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Game Theory’s obsolescence as it relates to new technologies

It’s no secret that we are right in the thick of technological boom. As the pace of new technological advancements accelerates, scientists as well as the general public must constantly reevaluate the consequences of these technologies and ensure that they don’t get out of hand.  Up until very recently, game theory was how negative consequences were minimized by using a combination of laws, agreements, and social norms to decide a series of payoffs that also maximized the benefits of new technology. Nowadays, fears of technology spiralling out of control are becoming all too real, based on a study conducted by Dimitri Kusnezov and Wendell Jones which concluded that the formerly sound “strategic equilibrium” for analyzing technology’s consequences is nearly obsolete.

The study concluded that new advancements fall sharply into two different categories, stable and unstable.  The former is on par with the past and present pace of change and its likely outcomes can easily be predicted using a Nash Equilibrium, while the latter is highly random and unpredictable and thus any negative consequences cannot be foreseen.

The pace of technological advancements and how humans respond to it relates to our class discussion of game theory.  In stable situations, the players are humanity as a whole, and the strategies involve to what extent technology is used.  The dominant strategy is to reap the most benefits of technologies without allowing it to get out of control, so players must carefully make a decision that will be a best response to the other players’ strategies.  In this situation, a Nash Equilibrium is any situation that allows all players to benefit from technology without the technology spiralling out of control. However, unlike the scenarios discussed in class, addressing the accelerating pace of technological change is no longer clear cut and game theory as a concept will no longer be useful in the near future.



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