How B-Schools Are Using AI and VR
Around the world, b-schools are integrating artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) into the classroom.
Seb Murray, a contributor at Financial Times, recently discussed how b-schools are using the latest technology to further business education.
Transforming B-School Education
In Europe, b-schools are utilizing AI and VR to transform the way students learn, give or receive feedback, network, and land a job.
At Italy’s MIP Politecnico di Milano, the MBA program is using an AI search engine called Flexa, which automatically recommends which areas of a CV a student should focus on making improvements. After a student uploads their CV, Flexa offers suggestions based on the student’s expertise and jobs advertised by recruiters, according to FT.
“The vast amount of information on the internet can be overwhelming. Flexa filters it,” Paolo Mazza, an MIP EMBA alumnus who tested Flexa, tells FT.
At IE Business School in Madrid, VR is being used to take MBA students to places that are traditionally too expensive or dangerous to visit in-person, such as an Airbus satellite production line.
The VR technology is also being used to improve students’ communication skills. Students can practice public speaking using VR as they receive a simulated audience reaction, according to FT.
“Students learn to tailor their communication style, depending on the reaction,” IE dean Martin Boehm tells FT.
VR case studies are also making their appearance in b-schools. For example, at Neoma Business School in France, students can use a VR case study’s 360-degree view to learn about marketing through changing a retail shop’s interior virtually.
“It’s an immersive and playful experience that forces you to engage with people to acquire information — not reading it on paper,” Estelle François-Brazie, who tried out the VR case, tells FT.
Increased Funding In AI
More and more b-schools are now funding money into teaching AI.
Most recently, Harvard Business School received a $5 million gift from alumnus Stephen A. Schwarzman, chairman, CEO, and co-founder of Blackstone, a multinational private equity alternative asset management and financial services firm. His multi-million-dollar gift will help spur the efforts of HBS faculty members who are researching and writing case studies on AI.
“Across Blackstone’s diverse portfolio, I have seen firsthand the impact that rapid technological change has on businesses and industries,” Schwarzman says in a press release. “The disruptive implications and opportunities surrounding AI are far-reaching. Executives need to understand how to anticipate, act on, and manage these changes. I am hopeful that through these case studies—hallmarks of the HBS experience that have helped train a century of business leaders— we can better prepare the next generation to help shape the application of AI in an ethical and accountable way that benefits the public interest.”