AI In Business Schools: B-School Dean Tests Out An Avatar

AI in business schools

Who is the real Gareth James?

Is it the guy at the right bottom in a gray suit with a pink open shirt? Or is it the person who scrolls into view on the left?

The dean of Emory University’s Goizueta Business School has begun delivering video messages on social media that employ an avatar of himself.

After a short intro from the digital version of James, the real dean appears on the left. “Hang on,” he says, “what’s going on here?”

At that point, a dialogue ensues between the actual dean and the avatar until the real James hands off the rest of the discussion to his digital image. The avatar then explains how Goizueta faculty are using “AI to transform the way healthcare is delivered, optimize operations and supply chains, increase sales, and mitigate the threat of misinformation to major brands.”

In a brief one-minute and 43-second video, James’ avatar speaks to viewers in English, Spanish, and Chinese from a script promoting the school’s AI in business initiative.

“The AI technology is scary good,” James tells Poets&Quants. “The possibilities in an educational institution seem almost limitless.”

See the video here.

As we reported earlier, online MBA students at Gies College of Business will soon take a course from a professor who is using an avatar of himself to deliver some of the class lectures (see Innovation: Using Faculty Avatars & AI In An MBA Classroom). In that example, Professor Robert Brunner is teaching a course on disruptive technology.

The scripts for his lectures were created by CHATGPT, then reviewed and edited by Brunner, after which AI went to work. It created audio from the associate dean for innovation and chief disruption officer at Gies, that had never been spoken before.

Where all of this ends up is anyone’s guest. But business schools are experimenting in various ways to deploy the technology.

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