Managers Need to Understand AI's Impact on Business
Although much hype and fear is
being made about Aritificial Intelligence (AI), managers need to have realistic
understanding of its impact on their business, according to MIT Sloan professor
Thomas W.Malone, director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence.
The 2018 AI Index report found increased interest in the topic around the world, including substantial increases in AI research, investment in AI startups, enrollment in AI college courses, and jobs that require deep learning skills.
“A lot of senior executives and business leaders today are almost desperate to understand how AI may affect their businesses,” said Malone, who teaches a popular executive education course on artificial intelligence and business strategy. “I think leaders are increasingly worried in many cases that if they don’t figure out how to use AI effectively, they’ll be left behind.” Malone said the course emphasizes the history of artificial intelligence and common misconceptions along with how businesses can harness technology.
Malone said the course also tries to give business leaders a level of AI understanding in between a superficial knowledge of buzzwords and the technical know-how of programmers. He compared it to knowledge about how a car works. You don’t have to know how to repair a car in order to know what to do when you have a flat tire or when the car runs out of gas. In a similar way, business leaders should get a sense of the basics of AI, like how a computer can look at a picture and identify a stop sign, a pedestrian, or a car.