AI Product Management Overview
AI Product Management refers to the processes behind developing, managing and overseeing the creation of artificial intelligence products and services. This involves normal product management activities, including defining the product's strategy, conducting market research, gathering requirements, designing the product, and working with cross-functional teams to bring the product to market. The goal of an AI product manager is to deliver value to the user while ensuring that the AI is aligned with the overall company's strategy.
Between Google's Bard announcement and OpenAi's ChatGPT, we know AI is only going to explode more in the next several years. If you're a product manager looking to stay ahead of the curve in the job market, AI product management is a great career choice. Getting certified adds icing to the metaphorical cake, as you can prove your learnings and quick adaptation to new technology.
If you're looking for just plain old product management, never fear! We have both a product management job guide
and a PM specialization roundup
AI Product Management Business Cases
Until recent years, AI and ML (machine learning) have seemed like tools of the far future. That's actually not the case at all. Here are some practical use cases and product examples that would fall under the umbrella of an AI product manager.
- Personalization: AI can be used to personalize the user experience by providing personalized recommendation algorithms and advertising based on individual user touchpoint data (in fact, this is what I do in my full-time job!). An example of this would be product recommendations in a "You May Also Like" modal on an ecommerce website.
- Predictive Maintenance: AI can be used to analyze equipment data and predict when upkeep is needed, which can drastically reduce maintenance costs. An example of this could be a product that predicts when rental vehicles need service to reduce costs.
- Customer Service: AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants can handle customer inquiries and provide personalized support, improving customer satisfaction and reducing support costs. You're probably familiar with these examples from bank chatbots, but these bots are very prevalent in many industries. I'm predicting that the Chat GPT model will become a white-labeled customer service helpline within the next few years.
- Supply Chain Optimization: AI can analyze supply chain data to optimize delivery routes, improve inventory management, and reduce waste. An example of this could be running models to determine the best places to create physical products that minimize shipping and manufacturing costs.
- Data-Democratization: If you haven't heard, AI is competent at writing and optimizing queries to pull data from multiple sources and databases. This is the future of analytics. While this tech is still in early stages, we predict a new field will emerge to create products that enables non-analytical teams to pull and connect multiple data sources from a simple, plain-worded question!
These are just a few of the relevant and helpful products that an AI product manager could create and optimize. As people get more familiar with the technology, we'll see a brand new field of opportunities!
AI Product Management Specializations
So what's a humble product manager to do? We recommend getting certified, or at the very least, getting familiar with AI/ML products to not get left behind. We've compiled the best options to help you get up to speed, fast.
These are our top programs for AI Product Management:
Duke's curriculum is self-paced. It's designed to be consumed over a 15-week period, but students report completing it much quicker.
This specialization is composed of 3 separate courses, including Fundamentals of Machine Learning, Managing Machine Learning Products, and Human Factors in AI.
Duke's course on human factors in artificial intelligence was especially interesting. Human factors is the comprehensive study of how to make a product-- physical or digital-- intuitive. In the real world, human factors design mostly lives in aircraft or automobile dashboard design. In AI, it means making the product as easy-to-use and understand as possible. We'd almost bet money the team behind ChatGPT had experience with human factors.
This program is hosted through Coursera, which allows specialization completion on a monthly rate. This particular program cost $39/month, and consisted of 3 courses. Each course averaged about 5 weeks of work. This nets ~15 weeks, though we noticed each "week" only had about 2-5 hours of work. Theoretically you could knock out an entire course in a weekend. BUT, at the recommended completion time, it costs roughly $150 total.
This program comes with a certification from prestigious Duke University that is resume-worthy and verifiable on Linkedin. This is the primary reason we rank this course the highest-- showing employers you took the time to get certified does wonders in the job market. View Our Full Review of Duke's AI Product Management Here
Washington's curriculum is also hosted on Coursera and self-paced. It's designed to be consumed over a 28-week period (learning at 3 hours/week), but if determined we think you could complete it much quicker.
This specialization is composed of 4 separate courses, including Machine Learning Foundations, Regression, Classification and Clustering. This is a far more technical specialization aimed at technical product managers, analysts and data scientists.
Note: we do not recommend this course if you don't like math!
We won't lie: this course is challenging, but clustering is an incredibly practical concept in many industries. Professor Emily broke down the material into understandable chunks, and we loved the application case-studies for showcasing how businesses could use clustering to better understand their users. This is also a very popular concept for user analysis and personalization (which is our background!).
Similar to Duke's specialization, this program is hosted as a monthly rate through Coursera. This particular program is a little more expensive at $49/month. At the recommended 7-month completion, that's $343 total.
This program comes with a certification from Washington University that is resume-worthy and verifiable on Linkedin.
This NanoDegree is hosted on Udacity and takes around 2 months with 5-10 hours of learning per week. We'd recommend planning for 3 months to accommodate any vacation or burnout time!
This program is comprised of 4 courses and 3 projects. The courses are AI in Business, Dataset Manipulation, Model Creation, and Measuring Impact and Updating Models.
Our background is measurement strategy, so we're a little biased (bear with us).
But arguably the most important concept in product management is outcomes over outputs. Measuring the impact of the outcomes is a wonderfully dangerous skill that not many product managers have mastered. Companies value product managers who are willing to measure the success of their products and actively speak to outcomes-- which made this course especially relevant.
Udacity allows both monthly and flat-rate payment for their certification programs. This program is 2-months long, and a little more pricy at $399/month. They do allow a discount for upfront payments, which makes the certification cheapest at $678. We recognize this is a little pricier than what we normally recommend-- and if you're looking for a more budget friendly option, we stand by our recommendation of Duke's program. Udacity also allows Affirm payments, but PLEASE do not go into debt for this certification!
This specialization comes with a sharable certification from Udacity. The best part of Udacity programs is the career-ready portfolio of completed projects upon completion of the cert. Portfolios are a great way to show potential companies what you're capable of, especially when starting out in a tech career. Though we won't lie, we're always updating our personal portfolio 10 years in!
View all Course Reviews Here
AI product management is here to stay. Full stop. Certifications are a great way to prove to employers that you're dedicated to learning new relevant topics. It's also just a plain fun topic to learn!
Here at Bridged we are extremely skeptical of any bootcamp or program that costs you more than a thousand dollars. We are huge fans of stacking micro-certifications to achieve the same career results, and are dedicated to helping you find a job in the most affordable way possible. Stick with it, and let us know how it goes. Write us at firstname.lastname@example.org
to let us know how we can help with your job search.