Automation and machine learning tools are increasingly moving out of big tech companies into every single industry, with data scientists following close behind. There are huge opportunities awaiting forward-looking business leaders who can embrace this revolution, and Denmark’s Copenhagen Business School is committed to empowering them through its Full-Time MBA and Executive MBA programmes.
“For business, AI is about using statistical tools and mathematical logic to optimise processes and decision-making,” explains Professor Ioanna Constantiou of the CBS Department of Digitalisation. “The question executives need to ask themselves is: where do I introduce AI into my organisation’s processes and how? There’s no simple solution.”
For many, the terms ‘AI’ and ‘algorithm’ still manage to conjure futuristic visions of an infinitely powerful computer process that is unfathomable to the human brain. CBS shows business leaders and executives how to demystify machine learning and automation and put them into effective practice.
“At its simplest, AI means a very efficient processing system that can work with complex mathematical models,” says Professor Constantiou. “These systems take in a range of sources, updating in real-time, to present data in new ways or interpret static content into actionable insight. This is what we are talking about when we discuss AI today. In the future, it might mean something much more sophisticated, but right now, we’re still in the hype phase.”
“For different sectors, different industries, the answer to that question will vary. This is why we don’t just give one theory and present it as the sole solution. Instead, we explore current, real-world case studies and then create the space to critically analyse and discuss whether these tools successfully meet the business’s needs. From there, they can consider whether this is something worth investing in for themselves. We can help them to proceed if they want to formulate a strategy for their own business.”
On the Full-Time MBA programme, the case studies are provided by representatives from CBS’s partner organisations, who come in as guest lecturers to present their AI tools. “These are usually Chief Data Officers or Data Scientists, who will present how their organisation is using AI in their core processes. There is the chance to analyse and ask questions, and then we reflect and discuss the implications of this for the specific industries that the students are in.”
As AI becomes more embedded into business decision-making, understanding the potential consequences and pitfalls becomes more important. “Business leaders need to be able to explain what AI is doing and what service it is providing to different stakeholders within the company,” explains Professor Constantiou. “If you are using AI to make some very dramatic decisions, this needs to be explained to the company employees. Otherwise, decisions that have come from an automated algorithm may look bizarre or won’t fit the ethical principles that ensure a strong company culture.”
Ultimately, the challenge for business executives of today is to understand how to use AI tools and software to make effective and responsible business decisions. “It’s extremely important for executives to learn that AI gives a digital representation of the world. It’s important that they understand that what they are seeing is just that, a representation, which comes from a specific way of organising the available data.”
“When you see a visualisation of business trends and predictions, everything revolves around AI. If you have an understanding of the tools, how they are useable, where they come from and the consequences of implementing them, it is possible to use this to map future strategy.”
CBS empowers business executives to achieve this within their organisations, both effectively and responsibly.