Planning for personal consumption and Amazon

This is one area I can’t get my head around, given the current level of technology. Is there now any need in parecon for individuals (or households or neighbourhoods that are also very small units) to list their future personal consumption needs at all, even if only coarse categories or changes in quantities?

Amazon, for example, is already good at forecasting future demand based on product histories. And it will only get better with AI. The problem in a market economy isn’t the way Amazon does it, but that there are competing retailers or producers. Amazon can forecast some level of aggregate demand for coffee or kettles, but knows little about coffee or kettles bought from other places. So need ‘national data’ or ‘one big Amazon’.

Wouldn’t this be sufficient in a future society? Leaving consumer input only for things such as new products and occasional big ticket products.

Lastly, and on the other hand, it does feel awkward to take humans out of the needs discovery process.

(I’m only thinking about personal consumption, not public consumption or the allocation of ‘capital’ and labour in production.)

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I think it makes sense to let consumers have control if they want, and if they don’t, a computer algorithm can take over that’s guided by their previous consumption plans and/or consumption at the store.

I wouldn’t expect the algorithms to always get it right, so leaving this as a choice seems like a good way to go.

I think algorithm demand forecasting will be almost entirely dominate for repeat consumption of products, and will be more accurate than consumers doing it. My hesitancy is not wanting to replace markets with algorithms. I think I’ve seen the idea of localised - council level - use of software to do this rather than a centralised set of algorithms, which could be a way forward.

This sounds reasonable to me too. And with all the shit talk going on about AI…we’re all gonna die (well, as Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche once said to a terminal patient, “don’t think for one moment you’re not going to die. But I digress indeed. )…it’s nice to see a positive use for something that really isn’t “intelligent” yet. Yeah, algorithms may get it pretty close and be very helpful.