A speakers bureau that represents the best original thinkers,
writers, and doers for speaking engagements.
Ajay Agrawal has spent over a decade at the cutting edge of AI and innovation. As founder of the creative destruction lab, the world’s largest AI startup incubator, he’s accelerated over a thousand startups since 2012, in fields as varied as medical devices, manufacturing, retail, energy, materials science, agriculture, quantum computing, biotech, autonomous driving, space, insurance, and pharmaceuticals. The companies nurtured through his program have created over $28 billion in equity value via 13 sites across the world. He is a true authority on the economics of AI, serving as an advisor to the U.S. and Japanese government. He’s also written the two most important books on the business of AI: Prediction Machines and Power and Prediction. His presentations are grounded by his practical insights, which makes him a perfect choice to lead the discussion of how AI will change our personal lives, our professions, our businesses, our society, and our civilization.
“AI may be to the twenty-first century what electricity was to the twentieth. Power and Prediction is the best book yet that considers what it will mean for all who participate in our economy.” Lawrence H. Summers, former World Bank Chief Economist
Ajay Agrawal is an economist and professor at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. He is the founder of the Creative Destruction Lab, a not-for-profit program with a mission to enhance the commercialization of science for the betterment of humankind. Startup graduates of the program have created over $25B in equity value to date. He is coauthor of two bestselling books on the economics of artificial intelligence: Prediction Machines and Power & Prediction, both published by Harvard Business Review Press.
Ajay is a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in Cambridge, Massachusetts; an academic advisory council member at the Center on Regulation and markets at Brookings in Washington, DC; an advisory board member at Carnegie Mellon University’s Block Center for Technology and Society in Pittsburgh; and a faculty affiliate at the Vector Institute for Artificial Intelligence in Toronto. Ajay conducts research on the economics of innovation and serves on the editorial board of the scholarly journal Management Science.
Professor Agrawal served as advisor to the U.S. government as a member of a National Academies committee on Science and Innovation Leadership for the 21st Century. He currently serves as advisor to the government of Japan as a member of the International Advisory Committee for the National Institute for Information and Communications Technology, Japan’s sole R&D agency specializing in Information and Communications Technology (ICT). He is founder of Mind Lab 56: a studio that creates startups building enterprise AI solutions that leverage generative AI. He is a co-founder of Sanctuary that has a mission to create the world’s first human-like intelligence in general purpose robots. Ajay was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2022.
Artificial Intelligence is disrupting our entire economy from the ground up. Not a single industry will remain unchanged, and we’re just at the beginning of this revolution—which means that smart companies have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to get ahead today.
World-renowned economist Ajay Agrawal knows how leaders in every sector can leverage AI to tap into massive success. As the co-author of Power and Prediction and founder of the Creative Destruction Lab, the largest AI startup incubator on the planet, Ajay has seen the countless business applications of AI firsthand, and has a unique understanding of how you can put this cutting-edge technology to use in your business.
In this brilliant yet accessible talk, Ajay explains how AI’s staggering prediction abilities are going to disrupt the way we do things in every industry, and how you can use it to predict everything from your customer’s next order to your biggest opportunities. With practical strategies and real-life case studies, he answers the crucial questions that are on everyone’s mind: How can we take advantage of the growing market for AI? How can we allocate capital and investments today to best prepare for tomorrow? How do we prepare for the disruptions—to long-standing industries, to millions of jobs, and to age-old notions about work, employment, and leisure—that will result?
No matter who you are or where you work—a company, an investor, a university or government—Ajay will help you adapt, and thrive, throughout this economy-wide transformation.
While many applications of machine intelligence enhance productivity, some applications have an even more profound effect: they shift power. For example, certain skills become more valuable than others, thereby shifting power from some types of people to others. Certain jobs become more important, shifting power from some occupations to others. Certain firm-level characteristics become new sources of competitive advantage, shifting power from some companies to others. Certain market characteristics become more salient, shifting power from some industries to others. Finally, certain country-level characteristics become more critical, shifting power from some nations to others.
When AIs simply improve upon existing predictive analytics and power structures are left unchanged, the strategic implications are limited. In these cases, success depends primarily upon well-managed implementation. The objective is enhanced operational efficiency. Decisions concerning when, where, and how to deploy these AIs require oversight from the COO, but not the CEO. These AIs are tactical, not strategic.
However, when the implementation of AIs leads to shifts in power, the implications for strategy can be significant. In this talk, former U.S. and current Japanese government advisor Ajay Agrawal explores state-of-the-art machine intelligence in several domains against the backdrop of power. How are these technological advances poised to impact jobs, markets, and nations via strategies for deploying capital, allocating labour, competing for customers, and enhancing society? And what can we do about it?