PYMNTS MonitorEdge May 2024

AI Interest Means More Business for Business Schools

Business schools are adding AI-related curricula as interest in the technology continues to grow.

That’s according to a Sunday report by the Financial Times (FT), citing a 40-country survey by education consultant CarringtonCrisp, showing that almost half of respondents anticipate learning about artificial intelligence (AI) in the next five years.

With the launch of tools like OpenAI’s ChatGPT leading companies to experiment with generative AI, business schools are seeing a growing demand for courses dealing with the technology, the report said.

Among those hoping to learn more about AI is Annette Saller, director of program and project management at German medical equipment maker Hartmann Group. She told FT she wanted to get a holistic view of AI that transcended the buzz.

“AI is about so much more than generating text and pictures,” Saller said.  “People often think AI is a magic wand. Coming out of this program, you demystify it.”

This trend is happening at a time when generative AI tools and automated machine learning (ML) solutions “are disrupting the economic landscape and ushering in a new, modern operating environment,” as PYMNTS wrote earlier this month.

The speed at which this digitization is altering legacy processes across industries makes it more important than ever for finance leaders to become more agile and more involved in strategic planning and forecasting, that report added. 

“[AI is] changing the way that people look at the operational relationship between systems and people,” James Ritter, then CFO at ABBYY, told PYMNTS in an interview. “[Businesses] don’t necessarily need someone to do specific data entry-type tasks as much anymore, but you do need individuals that are able to provide additional critical analysis.”

Kevin Held, CFO at Hazeltree, told PYMNTS during an interview at the beginning of the year that “finance and accounting teams have become much more of a business partner than just the ‘bean counter’ we were before,” as the responsibilities of the CFO change to include providing greater transparency over cash flow and other strategic needs beyond just reducing costs and greenlighting expenses.

“While buzzy tools like ChatGPT offer excitement for consumers, prudent CFOs will likely avoid fully integrating them due to concerns around data-sharing and corporate privacy,” PYMNTS wrote. “Rather, enterprise-specific AI tools trained on internal datasets and information will be what finance teams rely on most to inform and optimize process transformations.”

For all PYMNTS AI coverage, subscribe to the daily AI Newsletter.