Leo Dixon

Daniels is featuring researchers who conduct meaningful research that impacts their field and the wider community. Learn more about their work in Q&As with the Daniels Research team and email them to nominate yourself or a colleague for a future Q&A. This interview features a student from the Daniels Executive PhD program.

Leonard R. Dixon serves as a teaching assistant professor in the Department of Business Information and Analytics at the Daniels College of Business. He is also a student in the Daniels Executive PhD program. His research and teaching expertise encompasses executive education; entrepreneurship; and applied areas including AI, computer programming, databases and analytics. With over 23 years of experience, Leonard has held technical and managerial roles in various sectors such as media/entertainment, health care, finance and logistics.

For brevity, a lengthy interview with Dixon was condensed from 11,500 words—with the help of ChatGPT.

ChatGPT prompt: “I need to condense the following interview between myself, a university administrator, and a professor of business information and analytics. Please condense the interview to roughly 700 words that are fairly faithful to the original text and answer the following questions: What do you research and why? What are your methodologies? What are you currently working on? How do you integrate your research into teaching students? What do you hope your work will accomplish?”

What do you research and why?

Currently, I’m delving into applied AI, particularly its intersection with entrepreneurship. My focus is on understanding the practical applications of AI in business settings and exploring how entrepreneurs and business owners perceive and utilize this technology. I’m motivated by the potential of AI to enhance productivity and innovation in businesses of all sizes, and I believe it’s crucial to bridge the gap between AI research and its real-world implementation in entrepreneurial ventures.

How do you use AI personally?

One of the most practical uses that I’ve found in my own life, and for businesses, is using AI to create personas for the various audiences that you might need to address. In research, for example, I use AI to gather perspectives from entrepreneurs and business owners to understand their challenges, concerns, and aspirations regarding AI adoption. I also explore AI’s potential in generating business plans and models, utilizing AI-enabled applications to streamline processes and enhance decision-making. And in teaching, I can use it to tailor educational content to students’ interests and learning styles, allowing for more personalized and effective learning experiences.

What are you currently working on?

I’m focused on understanding different perspectives on AI, particularly from entrepreneurs and business owners. I’m investigating their perceptions and attitudes towards AI, addressing misconceptions, and identifying opportunities for leveraging AI effectively in business settings. Additionally, I’m exploring the integration of AI into educational practices, such as developing AI-enabled tools for teaching and learning, and studying the ethical implications of AI adoption in academia and industry.

How do you integrate your research into the classroom?

I integrate my research into teaching by incorporating AI-enabled tools and methodologies into class assignments. For example, I require students to use AI-enabled applications to enhance their learning experiences and develop practical skills relevant to their future careers. I also emphasize the importance of AI literacy and ethical considerations in the use of AI technologies. By exposing students to real-world applications of AI and providing hands-on experience, I aim to prepare them for the evolving demands of the workforce and empower them to leverage AI effectively in their professional endeavors.

What do you hope your work will accomplish?

Ultimately, I hope my work will reduce fear and increase awareness of AI’s potential benefits, particularly in entrepreneurship and business contexts. By bridging the gap between AI research and its practical implementation, I aim to foster innovation and adaptation in the workforce, leading to economic growth and societal advancement. I believe that while AI may replace some jobs, it will also create new opportunities and industries, and I strive to empower individuals to harness the transformative power of AI for positive change.