I Got Your Attention- But it is worth less than a 10th of a cent (as per Facebook)

There is fight for attention, but attention itself is cheap. Now if this article has reached you, Facebook deigned that it could be of your interest. Facebook gave me an offer to promote my blog post for USD 3 to reach 5400 people. But I could have force fed it to you for just 4 Indian Paise(less than a 10th of a cent). All of us are economic agents for Facebook and Google. Even when you are idling in office (on internet), you are making money for someone, if not for your boss/employer. And this part-time wealth creation venture of yours is what enables you to read for such fantastic content that are you are about to read now. Read more…

Should Google be Regulated?

The “do no evil” company changed the slogan “to do the right thing” in October 2015. And they are doing the right thing- if you are a Google Shareholder- you are definitely happy 🙂 . Google dominates the search engine market globally. Recently, Google has been fined a record 2.4 Billion Euros by EU, for what they call, “abusing internet search monopoly”. This blog presents my view on- Did EU get it right? Can Google be called a natural monopoly? What will it take for a competitor like Bing to reach where Google is? Can Google search easily be construed as a public utility and is it time for it to be regulated? So, should you sell your Google stock now? Read more to find out…

Uber takes YOU for a Ride- Uses Machine Learning to Maximize the Fare

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!

Are we really “sharing” in the Sharing Economy?

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.

Thinking and Deciding Algorithmically: Solutions to Everyday Problems

We come across problems every day that forces us to make difficult choices. Our inherent biases hardwired in our brains, makes our decisions less than optimal. What if we find solutions to everyday problems from algorithms/computer science? Thinking algorithmically about the world, understanding the fundamental structures of the problems we face can help us see how good we actually are, and better understand the errors that we make.
Optimal stopping tells us when to look and when to leap. The Explore-Exploit trade-off tells us how to find the balance between trying new things and enjoying our favourites. The Sort-Search trade-off tells us when our effort in arranging stuff makes sense.
It is important that we use and understand these and similar algorithms so that we are better prepared for the age of the machines.

Blockchain Powered Wisdom of Crowds: will transform the way we decide and buy

As a society, we are now comfortable trusting aggregated reviews of unknown individuals, forming the foundation of the Trust Economy. Blockchain brings in greater transparency and is set to improve the trust economy. Blockchain powered trust currency will give a great boost to consumer purchase decisions which are currently driven by the wisdom of crowds. From trusting strangers we could graduate to trusting the views of people who have earned the trust and can establish the same in the public ledger. Welcome the informed Blockchain powered user, who now knows good from the bad, separate wheat from chaff, and the baby from the bath water…..

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