Competition authorities are making a fuss when it comes to emerging technologies such as blockchain and AI.
Tuesday has the Ministry of Justice announced that it would participate in a new initiative at Stanford University to incorporate more advanced technological tools in the fight against monopolies.
The DoJ is just the most distinct addition to Standord’s Computational Antitrust project. It joins the competition watchdogs of 46 other countries and the US Federal Trade Commission.
The announcement is part of a widespread increase in interest in advanced technology and antitrust law, the culmination of much movement among academia and global regulators. Also on Tuesday, the DoJ’s antitrust leader Makan Delrahim gave a farewell address at Duke University’s Center on Science & Technology Policy, where he begged the antitrust department to update its technology capabilities. In remarks As of August, Delrahim had pushed blockchain’s ability to decentralize information as crucial to the future of antitrust:
“I expect the division will play a critical role in ensuring that market conditions are conducive to unleashing the revolutionary potential of blockchain.”
Prior to his departure, Delrahim took many steps to bring the DoJ back to school for these emerging technologies. The DoJ advertised that it had “offered lawyers and staff the opportunity to take courses focused on blockchain, artificial intelligence and machine learning” at MIT’s Sloan school, probably where SEC chairman Gary Gensler used to do. give courses on blockchain. Schools have increased their own preparedness accordingly.
The Computational Antitrust Project was not announced until Monday. It aims to “bring together academics from different backgrounds (law, computer science, economics …) with developers, policy makers and regulators.” In addition to the announcement of the program, founder Professor Thibault Schrepel published objectives for research which provide:
“A world where artificial intelligence (‘AI’) and blockchain combined with quantum computing will soon provide valuable support by enabling a better understanding of the complexity of the world and ultimately capturing some of it.”
Last fall semester, Schrepel left Harvard to join Stanford’s wider CodeX program. Commissioned by director Roland Vogl, Schrepel’s research within CodeX has grown into an independent project.
But what exactly will the 48 agencies that have signed up to the project do? Dr. Schrepel told Cointelegraph, “They will also send us a short annual contribution detailing all the steps taken to modernize their practices using computer technologies.” He went on to elaborate on the technologies of interest:
“Think of machine learning, natural language processing and comprehension techniques, scraping, and so on. Blockchain is also mentioned as a way to ensure the integrity of databases sent to agencies and, for example, enable smart contracts to ensure the fulfillment of behavioral obligations. “
At Harvard, Schrepel wrote extensively about the role of blockchain in the fight against anti-competitive behavior in addition to legal mechanisms, eventually get Vitalik Buterin on board with his idea.
And while these ideas are getting louder in academia, they are seeing new echoes from regulators. Many countries have dusted off their antitrust artillery in the past year and focused entirely on the tech industry. The DoJ recently halted the acquisition of Visa from Plaid. The FTC has sued Facebook and shipped demands on a host from other social media platforms asking them to answer how they use user data.
Meanwhile, China appears to be doing much the same with its own technology industry, recently canceling Ant Group’s IPO and pushing founder Jack Ma. out of the public eye for several months. The European Union, on the other hand, has carried out its most glaring attacks on (mostly US) technology companies under the auspices of its General Data Protection Regulation.