AI/ML: The Seismic Shift Shaping the Future of Business
Updated: May 18
The year is 2023 and artificial intelligence coupled with machine/deep learning have officially erupted like an earthquake, shaking the very foundation of our world. We are at a crossroad now where many of us are wondering how we will conduct future business with this newfound knowledge.
While the aftershocks of AI have been felt across industries, from healthcare to finance, from transportation to agriculture, and everything in between, many business owners are left standing amidst the rubble, trying to make sense of the new reality we find ourselves in. And many are wondering, how do we use this technology in our daily lives?
Yet, as the dust settles, we are beginning to understand the potential of this seismic shift in technology. AI is revolutionizing the way we live, work, and interact with one another. It is automating tedious tasks, streamlining processes, and making decisions faster and more accurately than ever before. But with this newfound power comes a new set of challenges–AI ethics, algorithmic bias, data management, data security, and now - the technical education gap that will exist for future business owners.
For example, graduate programs such as a Master’s in Business Administration (MBA), which enables skills for future business owners, will be challenged to rise up in accordance with this explosion of tech. MBA programs across the world that are not bringing AI/ML or data science into the room for debate and discussion, in challenging their students to think about the functions of business through a data-driven lens are not properly equipping future leaders with the skills required to be successful in the landscape of business 5,10,15, 20 years from now. TLDR; do not invest your money into an MBA program that doesn't consider the technology perspective in business.
As someone who has undergone both a Bachelor's and Master's program (Accounting and Business Administration), I can confidently say that this is the time to invest in an education that will encourage you to think from a data-driven perspective--a perspective that includes data management, understanding the basics of machine learning and artificial intelligence, no-code automated solutions, potential risks and implications for data security, ethics and governance models for AI, and how all of this can and will impact your business.
There should be no more waiting anymore because there is no more “let’s address this in the future." We are living in the future now, and it is unfolding at a pace more quickly than many of us even realize. And unfortunately, those who fail to consider the importance of AI/ML in their own business will find themselves constantly trying to keep up with an unending competitive force that isn’t even human.
Gone are the days when artificial intelligence was just a mysterious term relegated to the tech sector. Now, every business owner should have a working knowledge of how AI works and how to leverage it to maximize revenue, minimize costs, and increase overall client satisfaction. Having a working knowledge of it doesn't mean you need to become a technologist overnight, but it's essential to know how to be able to identify opportunities where you can leverage AI in your business model.
The world is changing rapidly, and the demand for new skills is constantly shifting. Therefore, it is essential to invest in an education that teaches you the skills that are going to propel you forward and help you succeed in your career or building your business.
Here are some skills worthy of investing in:
Data literacy: Entrepreneurs will need to understand how to collect, store, and analyze data to make informed business decisions. This includes understanding data structures, basic statistical concepts, and data visualization.
AI/ML fundamentals: Entrepreneurs should have a solid understanding of the principles of AI/ML and how they can be applied in different business contexts. This includes learning about supervised and unsupervised learning, neural networks, and deep learning.
Programming skills: While entrepreneurs don't need to be experts in programming, having basic coding skills in languages like Python and R will be helpful in working with AI/ML tools and understanding how they work.
Business strategy: Entrepreneurs should have a strategic mindset and be able to identify business opportunities where AI/ML can be applied to drive growth and innovation.
Communication and collaboration: As AI/ML becomes more integrated into business operations, entrepreneurs will need to effectively communicate with stakeholders and collaborate with teams that may have different skill sets.
If formal education is a roadblock, there are other ways to take matters into your own hands and upskill yourself to consider how you can better leverage AI/ML in your future or existing business:
Enroll in relevant courses or certifications: There are many online and in-person courses and certifications available that cover AI/ML fundamentals, programming languages, and data analytics.
Join communities or groups focused on AI/ML: Joining communities or groups of like-minded individuals interested in AI/ML can be a great way to network, learn from others, and stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies.
Seek out mentors: Finding mentors who have experience in AI/ML and business strategy can provide valuable guidance and insight.
Experiment and tinker: Entrepreneurs can learn a lot by experimenting with AI/ML tools and tinkering with data on their own. This can help them gain a better understanding of how these technologies work and how they can be applied in their own business context.
In summary, developing a strong understanding of data analytics, AI/ML fundamentals, programming, business strategy, communication, and collaboration will be essential for future entrepreneurs looking to be competitive in their future business as it relates to AI/ML. There are many resources available for those looking to learn these skills, including courses, communities, mentors, and experimentation.
Don't let not having a formal technology education stop you from teaching yourself the crucial skills required for you to grow successfully within the business world because at some point or another you will need these skills to evolve. But if you can control your formal education now, do consider a path that presents a solid return for your future time investment.