June 24, 2017

Uber Is Using AI to Charge People as Much as Possible for a Ride

Uber app startup page and Uber search cars map on the angled front view white and black Apple iPhones 5s
Copyright: alexeyboldin / 123RF Stock Photo

Thanks to complaints from Uber drivers, who were beginning to suspect that the ridesharing company was charging customers more with “upfront pricing” but not paying drivers more in turn, on Friday Uber admitted in a Bloomberg report to using AI to find the upper limit of what people are willing to pay for a ride based on their route in 14 cities.

The revelation essentially confirms the suspicions of critics like the University of Washington’s Ryan Calo and Alex Rosenblat of the Data & Society Research Institute. Together, they wrote a scathing paper that warned Uber may use vast amounts of customer data to act in a predatory manner —for example, price gouging based on your income level or other circumstances.

This isn’t quite what Uber is doing with what it calls “route-based pricing,” but the end result may be the same. Basically, Uber uses all the data it has on customer behaviour along particular routes in a given city to serve people different fares based on where they’re going. To get an idea of what […]

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The News for the Gig Economy Staff is constantly searching the web for the latest news regarding freelancing and gig platforms to bring them to you in one handy place. All articles with this generic author have been sourced with the original location at the bottom of the piece. We encourage our readers to view the original source of all excerpts. NGE is a project of ARC Online, LLC.

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