The Lavin Agency Speakers Bureau

A speakers bureau that represents the best original thinkers,
writers, and doers for speaking engagements.

Generative AI Has Brought Your Most Ambitious “Moonshots” Within Reach. AI Entrepreneur Radhika Dirks

If you’re still thinking of ChatGPT as a simple tool for productivity, you’re thinking too small, says Radhika Dirks. The power of generative AI has brought our wildest and most ambitious projects within reach—in half the time and at a fraction of the budget.

Radhika is one of the world’s foremost voices on the human implications of AI—what this technology means for us, and how we can turn it to our advantage. In powerfully hopeful talks, she illuminates the limitless possibilities of generative AI in every field, then breaks down the strategy and tactics that every business leader needs to gain an edge in the AI future.

Every moonshot needs stepping-stones, Radhika says—you don’t get to Mars in one leap. You have to try different paths and pick up expertise in different fields, which can be an expensive and time-consuming process. But with generative AI, which draws from diverse sources of information across the internet, you can achieve these stepping-stones almost for free.

“What used to take billions of dollars now takes thousands of dollars, or even hundreds,” Radhika says. “And most people don’t realize that. They’re still looking at what productivity tools they can use. But generative AI is so much bigger than that.”

Watch Radhika explain the “first big wave” of generative AI, and what this explosion of creativity means for leaders and innovators.

Navigating Our AI Future: Lavin’s Top 10 Artificial Intelligence Speakers

Once the stuff of dystopian nightmares, artificial intelligence has become an essential part of our daily lives. Today, AI recommends our products, routes our taxis, predicts our Internet searches. Tomorrow? It will be a tool as fundamental as electricity. Lavin’s Top 10 artificial intelligence speakers help us navigate the changes to come.

Radhika Dirks: There are so many opportunities for AI to empower us, says Radhika Dirks. A quantum physicist by training, Dirks now runs the world’s first “moonshot” factory for AI, where she creates the kind of technology that will enhance human potential beyond our wildest dreams. For her innovative work, she was recently named one of the top 30 women advancing the field.


Embracing Novelty in AI Design |  Radhika Dirks


Ajay Agrawal: What is artificial intelligence, really, if not cheap prediction, says Rotman professor Ajay Agrawal. In his book Prediction Machines, he breaks down the AI revolution in simple, economic terms—providing investors, CEOs, policy makers, and entrepreneurs with the actionable insights they need to take advantage. And Agrawal certainly knows what he’s talking about: as the founder of the Creative Destruction Lab, he runs the program with the highest concentration of AI start-ups in the world.


AI Keynote Speaker Ajay Agrawal: AI Will Drop the Cost of Prediction—and Change Entire Industries


Amber Mac: In the award-winning Accenture podcast The AI Effect, technology reporter Amber Mac investigates how artificial intelligence is transforming entire industries. How might AI help us overcome challenges in food production? What is its evolving role in financial services? And will AI-powered advancements in healthcare eventually augment our human potential? Mac thoughtfully dives into the questions, interviewing global leaders in a thriving AI ecosystem.


Innovation Speaker Amber Mac: Saving Lives with Artificial Intelligence


Jeremy Gutsche: Trend Hunter CEO Jeremy Gutsche is a master of disruptive thinking. And what has disrupted the world more, in recent years, than artificial intelligence? Using his wit, magnetism, and unparalleled business insight, Gutsche makes sense of how this new technology will shake up every industry.


What is the Future of AI Integration? | Jeremy Gutsche


Martin Ford: Martin Ford considers some of the most pressing questions emerging from the robotics revolution. His first book, the McKinsey award-winning Rise of the Robots, contemplated the jobs we will have in the future, while his newest release, Architects of Intelligence, interviews leaders on the front-lines of AI development. Reliable and sincere, Ford has become one of the leading voices in AI precisely because of his willingness to investigate the hard questions.


AI and the Future of the Human Workforce | Martin Ford


Nicholas Thompson: Technology doesn’t exist in a vacuum—it affects our culture, politics, the economy, and society at large. Documenting the impact is WIRED editor Nicholas Thompson. Though he is a tech optimist, he thoughtfully examines the developments and repercussions of artificial intelligence from every angle.


Confronting the Social Biases in AI | Nicholas Thompson


Nita Farahany: Neuro-ethicist and scholar Nita Farahany considers the ethical implications of “mind-reading” tech that blends neuroscience and artificial intelligence. She asks, what is our neurological data worth? And what will it mean when it becomes readily available to the public? If we are to make the most of this next frontier, we’ll need the transparency and guidance offered by leaders like Farahany.


When technology can read minds, how will we protect our privacy? | Nita Farahany

Jonathan Brill: The most invaluable asset an organization can have? A strategy in place for making sense of the future, says Jonathan Brill. As the Global Futurist at HP, Brill thinks about the social, economic, and technological shifts of tomorrow—and how we can best prepare for them. His understanding of artificial intelligence is broad and far-reaching, touching on how the technology will influence everything from our workplaces to the global supply chain to the environment.


Automation & the Future of Workflow | Jonathan Brill


David Rose: The power of AI is exponential, and it’s disrupting just about every industry. MIT lecturer, futurist, and AI product designer David Rose works tirelessly to make technology dissolve easily into the fabric of our daily living. Whether it’s restoring our physical abilities, or ensuring the safety of our streets, he maintains that AI offers us a new organizing principle for modern life.


Inventing enchanted objects | David Rose | WOBI


Tom Wujec: In his rousing innovation talks, Tom Wujec—the former ‘Chief Disruptor’ at Autodesk—reveals how artificial intelligence has transformed design and manufacturing. From machines that learn in ways no human ever could, to printers that create three-dimensional objects out of fascinating new materials, disruptive technologies are permanently changing the way we make things. 


How Does AI Help Us Become Better Designers? | Tom Wujec


To book one of these Artificial Intelligence Speakers for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency today.

Entrepreneur Radhika Dirks Named One of the Top 30 Women Advancing AI in 2019

As the co-founder and CEO of XLabs, Radhika Dirks runs the one and only “moonshot factory” for AI. She truly believes in the technology’s power to elevate our human capabilities, and works hard to make that vision a reality. For her radical and tireless efforts, she has been named one of the Top 30 inspirational women advancing AI this year by ReWork. 

Since graduating with her PhD in Quantum Computing, Radhika Dirks has been involved in many AI projects. First, as CEO of Seldn.ai, an AI start-up that predicts global socio-economic disruptions, and then as an advisor of Katapult accelerator, alderan, and dashboard earth. Now, she runs what she calls “a new kind of Bell Labs,” ushering in The Intelligent Age with inventive applications of AI, quantum computing, and neurotech. In her passionate talks, Dirks explains both moonshot thinking—going beyond the realm of possibility—and the fundamentals of artificial intelligence.


“In 2020, from a few corners of the world, we will start to see AI built to tackle hard, meaningful problems,” Dirks explains in Forbes. “AI built to help us humans do what we cannot, as opposed to simply attempting to mimic our abilities. ‘Amplified Intelligence’ is what we call this next-era AI.”


Check out the full list here.


To book speaker Radhika Dirks for your next speaking event, contact The Lavin Agency today, her exclusive speakers bureau.

The Age of AI: Martin Ford Joins Robert Downey Jr. in a New YouTube Original Series

The Age of AI is an 8-part documentary series exploring the newest, most innovative applications of artificial intelligence and machine-learning. Lavin speaker Martin Ford—the bestselling author of Rise of the Robots—joins superstar host Robert Downey Jr. in the brand-new Youtube Original production.  

There is no doubt about it: artificial intelligence will change the world in the coming decades. In fact, the transformation has already begun. The Age of AI, a new docuseries narrated by Robert Downey Jr., examines the powerful reverberations the technology has already had around the world, its nascent potential to advance the human race, and the difficult questions that arise from its profound progress. For instance, is AI capable of making art? Could it heal, enhance, or even superpower our fallible human bodies? And could there be a world in which a robot is considered a romantic companion?


As a McKinsey-award winning author, software entrepreneur, and TED mainstage speaker, Martin Ford has a unique perspective on the evolution of artificial intelligence. He lends his expertise to the series as a consultant behind-the-scenes, and steps in front of the camera for an on-air interview as well. Check out the trailer below, and watch the full episodes here.


The Age of A.I. | Official Trailer

To book speaker Martin Ford for your next speaking event, contact The Lavin Agency and speak with a knowledgeable member of our sales team. 

Prediction Machines: Ajay Agrawal Shows Business Leaders How to Leverage AI in Forbes

The revolutionary author of Prediction Machines Ajay Agrawal sat down with Forbes to discuss how AI functions, where it is best applied, and why we should embrace, rather than fear the technology. 

As a researcher. entrepreneur, and bestselling author, Ajay Agrawal focuses on the economics of machine intelligence. He encourages leaders and CEOs looking to leverage the technology to think of it as “drop in the cost of prediction.” Agrawal explains, “When prediction, or anything else, becomes cheaper, we use more of it, and we start to use it in more ingenious ways.”


To begin integrating AI into an organization, Agrawal suggests starting with data scientists who already know the company’s prediction problems. But AI isn’t limited to the tech space, or obvious areas like sales, marketing, and manufacturing. For instance, a department that’s often overlooked when it comes to AI is human resources—the perception being that because HR is especially human-oriented, and requires a lot of emotional intelligence, that there is no room for the technology there. “That's a mistake,” cautions Agrawal. “People can leverage AI by converting HR functions, such as certain aspects of recruitment and skills development, into a series of predictions, where humans can then apply their judgment.”


“All human prediction is susceptible to being replaced by machines. But, there are many other valuable things that humans do that are complements, not substitutes, to prediction. One area […] is judgment—humans have it, AI doesn’t.”


Read the full interview here.


To book speaker Ajay Agrawal for your next speaking event, contact The Lavin Agency today and speak with one of our talented sales agents.

Is This The End of Work as We Know It? Martin Ford Weighs in for ABC

Picture this: the year is 2050. The world’s population is approaching the 10 billion mark, and artificial intelligence,  robots, and technological “personal assistants” have saturated the workforce. On the latest segment of ABC’s This Working Life, Martin Ford discusses whether there will be enough paid work to around in the future. 

“The biggest impact, at least for the foreseeable future, is going to be on anything that’s routine, repetitive, and predictable,” explains Martin Ford, a consulting expert and the bestselling author of Rise of the Robots and Architects of Intelligence. “Predictable is maybe the best word to describe it because what I’m really talking about is any type of job where another person, for example, might be able to look at a record of what you’ve done and based on that, be able to learn how to do the job.”


Though this description does not characterize all of the work humans do, it could come to comprise up to half the jobs in the economy, according to Ford. This goes beyond the factory or low-wage jobs that many people think of when it comes to automation. In fact, even extraordinarily skilled jobs—like radiologists—are already being impacted by algorithms that are proving to be better than humans in certain areas.


If this is the case, then the questions become more complex: will we create more jobs than we destroy? If so, what will the new jobs look like? And what skills will they require? Ford dives deep into the incoming economical issues that will accompany an AI-enabled workforce, including the argument that we might work less in the future.


Listen to the full interview here.


To book Martin Ford for your next speaking event, contact The Lavin Agency and speak with one of our knowledgeable agents.

“The Promise and Peril of AI”: Ajay Agrawal Speaks to The Economist

Artificial Intelligence already recommends our movies, routes our taxis, and even predicts who we might fall in love with. While it’s on track to become a mainstream technology as fundamental as computing or electricity, it still has a few challenges ahead of it. Machine-Learning Expert Ajay Agrawal stopped by The Economist’s weekly technology podcast to discuss the benefits and risks.

Ajay Agrawal is not an AI scientist himself, but an economist who specializes in artificial intelligence. This fundamental difference offers him a unique perspective, often from a higher vantage point than those working at the code level.

“The first branch is categorizing those we can call productivity-enhancing AI. They basically do what we’ve already been doing, just better, faster, cheaper,” Agrawal explains. The second set of AI takes problems that we didn’t think of prediction problems, such as driving or translation, and recasts them as prediction. But one day, AI will go beyond things we can already do and enable us to do something entirely new. While this will be an exciting development, Agrawal fears this will cause problems around the concentration of power.

“Effectively, what we are beginning to see is that AI will likely outperform humans in virtually every form of diagnosis,” Agrawal said, using the medical industry as an example. “The writing on the wall that we can see is that eventually, […] there will be one winner. One that gets ahead of the rest, and because it’s better than the rest, more people will use it. The underlying feature of how AI works is that will lead to natural monopolies.”

To listen to the full podcast, click here.

To book AI speaker Ajay Agrawal for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency today, his exclusive speakers bureau.

When Will AI-Driven Income Inequality Hit? A Conversation with AI Expert Ajay Agrawal and Vinod Khosla

Ajay Agrawal, AI Expert and Founder of the Creative Destruction Lab, sat down with billionaire venture capitalist Vinod Khosla for a conversation on the future of machine learning—and the social implications it will bring. 

“Education is not the solution,” Vinod Khosla said, when discussing the impact of artificial intelligence on the economy and the labour market. The renowned founder of Sun Microsystems and Kholsa Ventures joined Ajay Agrawal— author of Prediction Machines—to explore the impending opportunities and threats of the technology on society. When the conversation naturally turned to AI-driven income inequality, Agrawal wondered if the crisis might be coming quicker than anticipated: “This field is moving so fast and it feels like things we thought five years ago, would take twenty years. Some of those things have happened in three or four years,” Agrawal said.


The conversation continued on to explore artificial intelligence in conjunction with other factors like policy, as well as debating possible solutions, like universal basic income. You can watch their full conversation below.


Vinod Khosla - CDL Super Session 2019


To book Ajay Agrawal or another Artificial Intelligence Speaker, contact a sales agent at The Lavin Agency today. 

Will AI Facilitate a Universal Basic Income?: A Conversation with Martin Ford and Kai-Fu Lee

As the future draws nearer, experts are weighing in on the impact Artificial Intelligence will have on the workforce. What jobs will automation make redundant? Will it eliminate more positions than it generates? And is the answer to the problem a government-subsidized salary? Lavin Speaker Martin Ford makes the case for a Universal Basic Income in conversation with Kai-Fu Lee. 

Taiwanese venture capitalist Kai-Fu Lee and futurist and author Martin Ford are on the opposite ends of the spectrum when it comes to how the worldspecifically the labour marketwill adapt to the rapid pace of technological innovation. Instead of a universal basic income (UBI), Kai-Fu Lee suggests that we must work together to create new professions, values, and social norms, citing government-administered care for the elderly as an example. 


For Martin Ford, while there is a chance that machine-made products and services will lead to a greater desire for distinctly human thingssuch as companionship and artistic pursuitshe remains unconvinced. “I’ve always been a bit skeptical of that because [while] I think there’s an element of truth to it, there’s lots of evidence to suggest the market just doesn’t value those things very highly,” he explains.  According to Ford, the market’s indifference to human-produced goods and services is one of the very best foundational arguments for a Universal Basic Income moving forward.

Ford is the bestselling author of Architects of Intelligence: The Truth about AI from the People Building It. By conducting a series of one-on-one interviews with some of the brightest minds in the Artificial Intelligence community, Ford seeks to answer our most burning questions around the science, business, and ethics of AI.


To book Martin Ford for your next speaking event, contact The Lavin Agency today.

Broadening the Definition of AI: Introducing New Lavin Speaker Radhika Dirks

Artificial intelligence today has the remarkable capability of mimicking human intelligencebut what if we could create technology with a different type of intelligence to our own? Quantum physicist and entrepreneur Radhika Dirks believes that by broadening the definition of AI, we will realize the full potential of human ambition.

Radhika Dirks is the co-founder and CEO of XLabs, the world’s first “moonshot factory for AI.” She defines a moonshot as something that first changes the perceptions of reality, and then changes reality itself. By incorporating moonshot thinking across our industries, Dirks believes we will become the leaders of the next era of humanity: The Intelligent Age. 


Dirks talks aim to end the ambiguity and confusion surrounding artificial intelligence, therefore articulating its value and advancing its progress. In her brilliant talks, Dirks uses examples of her lab’s technology to illustrate the far-reaching possibilities of artificial intelligence and quantum computing. Dirks argues that rather than being redundant, this emerging technology would complement and elevate human capabilities. “The future is not just man,” she says, “but man super-powered by machines.” 


What Does AI Tell Us About Humanity? | Radhika Dirks


 To book Radhika Dirks for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency today. 

Martin Ford’s New Book Reveals the Truth About AI, From the People Building It

Are we close to human-level machine intelligence? How will it impact on the job market, the economy, and society? What should we be concerned about, capitalizing on, and planning for? Martin Ford, New York Times bestselling author of Rise of the Robots and one of the world’s leading AI speakers conducted in-depth, wide-ranging interviews with the brightest minds in the AI community. The result is his new book Architects of Intelligence, available now.  

With interviews from esteemed futurist and author Ray Kurzweil to pioneering academic Geoffrey Hinton, Ford’s book is “an invaluable opportunity to learn from some of the most prominent thought leaders about the emerging fields of science that are shaping our future,” says Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States. More advance praise comes from The Financial Times, which named it one of the best technology books of 2018. 


Watch Martin Ford’s mainstage TED talk, which has been viewed almost three million times: 


How we'll earn money in a future without jobs | Martin Ford


To book Martin Ford for your next event, contact The Lavin Agency, his exclusive speakers bureau.    

AI is the Business Opportunity of a Lifetime. Economist Ajay Agrawal’s Prediction Machines is a Guide for How to Harness It.

Ajay Agrawal is the founder of the Creative Destruction Lab, home to the greatest concentration of Artificial Intelligence start-ups on the planet. His highly anticipated book Prediction Machines (out today) explains why AI is actually a once-in-a-generation opportunity, and how businesses—of any size, in any industry—can optimize for it. 

“AI actually means something. It’s not just pixie dust that everyone wants to spread on stuff,” said Agrawal at the NextAI 2017 accelerator. “It means is that a company will put prediction accuracy as its foremost goal, at the expense of everything else.” This is a sea change for every industry, and Agrawal is at the very frontier of it. 


NextAI Venture Day 2017 - Ajay Agrawal


Prediction Machines, described by  former US treasury secretary Lawrence Summers as “the best book yet on what may be the best technology that has come along,” is out today. Contact The Lavin Agency for booking information.

“The First Book to Explain the Economics of Artificial Intelligence”: Advance Praise for Prediction Machines by Speaker Ajay Agrawal

“This may be the best book yet on what may be the best technology that has come along.” Lawrence H. Summers, former US treasury secretary on Ajay Agrawal’s highly anticipated book Prediction Machinesa crystal clear, realistic assessment of how AI will actually affect the economy. No hype, no speculation, just the tools and economic frameworks managers can use right now to understand what the AI revolution really means, from one of the subject’s leading, and most admired thinkers. 

Agrawal is the founder of the University of Toronto’s Creative Destruction Labhome to the greatest concentration of A.I.-enabled companies in any program on Earth. He’s also one of the most insightful—and accessible—speakers on artificial intelligence and machine learning. He teaches at U of T’s prestigious Rotman School of Management along with co-authors Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb.


Apple, Microsoft, Google, Wired—here’s what big names at some of the biggest companies in the world are saying about Prediction Machines (out April 17):


“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


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  >


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  >


“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


“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 >


“What does artificial intelligence means for my business? Read this book and find out.”

—Hal Varian, Google’s chief economist  


Prediction Machines is slated to come out on April 17. To book Ajay Agrawal, or another economics keynote speaker for your next speaking engagement, contact The Lavin Agency.  href=”http:> >

A.I. Expert Martin Ford Explains What Investors, Managers, (and Everyone Else) Need to Know About the Robotics Revolution

Martin Ford is one of the world’s leading A.I. speakers. He’s the bestselling author of Rise of the Robots and his TED talk has been viewed over a million times. Ford’s latest keynote breaks down some of the key tech underlying this revolution for non-tech audiences, and explains exactly what it means for everyone’s future.  

Historically AI has occupied the realm of science fiction, but now it’s on the brink of disrupting everything. How exactly did we get to this point? What are the relentless advances and tech adaptations that are powering it? Should we be worried? Excited? Can we even prepare? In this talk Ford explains deep learning and neural networks, robotics, machine learning, self-driving vehicles, and software automation in clear, non-technical language, and explains exactly how these developments will impact the future job and market economy.  


Check out his massively popular TED talk below, on the social implications of the AI revolution. 


How we'll earn money in a future without jobs | Martin Ford


To book Martin Ford, or another AI or machine learning speaker, such as Ajay Agrawal who started The Creative Destruction lab, contact The Lavin Agency, their exclusive speakers bureau.