Unlocking Potential: Experts Discuss AI’s Role in the Future of Business, Education, and Society

Photo of Ethan Mollik and Eric Bradlow presenting at the Wharton Global Forum in São Paulo

Vice Dean of AI & Analytics Eric Bradlow brought exciting information from the Wharton School to São Paulo, Brazil. He talked about the brand-new AI & Analytics Initiative and what it means for the School, in a presentation fittingly titled, “Imagine Wharton.”

Wharton has committed itself to being the No. 1 thought-leader in the application of AI and business. But for Wharton to sustain itself in the top spot, Bradlow said, the Wharton community needs to help lead the AI space by mentoring future business leaders, investing in the School’s research, and spreading the word about Wharton’s AI programs to build the brand.

Bradlow energized the crowd and shared an empowering message about how Wharton’s mission is to democratize AI education.

“Anyone can learn artificial intelligence and data science,” Bradlow said. “It doesn’t matter who you are, where you are in the world, everybody can learn it.”

And with 400+ curious members of the Wharton community gathered at the Wharton Global Forum — what better place for everyone to explore the frontiers of AI?

Several world-class Forum speakers examined the capabilities of AI in their fields during their presentations. For instance, during the Innovations in Finance Panel, Rosanna Ramos-Velita, WG’92, G’92, a prominent figure in finance, said AI can help people who are unbanked by determining financial need and working to close gaps. During the same panel, Joao De Mello, a partner at Opportunity Asset Management, said the greatest risk for a business would be not using AI.

During a Joe Talks, Lynn Wu, an associate professor of operations, information, and decisions, also championed the role AI can play in advancing society. She said that in the workplace, AI will allow managers to do more coaching and less supervisory work.

Ethan Mollick appeared virtually to showcase the transformative power of AI, and the audience was spellbound. Mollick is the Ralph J. Roberts Distinguished Faculty Scholar, the academic director of Wharton Interactive, and the bestselling author of “Co-Intelligence: Living and Working with AI.” He advises top corporations on AI and influences policy at the highest levels, including the White House.

Mollick said the more you learn, the more AI will affect your career. And if folks want to get comfortable using AI, they should take a stab at frontier models such as ChatGPT 4 and Gemini 1.5. With that, Mollick shared a powerful piece of AI wisdom:

“If you’re not using AI for idea generation,” Mollick said, “you’re already falling behind.”

Read more about these Forum talks and Wharton’s strides in fueling business innovation with AI here.