Allianz Brings AI to Managing Innovation Course

The learning experience devised in collaboration between Allianz Chief Marketing Officer Joe Mason and McIntire Professor Eric Martin offers students in Martin’s course the ability to examine an innovation challenge in real time.

car in driveway. Photo by Sarah Brown on Unsplash.

Photo by Sarah Brown on Unsplash.

Artificial intelligence, AI, is already impacting so many aspects of our lives. As it holds the potential to disrupt nearly all areas of business in some ways, AI represents one of the most pressing issues for students preparing to begin their professional lives.

To properly examine the multiple opportunities and threats posed by AI and AR/VR [augmented and virtual reality], Joe Mason (McIntire ’92), Chief Marketing Officer at Allianz Partners, a McIntire Integrated Core sponsor, recently addressed McIntire Professor Eric Martin’s Managing Innovation course, kicking off a semesterlong project focused on the technologies’ influence on the future of the travel and insurance industries.

To provide the groundwork for the project, Mason visited with students virtually from his office in Paris, explaining the real-world applicability and possibilities for emerging technology within the scope of their business.

The learning experience devised in collaboration between Mason and Martin offers Entrepreneurship Minor and McIntire Track students in Martin’s course the ability to study an aspect of an intriguing but unbudgeted innovation-related topic, such as the development of a promising product, service, process, or business model, that could be reimagined through the developing technology.

Martin notes that this is the latest iteration of other projects across a variety of industries that he has done with his Managing Innovation classes in recent years. “A broad cross-section of UVA students undertakes an examination of an innovation challenge in real time and parallel to what they are learning in class,” he says, explaining that partnering organizations often check in midway through to give feedback and then once again near the end of the semester, when students share their recommendations.

The results of the projects have had actionable results: “Several recommendations have been brought back to the companies for further exploration and experimentation,” Martin says.

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