The Age of AI

To better understand how artificial intelligence (AI) is transforming the global economy, LISH has launched The Age of AI project to conduct empirical research and statistical analysis of AI use by enterprises. Using a host of methodological activitiesaitech—including in-depth surveys, case studies, and field experiments—LISH examines how firms use and organize around AI, as well as explores the causal linkages between the technology and firm outcomes. The output from this research project will serve to guide industry, academics, and policy makers as they adapt to and navigate through this new technological age.


For firms, AI is becoming a central engine of execution helping to alleviate traditional bottlenecks which have constrained scale and growth for hundreds of years.  Digital operations driven by AI enable firms to scale operations efficiently, provide opportunities for scope (e.g., enhanced varieties of products and services), as well as continuously learn and improve upon processes and products. However, this AI-driven digital transformation requires a fundamental re-architecture of the firm’s operating model. In firms structured around the ubiquity of data and information flow, many traditional critical path steps will be made by digital systems and software rather than by humans. As the adoption of AI technologies continues to grow, questions about the shifting roles of managers and employees become even more pressing.

To address these issues, our research on AI encompasses a range of methods including enterprise surveys, case studies, and field experiments.

  • Surveys: By assessing the current context of how AI is diffusing across different types of firms (by sector, size, age, etc.) within the economy, LISH aims to shed light on the types of complementary technologies and organizational structures associated with the use of this technology.
  • Case Studies: The narratives that comprise a case study serve as a magnifying glass to peer below the quantitative statistics and provide real life qualitative examples about how AI is being implemented by individual firms, as well as the barriers they face to adoption, reorganization, and value attainment.
  • Field Experiments: Partnering with outside organizations, LISH will design and conduct field experiments to assess the causal relationship between AI and enterprise performance.