Despite the hype attached to AI, the results to date for many companies have been relatively modest. There’s a strong suspicion that this hype has encouraged executive teams to do ‘something’ with AI, but their lack of real knowledge on the topic undermines their ability to do something meaningful. 

SwissCognitiveSo instead pilots are launched that allow them to claim to be doing something, but those pilots seldom migrate into the core of the business and drive lasting change.

The desire to change this has prompted a number of education programs that are designed specifically for executives. The latest of these comes from Andrew Ng, who has launched a new course, called AI for Everyone , on Coursera, the online learning platform he co-created.

“The top three questions I get from CEOs are “How do I build my AI team (including talent and org structure)?”, “How do I decide what to do and what not to do?”, and “How do I align my company strategy with the capabilities of AI”, and so I hope this course will help executives and managers, and indeed all business people, understand the rise of AI and be able to navigate this space,” Ng told me recently.

The course, which will be just three weeks long will run along similar lines to previous Coursera courses, with video lectures interspersed with quizzes and other assignments, with discussion fora allowing learners to interact with both the faculty and each other.

The business power of AI 

The course will aim to answer a number of the questions Ng believes executives are grappling with at the moment, and will broadly introduce them to AI technology and terminology; provide examples of what the technology can and can’t do; explore how AI teams, and indeed organizations can be built; explore how AI impacts society and how to develop it ethically; and how to develop strategies in an AI age.

Ng believes that a considerable problem for the industry is that not only is it largely the case that only AI success stories get published, but the stories that are published often widely overextend the capabilities and progress with AI, such that it’s difficult to get a grip on where the technology is that’s grounded in reality rather than hyperbole.[…]

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