Overcoming 'Tragedies of the Commons' with a Self-Regulating, Participatory Market Society

4 Pages Posted: 3 Mar 2014

See all articles by Dirk Helbing

Dirk Helbing

ETH Zürich - Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences (GESS)

Date Written: July 17, 2013

Abstract

Our society is fundamentally changing. These days, almost nothing works without a computer chip. Processing power doubles every 18 months and will exceed the capabilities of human brains in about ten years from now. Some time ago, IBM's Big Blue computer already beat the best chess player. Meanwhile, computers perform about 70 percent of all financial transactions, and IBM's Watson advises customers better than human telephone hotlines. Will computers and robots soon replace skilled labor? In many European countries, unemployment is reaching historical heights. The forthcoming economic and social impact of future information and communication technologies (ICT) will be huge - probably more significant than that caused by the steam engine, or by nano- or biotechnology.

The storage capacity for data is growing even faster than computational capacity. Within just a year we will soon generate more data than in the entire history of humankind. The "Internet of Things" will network trillions of sensors. Unimaginable amounts of data will be collected. Big Data is already being praised as the “oil of the 21st century”. What opportunities and risks does this create for our society, economy, and environment?

Keywords: information society, digital economy, homo socialis, self-regulation, participatory market society

JEL Classification: A00, B00, D00, E00

Suggested Citation

Helbing, Dirk, Overcoming 'Tragedies of the Commons' with a Self-Regulating, Participatory Market Society (July 17, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2403683 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2403683

Dirk Helbing (Contact Author)

ETH Zürich - Department of Humanities, Social and Political Sciences (GESS) ( email )

ETH Zurich - Swiss Federal Institute of Technology
Clausiusstrasse 50
Zurich, 8092
Switzerland

HOME PAGE: http://www.coss.ethz.ch

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