Microsoft launches AI school for business leaders Credit: Martyn WilliamsIDG
Business Management

Microsoft launches AI school for business leaders

Microsoft has launched a new online program aimed at educating business leaders about artificial intelligence (AI) and company transformation.

Named the AI Business School, the course consist of written case studies and guides, plus videos of lectures, perspectives and talks focused on the impact of AI on a company, rather than the technicalities.

The vendor partnered with the international graduate business school INSEAD to build the strategy modules.

“There is a gap between what people want to do and the reality of what is going on in their organisations today, and the reality of whether their organisation is ready,” said Mitra Azizirad, corporate vice president for AI marketing at Microsoft.

“Developing a strategy for AI extends beyond the business issues It goes all the way to the leadership, behaviours and capabilities required to instill an AI-ready culture in your organisation.”

Course materials will include case studies about companies across many industries that have successfully transformed their businesses with AI.

Modules covering culture and responsibility will have a heavy focus on data, Microsoft said. In particular, how machine learning helped the vendor itself gain better sales leads by bringing together data scientists and the marketing team.

On the subject of using AI and data responsibility, the course will also feature case studies on how Microsoft learnt to safeguard AI systems against cyber attacks and the need for systems to detect bias in data sets used to train models.

“You need to start out with an open approach to how the data of an organisation is going to be used, which is the foundation of AI, to get the results that you are banking on.” Azizirad added.

Microsoft already has two developer-focused programs: the AI School and the Microsoft Professional Program for Artificial Intelligence, which are intended to help engineers and others looking to improve their skills in AI and data science.

Microsoft has invested heavily in developing a strong AI footprint within the Australian IT industry. Last year, the vendor launched a partner program alongside LiveTiles to help the channel improve their AI deployment.

Last month, Microsoft  opened a multimillion-dollar technology centre in Sydney, backed by strategic partnerships with DXC Technology and the NSW Government.

The facility is designed to help customers leverage expertise across cloud and artificial intelligence to build digital transformation.

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