Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto

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Artificial Intelligence: An Executive Primer

Learn how to use AI in your business for strategy and profit.

AI is poised to infiltrate all industries and markets. Globally, AI skills are increasingly valuable. Businesses at the frontier have begun to take advantage of machine learning to grow and transform their strategies.

How can AI add value to your organization within the next 18 months? How should you plan for the next 3–5 years? What capabilities do you need to start investing in today to position yourself for tomorrow?

Leaders need a deep understanding of what AI can do in order to position their organizations for the upcoming wave of competition based on AI, similar in some ways to what we experienced 20 years ago with the arrival of the internet.

High level information for leaders.

The course is not technical. It does not take a computer science perspective on the topic. Rather, it focuses on the economics of AI and the implications for business. You will

  • Learn how to identify opportunities for AI and implement them
  • Discover how to develop strategies with your leadership team for leveraging powerful AI tools


Faculty & Instructors

Rotman Executive Program faculty are known for their ability to translate the latest research into practical applications for the workplace, and to transmit skills to participants with the best teaching techniques. Industry leaders contribute to our programs to bring you the most up-to-date best practices and a wealth of real-world experience.

Meet the faculty and instructors teaching in Artificial Intelligence: An Executive Primer

We’re here to help.

The applications of AI are many and varied, so much so that knowing where to start can seem overwhelming. This course is delivered by three Rotman School professors —Ajay Agrawal, Joshua Gans and Avi Goldfarb—who authored the book "Prediction Machines: The Simple Economics of Artificial Intelligence", published by the Harvard Business Review Press in April 2018. They bring their deep expertise to the classroom, paired with real-world experience in applying this technology to business challenges. 



'Rotman's AI program really opens one's eyes to the potential for disruption in any industry.' - Dean B. Mackie, M.Sc, Director, Enterprise Applications and Chief Architect, Teck Digital Systems

'I liked the fact that the program was targeted to executives. It wasn't geared to a technical audience and therefore stayed at the strategy and decision making level.' - Meredith Buchanan, Vice President, Strategy and Stakeholder Relations, Property Valuation Services Corporation

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 | Professor
Harvard University
former Secretary, US Treasury
former Chief Economist, World Bank

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

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
Author: What Technology Wants and The Inevitable

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 | Professor 
Stanford University
former Chief Economist, 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 | Director, AI Research
Professor, Carnegie Mellon University 

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 & Partner
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 | Founding CEO
Sun Microsystems
Khosla Ventures

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

Hal Varian | Chief Economist

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 | Professor
Author: The Second Machine Age and Machine Platform Crowd

I attended the course and found it a very useful experience, and I highly recommend it to others. It is an in-person overview of a new book, "Prediction Machines" by its three authors, all extremely smart and excellent speakers. It is an MBA-level course and all of the attendees are in senior business roles, so the conversations and networking were as valuable as the course material. It really opens one’s eyes to the potential for disruption in any industry, including mine.

Dean B. Mackie M.Sc. | Director & Chief Architect, Enterprise Applications
Teck Digital Systems

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To learn about future offerings of this program contact our expert Learning Advisor.

Application Process

Before beginning the application process, please review the application policies. To apply, complete the online application form.

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Each application is reviewed by Rotman’s admissions committee to ensure participants have the appropriate academic and work experience.

Participant Notification Process

If space is available and eligibility requirements are met, participants will receive a notice of admission within 10 days of receipt of a completed application and fee deposit.

Payment and Fee Reduction


Payments can be made online. Applicants will be redirected to a secure online payment website after completion of the application form. Deposits will be refunded to applicants not accepted to the program.

Fee Reduction

Rotman Executive Program graduates and Rotman alumni are eligible for a 25% discount on this program. Discounts cannot be combined but we will honour the greater discount amount towards the program fee. For more information on additional discounts, visit Discounts are not redeemable for cash.

*Participants will be responsible for their own travel, accommodation and incidental costs. Participants requiring accommodation during the program are eligible for preferred Rotman rates at select hotels. For more information contact an Executive Programs representative at


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Dates and Fees

1.5 day intensive program




Rotman School of Management, Toronto, Ontario


Participant profile:
Executives looking to understand how AI will disrupt, augment or change their core business.



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Video An introduction to prediction machines

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