Demand for specialized business programs in new technologies has been increasing all over the world, especially in cryptocurrencies and the blockchain technology behind them. Rebecca Guy, an associate at Scotiabank Global Capital Markets, went back to school to learn a second language. But she's not trying to become fluent in French, Italian or Mandarin. Last September, the 24-year-old started the master of management in artificial intelligence (MMAI) program at Smith School of Business in Kingston to help her become as savvy in new technologies as in business. "I found the program because one day I found myself becoming so frustrated working on a project with a team because I felt like I only understood half of the puzzle," recalls Ms. Guy.
Major League Baseball has teamed with creative software developer Adobe to offer dozens of business school students access to data on fan behavior as part of the software giant's yearly analytics competition. For a chance at $60,000 in cash and prizes, the students will analyze the information, which includes stats like in-game purchases, web traffic and customer drop-off tallies, and distill it into recommendations for how the league can better expand its in-person stadium and retail experience to its digital properties. This year's contest will be the first in the decade-old Adobe Analytics Challenge to include machine learning software among the tools to which students have access, namely Adobe Sensei, the artificial intelligence engine that powers much of the creative software giant's customer targeting and predictive analytics suite. Specifically, students will look for anomalies and behavioral patterns in the data that might point to elements of the MLB's digital user experience that are driving people away, or particularly successful features upon which the league's developers should expand. The data is segmented by customer demographics and spans the MLB's flagship website, mobile apps and other digital properties.
With any change comes the fear of the unknown, but this is especially true when it comes to artificial intelligence. Universities today have so much to gain by leveraging AI across the student lifecycle, but many are hesitant. Taking a step back, this somewhat nebulous concept of AI is already taking root in our everyday lives in so many forms. Today, you can wake up with a reminder and a playlist of your favorite motivational morning music via a voice-activated assistant, then get traffic advice on your way to work from a maps app. A quick tap on a suggestion based on previous purchases, and your favorite variety of coffee is waiting at your favorite store, already paid for in-app.