SUNY Oswego’s first-ever course on using ChatGPT for business succeeded in looking at the potential, promise and pitfalls of artificial intelligence, according to its teacher and students. 

And the summer 2023 class is just the beginning, said School of Business faculty member Mohammad Tajvarpour, who proposed and taught the course in the university’s MBA (master of business administration) track. For this inaugural effort, he really enjoyed the high level of student engagement.

My favorite part was the level of enthusiasm that I saw in my students,” Tajvarpour said. “They were so eager and ready to learn, which motivated me to work harder in preparing more and more content and examples for them. It was also very amazing and encouraging to see that a couple of my students actually started incorporating our class material in their jobs.”

The students included MBA student and pediatric brain surgeon Zulma Tovar-Spinoza, MD, who entered the program to learn more about developing business, e-commerce, and other trends.

“Artificial intelligence is applied already to every single aspect of our lives,” Tovar-Spinoza said. “When I heard about this class, I thought: ‘That’s fantastic!’ There’s no other place you can find somebody teaching you about ChatGPT and what you can get out of it.” 

Because it’s a field that is evolving, Tovar-Spinoza wanted to take a course in it as soon as possible. “ If you don’t get into this and try to understand the basics, it’s going to be very hard for you to keep track of what’s going on,” Spinoza said.

Another MBA student enjoying the class was Diane Masciale, vice president and general manager of Long Island's public media properties, WLIW21 and WLIW-FM.

“I loved the class,” Masciale said. “When I saw the class offering, I immediately signed up. I was so excited to take something so relevant in our world today and apply it to my studies.”

Exploring technology limitations

Learning about such concepts as knowledge hallucination –- AI creating confident responses without data to back them up –- and intrinsic biases also proved helpful, Masciale said. 

“I learned about the great potential of AI, and what to look out for, the great peril,” Masciale noted. “How you ask the questions, the different methods you use to ask the questions are very important. Prompt engineering was new to me. And to learn about the bias that exists in AI and what to look out for – what information they’re answering you from, and its limitations as well. All of that was interesting.”

“You also need to be careful with the language you get from these programs because it’s not always accurate,” Tovar-Spinoza added. “You need to determine what is true and what is not.”

As an educator as well, Tovar-Spinoza thought it was important to “look at how learning is going on for the present generation or the next generation. What is going to be the new creativity for the next generation? That is yet to be seen.”

“As a part of the senior leadership team at my company, I let the team know I was taking this class,” Masciale said. “A lot of the work we do as a public media company, we have very strict editorial standards that we follow. We look at standards as we use AI as a tool, using it properly and the ways that are not compromising our work. It can be, for example, a fun way to draft a social media post and spur ideas.”

Future opportunities

Tajvarpour sees the class as a start to exploring and expanding upon offerings that will keep SUNY Oswego at the forefront of this increasingly important technology. He is developing an additional course, "Prompt Engineering," and incorporating content into the university’s data analytics academic program. 

“At the undergraduate level, I am integrating generative AI, specifically ChatGPT, into my ongoing course titled ‘Marketing Research,” Tajvarpour said. "A dedicated session will be conducted within this course to explore the utilization of ChatGPT for enhancing marketing research. … SUNY Oswego is taking the lead in integrating AI into academic curricula.”

As for students who took this summer class, they said they were very happy with the course content and learning from an outstanding professor in Tajvarpour.

It was a wonderful experience,” Tovar-Spinoza said. “It was a great group of people from all kinds of different professions. The discussions that we created and the potential uses for ChatGPT in our lives were just fascinating. I keep talking to the professor about developments.”

Mohammad is amazing,” Masciale said. “Such a thorough, thoughtful professor and he communicates so well both the information in the class and with his students. He’s so collaborative and makes the class meaningful, especially for online students. You get a lot out of the class because of the kind of professor that he is.”

The course received coverage from local National Public Media outlet WRVO as well.

For more information about SUNY Oswego’s MBA program, visit For more information about the School of Business, visit