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The Exchange: Dean’s Message April 2024

April 24, 2024
Dean Jeff Guan

Why AI Matters for Business Education

Dear College of Business Community,

As we embark on another month of innovation and progress, I am reminded of a pivotal
moment in my own journey back in 1990. During that time, I developed an application for
machine tool recognition—utilizing neural networks and image recognition algorithms. As part
of the project I had to code the Fast Fourier Transform algorithm and it took me weeks. Fast
forward to today, what once took weeks to achieve can now be accomplished in seconds,
thanks to remarkable advancements in AI and automation. The impact of AI on productivity
gains is undeniable. Consider Google’s DeepMind project, which revolutionized protein folding,
reducing a process that previously consumed significant time (years) to mere moments. But AI’s
influence extends beyond efficiency; it fundamentally reshapes work itself.
Gone are the days of coding line by line; now, programmers assemble pre-built code blocks,
customizing them as needed. This shift opens up new avenues for innovation and
transformation across industries. However, the true potential of AI lies beyond mere
automation—it has the power to reshape entire business models.
Take Netflix, for instance. What began as a humble DVD rental service has now become a
dominant media powerhouse. Such success stories underscore the need for AI literacy among
our students. As educators, we must prepare them for the challenges and opportunities that lie

Why AI Matters for Business Education:

  • Foundational Component: AI should be a foundational component of every business
    student’s education. Our College of Business is uniquely positioned to lead the charge.
    With expertise in change management, technology adoption, risk management, and
    innovation, we can guide the next generation of business leaders through this
    transformative era. In the coming months, expect more discussions, updates, and
    innovations related to AI. The time to act is now—before AI adoption becomes an
  • Beyond Automation: AI’s impact extends beyond automation. It can reshape business
    models, drive unexpected success, and unlock new possibilities. Let’s ensure our
    students are well-prepared for this new age of possibility.

While AI has everyone’s attention today, this technology is just part of a wave of technological
transformations reshaping almost every aspect of our lives. For example College of Business has
been integrating cybersecurity education into its curriculum for years. Its Computer Information
Systems professors have been on teams receiving millions of federal grants to transform
cybersecurity education. In this issue College of Business faculty member Dr. Ghiyoung Im
shares his findings in a study that examines how complexity in IT and organizational domains
affects cybersecurity breaches in multi-hospital systems.
Remember, our students’ readiness for the modern digital age depends on their understanding
of AI and cybersecurity. Let’s equip them with the knowledge and skills needed to thrive in this
dynamic new landscape. College of Business is where business and technology collide. We
educate tech-savvy humanists.

Thank you for your continued support of the college and dedication to our university.

Jeff Guan, PhD
Interim Dean, UofL College of Business