Professors weigh future of work in era of AI and big data

For Open Day, two MBA Talks examined hot topics in the industry like the data economy and AI – and whether our jobs are at risk of becoming obsolete


Two SDA Bocconi professors gave short lectures for the MBA Talks at Open Day, offering insights into the data economy and AI technologies. They revealed some of the ways these technologies will improve efficiency in the workplace and dispelled fears that they could replace humans. The talks gave prospective students the chance to see what it might be like to be a student at SDA Bocconi.


“The good news is that the opportunity to use these kinds of technologies to do things more efficiently has left a lot of cognitive resources free to do other things,” says Paola Cillo, Associate Professor in the Department of Management and Technology at Bocconi University and Associate Dean for Resarch – Claudio Demattè Research Division.  


Prof. Cillo spoke about the data economy and the rise of technologies like ChatGPT. She reassured that there is no connection between mass layoffs in the tech industry and the genesis of technologies like ChatGPT.


“Big data clearly offers opportunities for companies by pairing AI technologies with big data,” she says. “They have been able to do a number of things with a reduced amount of time and energy.”


Prof. Cillo mentioned how the research done at the Labs at SDA Bocconi spills over into the classroom. She believes the ability to innovate with data is the real challenge.


Marco Tortoriello, a Full Professor in the Department of Management and Technology at Bocconi University, then gave the talk “From Hype to Reality: Can AI be your new Chief Strategy Officer?”, building on the one given by Prof. Cillo with a look at AI and strategy, also mentioning new technologies like ChatGPT.


“In no other fields like strategy does AI seem to hold the potential to drastically change the way in which we can identity new market opportunities, scope out new competitive scenarios and increase chances of landing on the best strategy possible,” he says. These technologies make it possible to go beyond average strategy, and in doing so, beat the market.


The day also included a welcome from Stefano Caselli, Dean of SDA Bocconi, and Enzo Baglieri, Associate Dean for Master Division, as well as presentations from the MBA directors, Stefano Pogutz, Full-time MBA Director; Renata Trinca Colonel, Executive MBA Director; and Ferdinando Pennarola, Global Executive MBA Director. Prospective students also had the chance to talk directly with the Recruiting & Admissions team and tour the SDA Bocconi campus.


SDA Bocconi School of Management

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