Microsoft Aims to Educate the C-Suite with new AI Business School

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For decades, we have been hearing about how artificial intelligence, machine learning, and quantum computing are going to forever change the landscape around us. From predicting the next trends to identifying weaknesses in your security layer, the applications of these new technologies is pitched heavily at every conference (and sales meeting) as the wave of the future.

While quantum computing may be decades away, machine learning and artificial intelligence are starting to manifest in ways that go from conceptual value to a real return on investment. The challenge is, though, that understanding these new technologies, how to implement them, and understanding the types of tasks these tools can be utilized for, can consume an entire career.

To help business leaders better understand these technologies, Microsoft is launching AI Business School, a new learning program targeted at executives.

The content, which is free, focuses on strategy, culture, and responsibility. In short, think of this program as a way to get about knee-deep into the pools of AI and beyond; rather than simply dipping your toes in every so often. While this course will not magically turn your business into an AI-driven company overnight, it helps to you to understand the foundation that is needed to not only deploy the technology to your operations but how to make sure that when you do, you can extract real-world value as well.

And that’s the key, extracting the value. Diving head-first into AI and ML is not something you buy off a shelf, install it, and suddenly realize the gains from your expenditure. For true success to occur, it needs to be a culture driven adoption to understand that these tools add value, only when the businesses allow them to shine and not get buried under piles of other signals.

One of the biggest shifts in modern-businesses is the advancement of statistical modeling. Understanding trends from data captured at the point of sale or from surveys and similar collection tactics are typically a lagging indicator of market movement. They key is to correctly predict where the data is moving towards, and that’s where AI and ML can help out when correctly implemented.

Microsoft has long promoted the idea of democratizing the world of artificial intelligence. With the company’s new education-focused business efforts, they are moving full-steam ahead with not only building out these tools but creating an improved value-chain of operations to help shift the world from lagging to improved prediction based modeling.