Future-proofing careers in the age of AI

Trinity Business School, AI, Digitalisation

As digital skills prove increasingly important and industries across the board pivot towards a more technologically-intensive future, educators have rallied to prepare students for a changing business environment. We talk to experts about the digitally-focused world from Trinity Business School.

Situated in the heart of Dublin, Ireland – a city coined the ‘silicon docks’ courtesy of its reputation as a tech hub – Trinity has embraced the mission of readying the world’s future business leaders for a more digitally-intensive tomorrow.

Of the new technologies changing our world, arguably none have received as much attention as Artificial Intelligence (AI). We spoke to Professor Laurent Muzellec, Dean of Trinity Business School, alongside Kisito Nzembayie, Director of MSc in Entrepreneurship & Innovation at Trinity, and Wladislaw Rivkin, Director of Teaching and Learning (Postgraduate) at Trinity, about what the school is doing in and around the AI space:

As AI continues to define our generation, what is Trinity Business School doing to stay at the cutting edge of technology and innovation?

Kisito: Trinity Business School recognises the transformative impact of AI and has adopted an adaptive philosophy to integrate AI literacy into our curriculum. We are pioneering initiatives to ensure our staff and graduates are proficient in AI, particularly Generative AI, balancing its potential with responsible usage. Key strategies include embedding AI literacy as a core skill for all graduates, developing AI-focused courses within existing programs, and continuously updating our teaching and assessment methods to reflect technological advancements. This approach ensures that our students are strategic adopters of AI, capable of applying it effectively within various organisational contexts.

Kisito: To ensure that TBS stays at the cutting edge of AI-mediated digital transformation, we have assembled a Digital Teaching and Research task force, which will focus on how to shape the future of teaching and research against the backdrop of technological innovations such as AI. This task force is made up of academics who not only have a strong background and expertise but are also passionate about using technological innovations to improve their teaching and research. For example, the Director of our Flexible Executive MBA, Dr. Eimear Nolan, is the leader of what is an innovative MBA programme delivered virtually and asynchronously, attracting business executives from around the globe.

Where does AI fit into the school’s strategy?

Laurent: AI is integral to our “Transforming Business for Good” strategy. As AI shapes up to become a driving force of business transformation in the future, our strategic goal is to equip both staff and students with the skills to unlock AI’s potential. By embedding critical AI literacy across the school, we aim to foster a digitally savvy, innovative workforce capable of leveraging AI for business transformation and value creation.

Laurent: Climate change and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are reshaping our world, yet businesses and academics often tackle them in isolation, risking disjointed strategies and overlooked opportunities. Trinity Business School recognises that these two phenomena must be addressed simultaneously. Our annual event, the Trinity Business Forum, taking place on 7 March, acknowledges this necessity. The theme of the conference, ‘Sust(AI)nability,’ reflects our commitment to integrating these critical areas. At the forum, industry leaders, technology experts, and leading academics from institutions including Trinity, Harvard Business School, and companies such as Salesforce, KPMG, EY, Google, and AIB will unite. Together, we will explore sustainable strategies while addressing the challenges and opportunities presented by AI.

 

How is Trinity delivering on its commitment to creating a skilled and digitally-savvy workforce?

Wladislaw: Prior to the AI era, Trinity Business School had already laid the groundwork for producing digitally proficient graduates through our teaching and research. For example, we had long established the Center for Digital Business and Analytics and a number ofogy-centric prog digital technolrammes and courses, such as digital marketing and business analytics. These programmes emphasise a blend of digital literacy and core business skills. This also applies to Executive Education, which now proposes AI-focused certificates in Marketing Strategy and Entrepreneurship. Additionally, all our programs are regularly updated to incorporate cutting-edge technological advancements, ensuring that our curriculum remains relevant and forward-looking. We engage regularly with industry professionals, incorporating their voices in the redevelopment of our programmes where and when necessary. There is also a hive of research activity at the nexus between Generative AI and business education, based on the method of reflective practice. Ultimately, we maintain a healthy balance between responsiveness and overreacting, between embracing the use of generative AI and being aware of its biases, ethical dilemmas, and overall limitations.

Laurent: We are also proposing and incentivising all our staff to gain training in generative AI. This includes academics who will have the opportunity to take on a module on teaching and researching with AI, as well as all our professional and administrative staff. All staff involved in sales and marketing (e.g., marketing, recruitment, executive education, events) are already following specific training on marketing with generative AI. Additionally, for all other key functions, such as programme management, student support, and career development, we are assigning an AI champion within each team. The role of these champions will be to understand how generative AI can be used in their respective verticals and help their colleagues adopt it when appropriate.

Wladislaw: In the future, we aim to expand our programme offering by introducing digital programmes that are delivered in a more flexible way by making stronger use of online lectures and the matrix room, a cutting-edge facility to deliver online programmes at TBS. These programmes will not only focus on expanding students’ capabilities to adapt to technological innovations such as AI but will also give those students who cannot enter higher education as full-time students the opportunity to engage in lifelong learning.

What are the key issues that business schools must address in relation to AI?

Kisito: The advent of Generative AI presents unique challenges, notably the risk of undermining critical thinking skills and the integrity of traditional modes of learning. Trinity Business School is actively addressing these concerns by rethinking our approach to teaching, learning, and assessments. Our research advocates for more authentic learning experiences that transcend conventional methods, promoting immersive and practical learning opportunities. This shift is crucial to maintain the authenticity and rigour of our educational programmes in the current AI-driven landscape.

For additional insights, trends and perspectives about Artificial Intelligence (AI), visit the conversation here.