Artificial intelligence

Professor Agrawal conducts research on the economics of artificial intelligence. He describes the Simple Economics of Machine Intelligence in the Harvard Business Review online, with coauthors Gans and Goldfarb. They also describe the implications for managers in What to Expect from Artificial Intelligence in the Sloan Management Review. In addition, they explain the timing of strategic commitments and the rising importance of judgment in the form of reward function engineering, in the Harvard Business Review online. Professor Agrawal's work has been cited by a variety of media such as Fortune, The EconomistThe Globe and Mail, and The Wall Street Journal. He was co-organizer of the research session on the Economics of Artificial Intelligence at the American Economics Association annual conference in Chicago (2017).

Professor Agrawal is coauthor of Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence, with Professors Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb (forthcoming, Harvard Business School Press, 2018). 

Due in part to his work on AI, in 2017 The Globe and Mail, one of Canada's national daily newspapers, listed Professor Agrawal as one of the 50 Most Powerful People in Canadian Business.

Professor Agrawal is Founder of the Creative Destruction Lab at the University of Toronto.  The Lab was founded in 2012 and launched their first cohort focused exclusively on machine intelligence-enabled companies in 2015. This program doubled in size to two cohorts (50 companies) in 2016 and then doubled again to four cohorts (100 companies) in 2017.  To our knowledge, this represents the greatest concentration of AI-enabled companies in any program on Earth. Atomwise, Eigen Innovations, Deep Genomics, Thalmic Labs, AlgocianBlue J LegalNymi, Kyndi, Ada, Automat AI, and Fluent AI are graduates of the CDL. In 2017, The CDL launched the world’s first program focused on developing quantum machine learning companies.  The program’s mission: By 2022 the QML Initiative will have produced more well-capitalized, revenue-generating quantum machine learning software ventures than the rest of the world combined. The majority of these will be based in Canada.

Professor Agrawal is Co-Founder of NextAI, a not-for-profit program launched in 2016 to inspire young entrepreneurs and technologists to explore new commercial opportunities that are a direct result of advances in AI.

Professor Agrawal is Co-Founder with Shivon Zilis of an annual conference on the business of artificial intelligence “Machine Learning and the Market for Intelligence.” He delivered opening presentations in 2015 and 2016.

Professor Agrawal is Co-Founder of Kindred.  The company’s mission is to build machines with human-like intelligence. The MIT Technology Review listed Kindred as one of the 50 Smartest Companies of 2017, along with Tesla, Google, Amazon, Apple, Alibaba, and Baidu.




Testimonials for Prediction Machines:


"AI may transform your life. And Prediction Machines will transform your understanding of AI. This is the best book yet on what may be the best technology that has come along."

Larry Summers, Harvard Professor and former US Treasury Secretary, former Chief Economist of the World Bank, and former president of Harvard University

"This book makes artificial intelligence easier to understand by recasting it as a new cheap commodity -- predictions. It's a brilliant move. I found the book incredibly useful."

Kevin Kelly,  Founding Executive Editor of WIRED and Author of What Technology Wants and The Inevitable

"Prediction Machines achieves a feat as welcome as it is unique: a crisp, readable survey of where artificial intelligence is taking us separates hype from reality, while delivering a steady stream of fresh insights. The key is that the authors view AI's life-changing developments through the lens of economics vs technology -- and thus speak in a language top executives and policymakers will understand.  Every leader needs to read this book."

Dominic Barton, Global Managing Partner, McKinsey & Company

“Prediction Machines is a pathbreaking book that focuses on what strategists and managers really need to know about the AI revolution. Taking a grounded, realistic perspective on the technology, the book uses principles of economics and strategy to understand how firms, industries, and management will be transformed by AI.”

Susan Athey, Stanford Professor and former Chief Economist at Microsoft

“Prediction Machines is a must-read for business leaders, policymakers, economists, strategists, and anyone who wants to understand implications of AI on designing business strategies, decisions, and how AI will impact our society. Read this book and learn from the best!”

Ruslan Salakhutdinov, Carnegie Mellon Professor and Director of AI Research at Apple

“What does AI mean for my business? Read this book to find out.”

Hal Varian, Chief Economist, Google

"This is the first book to explain the economics of artificial intelligence. It's a must-read for every business person interested in this technology. I encounter so many people who feel excited but overwhelmed by AI. This book will ground those feeling lost by giving them a practical framework." 

Shivon Zilis, OpenAI Director and Partner at Bloomberg Beta

“The current AI revolution will likely result in abundance, but the process of getting there requires deliberation on tough topics that include increasing unemployment and income disparity. This book presents frameworks that allow decision makers to deeply understand the forces at play."

Vinod Khosla, Khosla Ventures and Founding CEO of Sun Microsystems

“AI's the most transformative technology of our era. Agrawal, Gans, and Goldfarb not only understand its essence, but also deliver deep insights into its economic implications and intrinsic trade-offs. If you want to clear the fog of AI hype and see clearly the core of AI's challenges and opportunities for society, your first step should be to read this book.”

Erik Brynjolfsson, MIT Professor and Author of The Second Machine Age and Machine Platform Crowd