Watch Lutz Finger share what is covered in his AI program.

Around Cornell

News directly from Cornell's colleges and centers

Cornell transforms generative AI education (with help from a cloned professor)

AI is everywhere — and it’s revolutionizing and changing our business world. But there are major questions. What value does it bring? What data do we use? How should AI be incorporated into products? Now more than ever, there is an overwhelming need for workers to upskill and learn how to leverage this technology.

Cornell University, a top-ranked leader in the growing field of AI research and development, launched a groundbreaking online certificate program, Designing and Building AI Solutions, with one-of-a-kind features designed to enhance the learning experience in our AI world. Lutz Finger, program faculty author and senior visiting lecturer at the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business, generated an AI clone of himself who continuously updates the courses with new content, keeping the curriculum relevant as real-world developments happen.

Does that sound a little scary?

“Oh, yes!” Finger says. “During the program’s development, we faced concerns about what it would mean to offer an AI teacher. But throughout the program, we demonstrate that AI is not replacing us; it’s about enhancing our capabilities and offering an even better experience. My AI clone supercharges me! He serves as a real-life demonstration of AI product design—in the courses, I use him as a case study for identifying all of the product, business, and design decisions that need to be considered.”

The innovative certificate program from the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business also includes an AI-powered co-pilot, available 24/7, that provides coding assistance to participants so that they can focus on the end goal: how to build products.

“We are democratizing AI,” says Finger. “No coding experience is necessary. What sets this program apart is its design for non-technical professionals. By the last class, participants will have identified a potential business application and built their own AI product to meet that business need.”

The program, available through eCornell, also provides a hands-on deep dive into prompt engineering and machine learning applications, as well as data handling, ethics, and compliance.

“We—as humans—need to focus on nuances, select the right and unbiased data, and design the human-AI interaction,” says Finger. “That’s what we hope to accomplish with this program.”

Five online courses take learners on a virtual journey to multiple locations worldwide to examine real-life applications for AI products across industries. Finger’s style of integrated lectures provides edutainment as he visits ski slopes, cow pastures, airport terminals, and more.

“AI isn’t just a buzzword—it’s a strategic imperative,” says Finger. “With this course, I help the participants uncover new uses for this technology. I designed this program to be entertaining, while also breaking new ground by weaving the AI tools we are learning about into every facet of the program—from actual course delivery to hands-on practice.”

The program is designed for managers, leaders, innovators, and anyone interested in applying AI and automation in their industry. Participants will be placed in small, virtual classes with peers to maximize learning and support networking and collaboration.

Organizations and individuals seeking to seize new AI opportunities are encouraged to explore this innovative offering from eCornell. Learn more and enroll.

Media Contact

Media Relations Office