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MGMT240 Doing Business with Artificial Intelligence: Introduction

Ex Machina Official Teaser Trailer

Course Description

“The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race. It would take off on its own, and re- design itself at an ever increasing rate. Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn’t compete, and would be superseded.” – Stephen Hawking

More and more business organizations are using A.I. technologies such as predictive analytics, deep learning or sentiment / image analysis to identify patterns and trends in vast reams of (big) data, allowing them to make ‘smarter’ decisions (e.g. about loss of customers or the necessary service inspection of equipment) and potentially to become more competitive in real-time. As A.I. technology is already surpassing human decision- making in certain instances, there is growing concern about ‘uncontrolled A.I.’ in business and society, incl. regulatory and ethical-legal challenges. Against this background, this new course aims to equip students with foundational, theoretical and practical knowledge about A.I. driven business applications in selected private and public sector organizations. At the beginning of the course, students will watch Ex-Machina (2015), a psycho- techno thriller film which tells the story of a young programmer invited to the home of a reclusive billionaire to test whether an A.I. can pass itself off as human to assess the difficulties to successfully control and ‘switch- off’ artificial intelligence once created. Besides reconstructing the history of artificial intelligence from the 1960s to the current era (as well as a refresher about the basics of computer science algorithms such as audio and video compression algorithms), we will put emphasis on explaining the A.I. driven business models of several top international and local organizations such as New Relic, Splunk, Trade Desk, Nvidia, MetaMind, DBS, NTUC, Gov Tech Agency of Singapore and the German Research Center for A.I. In order to appreciate the power of A.I. technology, we will take a closer look ‘under the A.I. hood’ to understand what makes machine learning, deep learning, neural networks and image analysis tick. Visits to A.I. powered business organizations engaged in customer service management, finance, marketing, supply chain management or manufacturing will be organised aimed at appreciating both the benefits and downside of A.I. Students graduating from this course will be equipped with critical competencies to solve real-world business problems using A.I. technology while simultaneously casting a critical eye on the morality and ethics of commercialising A.I.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • Analyze the rise, power, impact, upside and potential downside of artificial intelligence applications (A.I.) in business and society in general.
  • Explain how  private and  public sector organizations engaged in  customer service  management, finance, marketing, supply chain management and manufacturing use machine learning, deep learning, neural networks, image analysis etc. to potentially become more competitive and ‘effective’ in real- time.
  • Understand some of the ‘OB’ implications of artificial intelligence applications in business with regard to job polarization, organizational commitment, career progression and well-being outcomes at organizational and individual levels.
  • Appreciate the importance of integrating morality and ethics into A.I. powered business models aimed at solving real-world business problems.
  • Know the difficulties to successfully control and ‘switch-off’ artificial intelligence once created and how to deal with this dilemma from an actionable business management point of view.

The History of Artificial Intelligence

Recommended Text and Readings


City of the Future: Singapore – Full Episode | National Geographic

Recommended Databases

The use of electronic resources must comply with the Appropriate Use of Electronic Resources Policy and Singapore Management University Acceptable Use Policy