Institut für Strategie, Technologie und Organisation (ISTO)

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Proseminar: AI and the Economy

Proseminar Strategy and Organization in Technology Markets

Dr. Dainis Zegners

Course Overview

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has recently received a huge amount of interest. While managers are enthusiastic about how to employ AI in their firms, the general public is concerned about whether AI will replace their jobs. In this course, we will examine these and other questions related to the impact of AI on firms and the broader economy. Our goal is to look beyond the “hype” on AI by looking at recent research in management and economics that tries to give a rigorous answer to questions related to the impact of AI. We will look at questions such as:
• What is “AI” and what drives the recent developments in AI?
• How do these developments relate to the history of AI?
• How can firms use AI in the context of their businesses?
• How will the use of AI impact competition between firms?
• What types of jobs is AI likely to replace? Which jobs will flourish due to AI?
• What will be the impact of AI on the broader economy?
• What are ethical questions related to the use of AI?
• Do we need to regulate AI?
We will look at some very simple examples of actual AI models recently developed in machine learning to better understand how they work and how they can be applied in firms. However, this is not a course where you learn how to program and implement AI yourself. We will mainly try to understand AI conceptually by looking at non-technical research on AI. If you are interested to learn how to run AI models, please take advantage of the courses in statistics that are offered in your program, such as “Data Analytics in Strategy Research” by ISTO, as recent AI methodologies are based on applying statistical models on large datasets.

Course Structure

The course is organized as a mixture of lecture-style sessions in the morning, where we will introduce the topics and discuss basic concepts, and workshop-style sessions in the afternoon, where students will work together in groups on selected topics or where we will discuss topics in a more open fashion.


Brynjolfsson, E., & Mcafee, A. (2017). The business of Artificial Intelligence: What it can--and cannot--do for your organization. Harvard Business Review Digital Articles, 7, 3-11.
Agrawal, A., Gans, J. S., & Goldfarb, A. (2018). A Simple Tool to Start Making Decisions with AI. HBR Online, 17 April 2018.
Furman, J., & Seamans, R. (2018). AI and the Economy. In: Innovation Policy and the Economy, eds. Josh Lerner and Scott Stern, NBER, Chicago.



  • The course is held as a block seminar in English
  • Attendance to all lectures of the course is mandatory
  • This seminar does not qualify for a Bachelor thesis at the ISTO according to the examination regulations (107 kB)
  • The number of participants is limited to 15
  • Please apply by sending an e-mail to including a CV and a recent grade transcript until 31.05.2020
  • Please note: The course will be taught via Zoom.
Dates 29.06. - 03.07.
Class will usually take place in two daily session, 9:00-12:00 and 14:00-17:00.
Deadlines 31.05.2020 (Application)
Location The course will take place online via Zoom
Credits 3 ECTS in module "Anwendungsorientierte Vertiefung betriebswirtschaftlicher Kompetenzbereiche"
Examination Presentations; time TBA

Further Information

Stephan Böhmer-Horländer, Phone: +49 (0) 89 / 2180 – 6758,