AI for Business Certificate: Meet the Instructor, Explore the Training

Posted by Kompass Professional Development on May 7, 2024 6:00:03 PM
Kompass Professional Development

Over the past few years, artificial intelligence (AI) has transformed the world of work. With the rise of natural language chatbots like ChatGPT that produce human-like responses to user prompts, millions of people are discovering new and more efficient ways to get their tasks done.

But how exactly do these tools work? And more importantly, how can you make them work for you?

That’s where our AI for Business certificate comes in. It’s designed to help professionals understand the basics of AI and how the technology can be applied to their own business challenges.

We spoke with instructor Asad Choudhry to find out what students can expect from the certificate and what impact AI will have in the coming years. Read on for the highlights.

Q. Asad, can you share a bit about your education and professional background?

Asad: I studied science in undergrad and also did a research thesis to cap that off. So I spent a lot of time in the lab. That’s where I became acquainted with bleeding-edge research and AI and how that overlaps into life sciences, even though that wasn’t directly my thesis at the time.

I proceeded to a master’s at the University of Toronto after that, and then my first job was at a pharmaceutical company called GlaxoSmithKline. There I saw how impediments to clinical research and clinical trials were being countered firsthand.

Then I got into tech consulting soon after and that’s where I first started working with data, analytics, and AI and machine learning. I’ve been in and around the field of AI for about five years now, directly servicing and advising clients about how to use it across all industry types.

Currently what I do is a lot from the product strategy and management side, as well as from an educational perspective. I help get clients acquainted with the use cases of AI that are directly applicable to their industries and extend beyond typical applications that they might be used to, like a chat-and-response functionality. Another portion of my job is managing products directly, so understanding user requirements, guiding the design and build, and putting them to work.


Q. What are the main learning goals of the AI for Business certificate?

Asad: The main learning goal is to get students who are in a professional setting acquainted with how to use AI most effectively for their jobs to help them be more efficient.

When I do teach, my goal is always to democratize information and get students well acquainted with the idea that information is at their fingertips. It doesn’t have to be a software engineer or a computer scientist who uses these things. It can be everybody.

How you use the AI tools at your disposal is really dependent on how well you understand their fundamentals and how to work within them. And that really depends on how readily you are willing to engage with it and how curious you are about it.


Q. Can AI be incorporated into any job?

Asad: I like to think so. Three to five years ago, there was a prevailing thought about what jobs AI can replace and which ones it can’t. And I think there’s still an attitude that AI will replace only labour-intensive or monotonous jobs like in factories or manufacturing.

But more and more, in the last year or so, we’ve seen the creative aspects of AI and the new ideation that AI can bring to the table as well. I don’t think any job cannot be affected by AI now. Even in the consulting world, we rely on AI a lot to kick start our problem solving and even our design processes. And we see artists and musicians using AI as well. So I think the applications are endless at this point.

I’m very excited to see where things go. One goal of my teaching is to get students to not be afraid of the unknown, and to not assume that AI advancement means replacing us or making us obsolete.


Q. Who would benefit from this kind of training?

Asad: I really like the idea of focusing on early professionals in the work setting. I think it’s important to target folks who are starting their careers, or even those who are just curious about looking for ways to augment their skills and become more efficient in their day-to-day.

This course would be great for people who see the potential to take low-complexity or quick administrative tasks off their plate so they can more readily contribute to high value add tasks in a way that is best suited to their skill sets.


Q. How do you see AI impacting business functions in the next few years? What changes do you think are coming?

Asad: Take GenAI, for example – that's where I think we'll see the most significant changes in the next few years.

AI will become less theoretical and more practical, with businesses wielding pre-built GenAI solutions to solve specific problems and automate tasks across departments.

Some companies are already doing this quite well, LinkedIn for example. If you click on a job posting now, you can hit a button and have the job analyzed and compared to your profile to tell you how you can improve your chances to suit the position.

The more companies can customize GenAI for very specific use cases, the more it becomes an accepted and even empowering tool. It won't be something to fear, but something that enhances the user experience.


Q. What would you say are the biggest myths or misconceptions about AI?

Asad: I think one is that it will replace our job market immediately and entirely. To assume that AI replaces jobs to that extent is a bit of a stretch at this point just simply due to the limitation of current state large language models in handling text and contextual data.

Let’s say I run a department store and I want to give AI only the context of that department store so that the engine can tell me when to pay my utilities bill, how many cashiers to hire, how much inventory to carry, and when to turn the lights on and off to save some money.

Capturing and processing all this nuanced information is currently a challenge for AI, and it would require significant computing power, making it very expensive.

I think it might be naïve of us to say that no job will be replaced by AI. After all, we no longer have horse and buggy drivers because we have cars. That’s the natural progression of things, and some jobs may fall by the wayside. At the same time, many become augmented or established net new to function alongside AI.

But I think people underestimate the strategic application of some jobs and how valued that can be. Accounting is something that a computer program could do for you, but a very knowledgeable and skilled accountant can save you millions of dollars depending on their application of strategic accounting laws and regulations. Similarly, jobs involving strategic thinking and complex decision-making will likely remain in human hands.

So I think the more strategic applications of some jobs will become more sought after, emphasizing human ingenuity and nimble thinking.



The AI for Business certificate from Kompass is delivered online and can be completed in three to six months. Students explore the foundations of machine learning and learn how to use artificial intelligence tools to streamline their daily work tasks.

Click below to get full program details and chat live with an admissions advisor.

Explore the AI for Business Certificate

Topics: project management, AI

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