Microsoft’s AI Business School: Prepping Business Leaders to Take on AI

For the past couple of years, machine learning and more importantly artificial intelligence (AI) have become the leading trends of the tech industry. The impressive speed at which businesses are adopting AI simply underscores the technology’s role in future. It is analyzed that by end of 2020, around 90% of the large enterprises will have employed machine learning in their organizations either at pilot stage or at production levels. In spite of this progress, many of the pilot schemes are still at an experimental phase, since many of the organizations are struggling to understand how they can really adopt AI into their key business processes or apply it in organization-wide strategies. The main reasons behind the slow paced adoption of AI are not technological. Most of the firms are held back due to their inability to define the scope of AI within their business, how they can revise or build their corporate strategies, along with the uncertainty about governance and trust in AI.

These factors have prompted tech giants like Microsoft, IBM, AWS, and Google to open-source their technologies to an extent by which many organizations and business executives can benefit by getting free access to plenty of resources and trainings related to AI.

An interesting turnaround from the tech world this week is the launch of an AI Business School by Microsoft to help business leaders navigate these questions around AI. The AI Business School is not a mere technical how-to. It includes a series of case studies, executive insights, tech talks, academic lectures, and free instructional videos designed particularly for business leaders and executives which will help them understand how they can successfully implement AI strategies within their organization.

The course is broken down into four modules, each one focusing on the following:


  - Offers case studies from several sectors such as manufacturing, healthcare, retail, financial etc. that provides guidance on creating organizational strategies.


  - To foster data-driven and collaborative organizations, the School offers perspectives on how to break down organizational and departmental silos for embracing AI. Besides, Microsoft offers a 
     maturity model assessment and a change management framework to help leaders evaluate and develop their approaches.


  - Creates awareness among executives on the importance of governance, handling bias, explain-ability, privacy, security and compliance, and emphasizes the importance of maintaining a 
     responsible  approach while building and using AI.


   - Offers a high-level overview of technologies such as machine learning and deep learning, cognitive services, conversational bots and AI features in applications.

With the launch of AI Business School, Microsoft has taken a crucial step forward in the AI industry. The appetite to master AI will certainly drive businesses- small and large- all over the world to go for such programs. Microsoft is not the only one that puts efforts to teach execs and leaders about AI. Companies like Amazon Web Services, IBM and Coursera are offering programs to create AI-ready and AI-responsible business leaders.

In the coming days, we will come to know more about how the market is responding to Microsoft’s initiative.

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