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Nov 17 2022

Will AI and ML make Economics Obsolete?

CS Distinguished Lecture Series

November 17, 2022

11:00 AM - 12:00 PM


ERF 1043


842 W. Taylor St, Chicago, IL 606

Will AI and ML make Economics Obsolete?

Presenter: Rakesh Vohra, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract: A decade before Skynet was supposed to become aware, the economist Robert Solow quipped that the the computer age was everywhere except in the productivity statistics. Thirty-five years on, we still don't see it in the statistics, but it is impossible to dismiss the strides made in, for example, robotics, language and image recognition as well as the production of the same. There is no walk of life that appears untouched by these developments. Nor can one ignore the vast amounts of money attracted to any plausible confection of AI, ML and data science. Can so many plutocrats be wrong? Perhaps, the lesson to be drawn is that these developments have rendered Economics obsolete. To quote Jack Ma, ``Because with access to all kinds of data, we may be able to find the invisible hand of the market.''

Speaker bio: Rakesh Vohra is the George A. Weiss and Lydia Bravo Weiss University Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Vohra is a leading global expert in mechanism design; an innovative area of game theory that brings together economics, engineering, and computer science. His economics research in mechanism design focuses on the best ways to allocate scarce resources when the information required to make the allocation is dispersed and privately held, an increasingly common condition in present-day environments. His work has been critical to the development of game, auction, and pricing theory—for example, the keyword auctions central to online search engines—and spans such areas as operations research, market systems, and optimal pricing mechanisms.

He formerly taught at Northwestern University, where he was the John L. and Helen Kellogg Professor of Managerial Economics and Decision Sciences in the Kellogg School of Management, with additional appointments in the Department of Economics and the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. He taught from 1985 to 1998 in the Fisher College of Business at Ohio State University. He earned a PhD in mathematics in 1985 from the University of Maryland, an MS in operational research in 1981 from the London School of Economics and a BS (Hon.) in mathematics in 1980 from University College London.

Faculty host: Ian Kash,

This lecture will also be available on Zoom, contact the department for login information.


UIC Computer Science

Date posted

Nov 11, 2022

Date updated

Nov 11, 2022