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Artificial Intelligence for Managers

The development of artificial intelligence has been very successful in the last ten years. Nevertheless, reality often does not do justice to what is commonly imagined under artificial intelligence. In a guest lecture at WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management, Alexander C. S. Hendorf, Managing Partner at the strategy and data science consultancy Königsweg, advised (prospective) managers to keep an eye on progress in the field of artificial intelligence.

Artificial intelligence has existed since the 1940s. Since 1964, computers are able to recognize the gender of a person by analyzing an image. The technological possibilities of the 2010s, especially access to large volumes of data, the globalization of research and open source software, have catalyzed the further development of artificial brains.

As Alexander C. S. Hendorf of Königsweg pointed out, many current programs of artificial intelligence have their inspirational origins in the film industry. Conversations with computers that follow complex instructions and respond in human language were still visionary in the early Star Trek seasons. With Alexa, Siri and Co., they have now become reality. When it comes to artificial intelligence, fiction is usually several years to decades ahead of reality.

Hendorf warned against falling prey to the hype about artificial intelligence that is intensified by the creativity of filmmakers. Data are not unbiased and their evaluation can therefore lead to erroneous results. It is also possible to trick programs of artificial intelligence. Besides, he emphasized that managers do not have to be data experts, but should be to some extent concerned with the various areas of data processing.  Especially repetitive tasks could be automated; the market potential of in-house AI applications is gigantic. Close cooperation with experts is important. In addition, Hendorf pleaded for a worldwide networking of data experts to be able to work together and openly on the further development of artificial intelligence.


The guest lecture was part of the course "Introduction to Python and Programming" in the WHU Bachelor Program.

To the lecture