BTEC 493 | Weatherhead

Blockchains and AI: Applications in Finance and Business

3.00 credit hours

It behooves today's business leaders to be well acquainted with blockchain technologies and AI (Artificial Intelligence), two seemingly disparate technologies that have the potential to fundamentally disrupt a wide range of businesses. The popularity of blockchain technologies has increased exponentially since the release of bitcoin in 2009. While bitcoins garnered a lot of attention during the initial days, the focus has shifted over time to the underlying technology: blockchain. This wildly innovative technology has made possible tasks that were hitherto deemed implausible: validate ownership in a digital asset, verify the true state of a transaction without relying on a costly intermediary etc. The list of businesses that are impacted by this technology makes for an impressive reading: supply chain, health care, insurance, foreign exchange transfers, real estate, etc. If the emphasis of blockchain technology is on trust, that of Artificial Intelligence is on predictions. Accurate predictions and sound judgements are two critical ingredients of any decision making process. While the jury is still out on whether algorithms can make sound judgements, recent developments in a field called machine learning (and its sub-field, deep learning) have led to dramatic improvements in the accuracy of predictions made by these algorithms. Significantly, this gain in accuracy has been accompanied by a reduction in overall costs. These in turn have spurred the recent interest in AI. Organizations that have enabled AI at the enterprise level appear to be making more informed decisions and innovating new products. In this course, we will unpack these technologies and examine a wide range of relevant business use cases. Our objective is to provide a practical introduction to these key technologies and their business implications. We focus on business perspectives, rather than on the technical dimensions. Fittingly, this course is open to all graduate students of Weatherhead School (MBA and all specialty Masters). Students are not expected to have any specific programming background; however, a basic understanding of statistics is required to better appreciate the discourse on Artificial Intelligence. Offered as BTEC 493 and MSFI 493.

No Syllabus Available

RL Shankar (Fall 2019)

NOTE: Instructors and offerings vary by semester. Visit the Schedule of Classes for the most up-to-date information.