How desperate are you to get to your destination? Very? Then be ready to pay a higher price for your Uber ride. Uber is using Machine Learning Algorithms to estimate how much a customer is willing to shell out for a ride. You could be a young woman waiting to get back home from a late night party in New Delhi, or you could be someone rushing to a hospital to visit your close ones or someone getting late to an official meeting- Uber could easily know that using Machine Learning and the data that you have willingly handed over. It can understand your level of desperation and prices the ride just below the level you are willing to pay. While you will take the ride, be sure have been taken for a ride!
The much overused term, ‘sharing economy’ has become a rage and platforms want to be under its big tent because of the positive symbolic value of sharing. While it has been using a socially-progressive feel-good rhetoric of sharing an underutilized asset, the sharing economy is also generating enormous amounts of wealth (for a few). What are we “sharing” in the sharing economy and who is really gaining? We all remember the Aesop’s fable “A Monkey and Two Cats” and know happened to the two cats who wanted to share the cheese and went to a monkey to complete the transaction. Think of monkey as the sharing economy platform here. We should not expect the outcome to be any different.