The Policy Challenge of Artificial Intelligence

15 Pages Posted: 25 Jul 2018

See all articles by James E. Bessen

James E. Bessen

Technology & Policy Research Initiative, BU School of Law

Date Written: July 25, 2018


New "artificial intelligence" (AI) technology promises to bring dramatic social and economic changes, demanding major policy changes. In intellectual property and antitrust law, AI will exacerbate a damaging trend: across all major sectors of the economy, proprietary information technology is increasing the market dominance of large firms. This trend might not seem like bad news, but it is evidence of a slowdown in the spread of technical knowledge throughout the economy. The result is rising industry concentration, slower productivity growth and growing wage inequality. The key challenge to IP and antitrust policy will be counter this trend yet maintain innovation incentives.

Keywords: information technology, computers, industry concentration, profit margins, antitrust, productivity gap, artificial intelligence

JEL Classification: D4, O33, L10, L4

Suggested Citation

Bessen, James E., The Policy Challenge of Artificial Intelligence (July 25, 2018). CPI Antitrust Chronicle, June 2018, Boston Univ. School of Law, Law and Economics Research Paper No. 18-16, Available at SSRN: or

James E. Bessen (Contact Author)

Technology & Policy Research Initiative, BU School of Law ( email )

765 Commonwealth Avenue
Boston, MA 02215
United States

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