The Fifth Elephant 2023 Winter

The Fifth Elephant 2023 Winter

On the engineering and business implications of AI & ML



This video is for members only

Anuj Gupta

Anuj Gupta


Economics of AI

Submitted Sep 18, 2023

It is widely believed that the next few unicorns and decacorns will come from AI. This should hardly be surprising - AI is one of those once-in-a-lifetime technological advances that can change the life of every human on earth. Its impact on mankind will be no less than the impact of industrialization or electricity.

But building AI is one thing and building a profitable business from AI is completely another beast. Building successful companies requires a solid business model and not just game-changing technology. The unit economics must work out well.

In this talk, we will look at why the business of AI so far is super tricky. We will be peeling back the layers of AI’s costs and challenges to give you a real P&L perspective.


  1. How & why AI is a very expensive technology
  2. We will look at its various components from a cost lens
  3. We will understand why, unlike SaaS, cost margins for AI business are expected to be super low

We hope that this talk will help Founders, leaders, AI teams, look at AI from a P&L lens and develop a more pragmatic view of the business of AI so as to enable the broader AI community to make much more informed decisions.



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