How Artificial Intelligence is Making Its Way Into the Business Curriculum
Across the world, business schools are teaching artificial intelligence (AI).
Harvard Business School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, and France’s INSEAD are among the top schools weaving into the curriculum, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Learning From Experts in the Field
When determining whether a school has a strong AI curriculum, it’s important to consider a few factors. Ilana Kowarski, a reporter at US News, recently discussed ways prospective business students can tell if a business school has a strong AI curriculum.
Simon Johnson is a professor of entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management. Johnson tells US News that students should seek out courses with multiple guest speakers who actually utilize AI in their business.
“I call them live case studies or expert witnesses – people who come and don’t lecture to you, but they’re willing to engage and to be a living case study in your classroom,” he says. “That’s a lot of fun. It’s super interesting.”
Importance of Fundamentals
Willem-Jan van Hoeve is an associate professor of operations research at Carnegie Mellon University’s Tepper School of Business. He advises students to look for a curriculum that offers fundamentals in AI concepts.
“If schools do not offer you the fundamentals, the methodological foundations of AI, you probably are not going to get access to the state of the art – and if you want to make a difference in your career, you probably want to know about the fundamentals,” he tells US News.
At Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business, students are even expected to have a fundamental foundation in AI before enrolling in specific AI courses, according to The Wall Street Journal.
Mohsen Bayati is a professor of operations, information, and technology at Stanford. Bayati tells The Wall Street Journal that all students are required to pass a probability and statistics exam in order to register for his course “Business Intelligence from Big Data.”
Learning How to Run an AI Company
For the most part, an MBA getting trained in AI won’t necessarily go on to become an engineer.
Randall K. Minas Jr. is an assistant professor at the University of Hawaii—Manoa’s Shidler College of Business. Minas tells US News that it’s less about learning the intricacies of AI technology, but more about learning how to run a company that uses AI.
At India’s S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), two new courses on machine learning and supply chain have been implemented into the curriculum.
Anil Vaidya is area head of information management at SPJIMR. Vaidya tells the Economic Times that business leaders will need to have a level of understanding about how AI technology will influence their company.
“A management graduate will not do an engineer’s job, but in a world where automation is fast disrupting businesses, anyone in leadership position must have knowledge of technology, which they can use to improve business,” he tells Economic Times.
Business students are increasingly finding an interest in the tech industry. According to a Poets & Quants analysis, an average of 22% of the Class of 2017 went into the tech industry. Compared to 2013’s average of 16.5%. For prospective students interested in the field, it’s important to consider a school’s curriculum and understand how the field of AI will continuously influence tomorrow’s business world.