Kartik Hosanagar is a tech entrepreneur and the John C. Hower Professor of Technology and Digital Business and a Professor of Marketing at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Kartik’s research work focuses on the digital economy, in particular the impact of analytics and AI algorithms on consumers, business, and society, digital media and marketing, and e-commerce. He is the author of A Human’s Guide to Machine Intelligence.
Kartik has been recognized as one of the world’s top 40 business professors. He is a ten-time recipient of MBA or Undergraduate teaching excellence awards at the Wharton School. Kartik co-founded and developed the core IP for Yodle Inc , a venture-backed firm that was acquired by Web.com. Yodle was listed by Inc. Magazine among America’s fastest growing private companies. He has invested in or served on the advisory boards of over a dozen venture-backed startups. Kartik was a co-host of the SiriusXM show The Digital Hour. He currently serves as a department editor at the journal Management Science.
Kartik graduated at the top of his class with a Bachelors degree in Electronics Engineering and a Masters in Information Systems from Birla Institute of Technology and Sciences (BITS, Pilani), India, and he has an MPhil in Management Science and a PhD in Management Science and Information Systems from Carnegie Mellon University. Outside of Wharton, he likes to make short films and start companies.
TOPICS & FORMAT
Kartik offers four different presentations designed for a corporate audience. Full descriptions below.
A Human’s Guide to Machine Intelligence
Through the technology embedded in almost every major tech platform and device, algorithms and the artificial intelligence that underlies them make a staggering number of everyday decisions for us, from what products we buy, to where we decide to eat, to how we consume our news, to whom we date, and how we find a job. We’ve even delegated life-and-death decisions to algorithms–decisions once made by doctors, pilots, and judges. In this talk, Kartik surveys the brave new world of algorithmic decision-making and reveals the potentially dangerous biases they can give rise to as they increasingly run our lives. He makes the case that we need to arm ourselves with a better, deeper, more nuanced understanding of the phenomenon of algorithmic thinking. And he gives us a route in, pointing out that algorithms often think a lot like their creators–that is, like you and me. Kartik draws on his experiences designing algorithms professionally–as well as on history, computer science, and psychology–to explore how algorithms work and why they occasionally go rogue, what drives our trust in them, and the many ramifications of algorithmic decision-making. He examines episodes like Microsoft’s chatbot Tay, which was created to converse on social media like a teenage girl, but instead turned sexist and racist; the fatal accidents of self-driving cars; and even our own common, and often frustrating, experiences on services like Netflix and Amazon. The talk is an entertaining and provocative look at one of the most important developments of our time and a practical user’s guide to artificial intelligence.
Businesses Transformation Through Big Data and AI: The Executive’s Guide
Artificial Intelligence (AI) represents the next big paradigm shift for businesses after the Internet and cloud computing. Driven by a fear of losing out, companies in many industries have announced AI-focused initiatives. However, Kartik believes most of these efforts will fail. They will fail not because AI is all hype, but because companies are approaching AI-driven innovation incorrectly. In this talk, Kartik draws on his own experiences designing AI applications for business and shares why AI is a radical paradigm change that most companies will struggle with and how businesses can successfully transform themselves around this new phenomenon. He examines how companies like Google have reinvented themselves around AI and how the same principles used by Google are applicable with your enterprise as well.
The Blockbuster: How Some People and Products Become Wildly Successful
What do the movie Toy Story, music video Gangnam Style, musician Lady Gaga, and tech company Google have in common? They are all rare hits in hit-driven industries. Movies, music, gaming, Venture Capital and many other industries may look very different on the surface but they all have surprisingly similar characteristics. The vast majority of initiatives in these industries fail and success for companies are defined by the rare blockbuster. In this talk, Kartik will walk us through the surprising similarities between these industries and explain what differentiates the blockbuster products from their peers? Kartik will draw on his research on digital marketing and social media and introduce us to the art of producing blockbuster products in a digital era.
The Entrepreneurial Mind Game
The entrepreneur’s playbook, as written by former entrepreneurs and commentators, consists of various tactics for product ideation, testing product-market fit, marketing and distribution. But the biggest battle in entrepreneurship is not about business or technology tactics. It is a mental battle – how to remain steady and balanced despite the ups and downs of startup life. In this talk, Kartik draws on his experience founding four different startups including Yodle (acquired by Web.com for $340M) – and advising and investing in over a dozen other ventures – to explore why worries about the past and future can distract entrepreneurs from the opportunity in the present. He examines the experiences of entrepreneurs who built companies worth billions of dollars to those who lost their life savings and marriages and others who committed felonies in a mad pursuit of an entrepreneurial dream. At the heart of this talk is the following central question: How can we pursue our entrepreneurial passions without compromising our values and happiness?
Making Corporate Entrepreneurship Work
Are the words “Corporate” and “Entrepreneurship” oxymorons? They need not be. In this talk, Kartik draws on his experience founding four different startups including Yodle (acquired by Web.com for $340M) – and advising and investing in over a dozen other ventures – to explore how companies can set up the right culture, environment, and people to drive entrepreneurial innovation within large companies.
PHOTOS & OTHER RESOURCES
Media Coverage of A Human’s Guide to Machine Intelligence
- CNBC interview on how to rein in rogue algorithms
- NPR’s 1A had a 1-hour segment on A Human’s Guide to Machine Intelligence
- NYTimes published Kartik’s opinion piece on regulating Big Tech
- FastCompany carries Kartik’s book excerpt on an algorithmic bill of rights for consumers
- Medium has a book excerpt on free will in an algorithmic era
- Wired has a book excerpt
- Bloomberg interviewed Kartik about Facebook’s content filtering algorithm
Selected Popular Writing (Op-eds)
- Harvard Business Review: The First Wave of Corporate AI Is Doomed to Fail
- Wired: Blame the Echo Chamber on Facebook. But Blame Yourself, Too
- Harvard Business Review: Why We Don’t Trust Driverless Cars-Even When We Should
- Forbes: It’s Time for Silicon Valley To Pivot
- Wired: You Can’t Predict Viral Hits, but You Can Help Make Them Happen
- Economic Times: Flipkart Vs Amazon. The Great Indian e-commerce Challenge
- Knowledge@Wharton: Is India’s Demographic Dividend a Liability
Selected Profiles and Interviews
- Profile of 40 professors under 40 (Poets and Quants)
- Yodle: How a Startup Went from Birth to Buyout (article on company Kartik co-founded)
- Interactive Children’s Books for the iPad Generation (Philadelphia Inquirer)
- Professor Profile in Wharton Student Journal (Wharton journal)
- Important to Know what India’s 100M Internet users are doing: Interview on e-commerce in India (LiveMint, India)
- To Pique Interest, Start-Ups Try a Digital Velvet Rope(The New York Times)
- How Wharton Launched Warby Parker (article on startups from Wharton)