The AI Economist

The AI Economist

Salesforce Research introduced a new line of research; the AI Economist, to help economists and governments design tax policies that optimize social outcomes in the real world.

AI Economist aims to tackle one of the most pressing global issues – economic inequality. Through reinforcement learning (RL) algorithms, AI Economist works to discover how novel tax frameworks can reduce this disparity and improve economic equality. The goal of this project is to build a reinforcement learning framework that will recommend economic policies to drive social outcomes in the real world, such as improving sustainability, productivity, and equality.

This powerful tool provides an optimization framework that can objectively automate policy design and evaluation allowing policy experts to focus on the end goal of improving social welfare. 

In order to ensure transparency in the project, Salesforce is now open – sourcing the AI Economist to empower collaboration from all over the world and enable an unbiased review of policy simulations. Teaming up with AI researchers, policy experts and economists worldwide, Salesforce is now offering a powerful algorithmic and computational solution to complex economic optimization problems. This new approach enables fast and data-driven design of evaluation of economic policies and opens the necessary dialogue about policy goals and constraints.

The basic components of the AI Economist are as follows:

  • Salesforce seeks an economically feasible simulation driven by data and founded on sound principles of economic theory as well as social and ethical values.
  • The AI simulations are to be versatile and robust enough to handle economic shocks.
  • Salesforce aims to calibrate the policy models against real-world data and, as much as possible, validate in human subject studies, as much as possible.

Although adoption of AI in the field of economics is still in juvenile stages, the promising results seen by Salesforce Research team provide enough hope that successful development and adoption could drive impactful change in society.

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