Recently a novel phenomenon, the machine economy, experiences rapidly increasing recognition from both research and practice. However, we still lack a thorough conceptual understanding of its driving technologies and their interrelations. This hampers the incorporation of the machine economy in today's organizations to unleash its full potential.
Therefore, we set out with a conceptual research approach. First, we investigated the characteristics of the central technologies, the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Blockchain (BC). Second, we examined the bilateral technology interrelations to explicate their synergistic interplay. Third, we shet light on their trilateral technology convergence and conflate our reasoning into a holistic conceptual model. Finally, we demonstrated the machine economy's real-world applicability with three exemplary instantiations. Throughout our research approach, we observed the machine economy concept through two theoretical lenses: the theory of self-adaptive systems and the actor-network theory.
Our paper "The Rise of the Machines: Conceptualizing the Machine Economy" presenting the results of this research project has been accepted for presentation at the 24th Pacific Asia Conference on Information Systems (PACIS 2021).