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Saturday, July 31, 2021

Why Business Schools Need to Teach Artificial Intelligence

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For marketing educators, it is necessary to reflect on the growing impact of AI in education. If they are innovative educators, they already use new materials to teach differently. Marketing educators must continue to develop their capacities and skills, which are increasingly valuable to their students. Courses offered by marketing educators should enable students to interact with different forms of artificial intelligence, engage in discussions, view videos, and to even create things such as chatbots and virtual facilitators. The culmination of the courses can have participants design market-based projects.

The current deployment of artificial intelligence is the result of three factors: available computing power, data accessibility, and the development of AI products and solutions. But technological availability is only the first brick of a large-scale implementation that has yet to be defined. If we observe an exponential growth in investments in artificial intelligence, these are more a sign of experimentation than of a real general mutation. Thousands of companies worldwide have adopted artificial intelligence systems, and this number is expected to double in the near future.

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Executives believe that artificial intelligence will revolutionize the way companies interact with customers and gather information from them. Moreover, the time available for organizations to adopt artificial intelligence without taking the risk of fading in front of competitors is very short. In the face of the productivity plateau faced by many industries, artificial intelligence is also a means of remaining competitive and viable. Thus, both to form future AI experts and to provide a correct representation for the uninitiated, teaching the field is paramount.

As society evolves rapidly, it is difficult to predict the magnitude of the challenges facing young people in the coming decades. However, it is clear that the development of complex problem-solving skills, where knowledge about AI plays an important role, is essential in education in the 21st century.

Complementing, Not Replacing, Traditional Courses

Learning AI, while not the only way to develop innovative thinking, is an interesting vehicle for achieving this. In fact, in recent years, the teaching of AI has become a concern in many business schools. It is an idea that dates back to the 1990s, but it has struggled to make its way for a variety of reasons, including the costs. Currently, AI education is generally limited to sequential, procedural or eventual systems,  often using highly visual tools. However, this should only be the starting point for a strong implementation in the business curricula, either as a new subject or as part of business courses. This does not at all remove the need for traditional business courses. The traditional courses will always remain an essential tool, even if only to visualize what is sometimes very abstract. Moreover, the two approaches should complement each other.

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