Short Notes

I’ve been busy, so some short notes of things I wish I had time to write full posts about:

  • We’ve got some terrific speakers at We Robot 2019, and are assembling a powerhouse set of discussants to go with them.  See the preliminary We Robot program, and the preliminary pre-conference Workshop program, and register now!  I’ll post the whole program here when it’s more final. And remember – it’s time to pitch a poster, which gets you in free.
  • The Gables Stage production of Indecent is first-rate.  Great play, great production.  You see it coming and it’s still harrowing.  It closes in a couple of weeks, but they’ve added some performances recently so there are still tickets.  I’ve been a season ticket holder for many years, and this is as good as anything they’ve done.
  • Depending on what rules the AIs used, this looks like it might be an important paper to more than one field: Emilio Calvano, Giacomo Calzolari, Vincenzo Denicolò, Sergio Pastorello, Artificial intelligence, algorithmic pricing, and collusion, VOX (Feb. 03, 2019).  I found the link to the the summary of the summary on Naked Capitalism. I’ve asked my library to get the paper for me.  The claim is that,

     [W]e experiment with pricing algorithms powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI) in controlled environments (computer simulations), studying the interaction among a number of Q-learning algorithms in a workhorse oligopoly model of price competition with Logit demand and constant marginal costs. In this setting the algorithms consistently learn to charge supra-competitive prices, without communicating with one another. The high prices are sustained by classical collusive strategies with a finite phase of punishment followed by a gradual return to cooperation. This finding is robust to asymmetries in cost or demand and to changes in the number of players.

  • Some USB device on my desktop computer is causing crashes after (or when?) it boots up automatically in the morning.  Of course the Windows 7 (deprecation coming soon…) error messages don’t tell you which.  Never happens when I start it up manually or am using it.
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