Tehran Institute for Advanced Studies (TEIAS)

/ Digital Dystopia __ Jean Tirole


Digital Dystopia

June 09, 2020
(20 Khordad, 1399)


This Talk is online


Jean Tirole

honorary chairman of the Foundation JJ Laffont-Toulouse School of Economics (TSE),


While data collection and artificial intelligence hold the promise of a sharp reduction in incivilities, they also open the door to mass surveillance by private platforms and governments. After analysing the welfare impact of transparency, whether suffered or voluntary, the paper shows how an expansion of the public sphere may lead to a disintegration of the social fabric in the private sphere, with potentially negative consequences. The paper then brings to light how political authorities can enlist a social rating to control society without engaging in brutal repression or misinformation. To this end they optimally bundle the individual’s political attitudes and social graph with her overall social behavior, so as to mobilize individuals and platforms to enforce the political will. Finally, the paper uses a similar argument to show that democratic countries may be concerned with private platforms in the same way autocratic ones may be wary of public platforms.


Jean Tirole is honorary chairman of the Foundation JJ Laffont-Toulouse School of Economics (TSE), and s
cientific director of TSE-Partnership. He is also affiliated with MIT, where he holds a visiting position, the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, and the Institut de France. Professor Tirole’s research
covers industrial organization, regulation, finance, macroeconomics and banking, and psychology-based economics. Jean Tirole has published over two hundred articles in international reviews, as well as twelve scientific books. Published in English in 2017, his latest book entitled Economics for the Common Good is accessible to a wide audience and available in a number of other languages. He is laureate of numerous international distinctions, including the 2007 CNRS gold medal and the 2014 Sveriges Riksbank prize in economic sciences in memory of Alfred Nobel.