AI and deep learning are the future in business schools.

In a Harvard Business School classroom in Boston, MA, robots are on the rise.

What is the potential for robots to reshape our roads? And what are the challenges and opportunities of entering that business?

SwissCognitiveWhy learn about AI?

David Yoffie, professor of international business administration, believes it to be essential  for tomorrow’s business leaders. Working with artificial intelligence (AI), he says, is “capability that MBAs need to know about”. AI today is a super-hot area in business education, he adds. Harvard, Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, MIT’s Sloan School of Management and INSEAD of France are among the top-tier business schools adding courses on managing the algorithms that are helping businesses make better decisions. It is undisputed that MBAs will need a firm grasp of the technologies. Moreover, “Business students need to understand the major industrial and information technologies being developed and how they will shape business in future — not simply how they work,” says Jonathan Trevor, a professor with Oxford University’s Saïd Business School .

The practical application of the knowledge

On a practical level, this means understanding how to manage the development and application of algorithms across businesses. Executives must become familiar with interacting with data scientists and must know how to leverage analytics to see new business opportunities, according to Shawn Mankad, assistant professor at Cornell University’s College of Business.

The uncertainty of the future

Other business schools are focusing on ‘soft skills’, such as negotiation and creativity, as it is presumed that robots will not outperform humans any time soon in this area. What the human-robot future looks like remains unclear, but business school will at least prepare future leaders to be confident with the ambiguity, says Urs Peyer, dean of degree programs at INSEAD.