26 Jan 2024
Dr. Pinnaree (Pin Pin) Tea-makorn, a faculty member at Sasin and a founding member of Sasin’s Data Analytics Center (DAC), has been appointed Sasin’s AI Strategist. With her expertise in computational psychology, artificial intelligence, and data science, Dr. Pinnaree will oversee the adoption and implementation of Sasin’s AI initiatives and guide students in implementing effective AI strategies. Dr. Pinnaree has already started empowering students in her AI & Business class and in an Action Learning Lab to apply their AI strategy and implement their ideas for Sasin. One of the teams wanted to implement an AI system where it could recommend course electives to students who are confused about which electives to take. “We want to start executing AI strategies that are feasible and useful. It doesn’t have to be big, but it can be small pilot projects that we can achieve,” she said. Dr. Pinnaree will also organize a series of workshops on AI for Sasin’s staff and an AI training program for each department, with the long-term vision of building an in-house team for DAC at Sasin. DAC provides data-driven solutions for businesses and public policy. The center brings together students, scholars, business practitioners, and public policymakers to conduct data analytics research and disseminate insights. Drawing on her role as the Artificial Intelligence Venture Partner at Vectors Capital and Artificial Intelligence Lead at Ignite Innovation Lab, Dr. Pinnaree offers invaluable insights for students aspiring to enter the AI field. She noted the distinct skill sets required for working with AI technology compared to the attributes essential for devising an effective AI strategy. “For AI, programming skills are important, as well as the ability to keep learning because AI technology keeps changing, so you have to pick up new stuff, tools, libraries, and software pretty quickly,” said Dr. Pinnaree. She added that working in AI involves a substantial amount of trial and error and requires a different mindset than working in business strategy, where there are predictable processes from creation to execution, following a structured path from start to finish. “In AI, you have to scrap a lot of stuff before you get into something useful,” said Dr. Pinnaree, adding that it means launching many pilot projects that may not work before creating a successful AI strategy. While there is an unpredictable working pattern in AI, having a background in business and management is beneficial in creating a reasonable AI strategy. She also suggested that knowledge of math and statistics is beneficial in understanding how AI works and building better algorithms when working on custom data but is not a prerequisite for planning an AI strategy. Instead, Dr. Pinnaree suggests learning soft skills like management, people skills, and business oversight, which help to deliver an AI plan to clients and stakeholders who don’t trust AI. In addition to guiding students pursuing this career path and outlining her strategy for Sasin’s AI initiatives, Dr. Pinnaree also envisions forging partnerships and expanding research endeavors focused on the trajectory of AI in education.