Ever since AlphaGo beat Ke Jie, the world’s best player of the ancient Chinese board game Go, there have been lots of discussions about how artificial intelligence (AI) will eliminate more and more jobs.
For instance, unmanned stores spell doom for cashiers; trading programs will replace traders.
Technology advancement is portrayed as a big threat to humans.
Yet, in fact, technology not only makes our life more convenient, it also helps bring about better human conduct.
For instance, given the transparency of online operations, both sellers and buyers tend to behave themselves.
In the old days, if you buy something and found out you have paid too much or the product is of inferior quality, there is not much you can do about it. Now, ratings and customer comments of e-vendors are open for buyers to examine.
Good ratings and positive comments help e-shops draw more buyers, while poor ratings means fewer business opportunities. Online retailers are thus incentivized to offer better products at more competitive prices.
Meanwhile, many online shopping platforms allow buyers to return merchandise within seven days after they receive the product. But very few buyers would abuse the policy as sellers can also leave public comments.
Various websites like Airbnb and Uber have similar rating systems to encourage good behavior. If a guest will not be held accountable for making a mess, no host would dare take the risk. Also, some opt for Uber even if the service is more expensive as they can assess whether the driver is good or not by reading comments left by other Uber riders.
This full article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on Sept. 6
Translation by Julie Zhu
[Chinese version 中文版]
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