Why B-Schools in India should include AI and Robotics in curriculum

B-Schools in India must weave knowledge of AI and Robotics into their courses   | Photo Credit: Pixabay

Artificial intelligence (AI) and Robotics have already started to challenge the conventional methods of businesses. For instance, AI bots are increasingly being used to handle routine customer queries and some intelligent machines are even able to monitor faults and security breaches.

As a result, many B-schools in India have started to include this in their curriculum. While a management graduate may not use these technologies the way an engineer would, they need to know their impact on the business world.

New challenges

With new opportunities come new challenges and B-Schools will have to address these and ensure that aspiring managers can tackle them. The increasing use of AI, Robotics and Internet of Things (IoT) will lead to the creation of new jobs and the automation of others. Some may even fade away with time.

For instance, a study by McKinsey Global Institute predicts that the potential value of AI, Robotics and IoT may grow to an additional $13 trillion by 2030.

Another report by Accenture in 2016 suggested that the gross value add in 12 developed nations may double by 2035 due to the adoption in various sectors. Many companies and start-ups are eager to use technologies to increase productivity, despite concerns regarding the cost, infrastructure and availability of talent. Future managers will need to address these issues.

Some of the world’s highly reputed B-schools and Universities offer MBAs with specialisation in AI and/or robotics. For instance, Stanford University offers a joint MBA/MS in this area. MIT Sloan, Cornell University and NYU Stern offer similar courses. According to Dr. David B. Yoffie, Professor Harvard Business School, AI and Robotics are an essential part of B-school landscape. Some academicians feel that the curriculum in B-schools should highlight how AI, robotics and IoT are inseparably linked within that innovation economy.

The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) had predicted in 2019 that 14% of current jobs may disappear due to automation and managers with news skills will have to be absorbed.

In India, an Executive MBA requires at least two-three years of work experience and most aspiring managers come from the technical domain especially from IT firms. Apart from feeling that they are lost in a sea of ‘thousands of techies’, they are already aware of the impact and scope of AI, Robotics and IoT. Therefore many want to study marketing or digital marketing.

Building skills

In industries that have to interact digitally with customers, a huge amount of transaction data is generated. Therefore AI and Robotics can be leveraged to work on such data to deliver personal recommendations to customers. Techies who have innovative ideas and aspire to implement these will need to build their entrepreneurial or managerial skills. Therefore B-Schools in India will have to build the environment and infrastructure to produce the managers of the future.

The writer is an Assistant Professor, Machine Learning & Data Sciences, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon.

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Printable version | May 14, 2021 7:23:10 PM |

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