally, the problem of framing political issues and measures is tackled and is related to the level of complexity of what is at stake with the digital transformation of capitalist economies and different types of democratic societies.


  • Bin Li says:

    ICT impacts not only the real economy or society, but also economics, humanities and social sciences, including Political Economy. As human minds were treated as entities or “substantials” as physical objects, in the way by Algorithm Framework Theory, any eco-social changes would be theoretically not surprising, although analysts need further to observe, analyze, simulate and forecast them, competing with practitioners, and examining their foreseeability. Both Political Economy and Evolutionary Economics can be synthesized into the Algorithmic Economics (or Algorithmic Social Science), which takes the evolution of thought as its hardcore. Thanks.

  • Bin Li says:

    In order to calrify the “Algorithmic Instance”, for example, big data is not a new problem as long as “data” was deemed a kind of economic object. Data, whatever big or small, support, constraint and shape economic activities all the time. The platform capitalism, or the sharing economy, can be found always existent, whenever in old, current or future times, as long as the Bounded Rationality is “ALgorithmically” infiltrated into perspectives of economists. Thanks.

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