Artificial Intelligence

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.

In this short video interview with McKinsey & Company, Professor Agrawal explains what cheaper, more accurate, A.I. prediction means for human judgement.

Professor Agrawal conducts research on the economics of artificial intelligence. He is coauthor of non-fiction Amazon best-selling book, Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence, with Professors Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb (Harvard Business School Press, 2018). 

Professor Agrawal's work has been cited by a variety of media such as Fortune, The EconomistThe New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Globe and Mail.

He was co-organizer of the research session on the Economics of Artificial Intelligence at the American Economics Association annual conference in Chicago (2017). He has recently been appointed to the position of Co-Chair of the Planning Committee for the Royal Society and National Academies’ International Dialogue on AI and Policy.

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, North (formally 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.

In this 2-minute video interview with McKinsey & Company, Professor Agrawal explains how we can reframe autonomous driving as a prediction problem: ‘what would a good human driver do?’

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.

Agrawal 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.

Read more on Professor Agrawal’s Work in the Artificial Intelligence Field:


Professor Agrawal speaks at conferences and events throughout the world. He also runs customized workshops to help corporations better prepare for and maximize the impact of artificial intelligence.