Suspended students at Columbia and other universities long mistakenly perceived as being elite institutions might soon be looking for alternative schools of higher education. Frankly, it’s a wonder that any top-tier company would recruit from these disgraced universities given their tolerance to allow a small coterie of Jew hating students and rabble rousers to occupy their campuses and disrupt classes and studying time on the eve of exam season. I wonder if even companies based in countries where Jew hatred is celebrated and promoted would want the finished products of these U.S. universities.

Qatar Airways, the flag carrier of the official sponsor of Hamas and proud host to the terrorist’s billionaire leaders, is among the most respected airlines in global aviation. The airline distinguished itself in 2019 when it became the first global carrier to reject deliveries of Boeing’s problem-plagued 787 Dreamliner and it consistently ranks as offering the best business class service in the world. I doubt the management of Qatar Airlines would tolerate a bunch of spoiled graduates from U.S. schools telling them how to run their business, their colorful keffiyehs notwithstanding.

Fortunately, when one academic door closes another opens, and the folks at Ford Motor Co. have stepped up to the plate. Ford, the automotive industry leader for safety recalls, claims it has harnessed AI and plans to use the technology to disrupt the education business with a concept called “edutainment,” which melds the best of academia and cinematic story telling. The automaker has dubbed its edutainment platform Ford University, which it boasts will allow the company to improve the training of its sales and service people while providing formidable competition for Hollywood, as well as PBS and the Discovery channels.

When it comes to edutainment, Ford makes technologists like Elon Musk look like AI dilettantes.  

“I want to get into competition with Netflix and Amazon,” said Bill Hasler, who in another life worked on the Late Show with David Letterman and now oversees 40 people developing the content curriculum for Ford University. “Our dealers go home at the end of the day, and they’re watching TikTok or YouTube, or they’re going to watch a rerun of Seinfeld. Someday, I want them to think of the Ford University app, and I want them to watch maybe a three-minute video on something that we did. It might be the history of manufacturing, unrelated to maybe their training in the dealership today, but still relevant.”

Ford CEO Jim Farley, who has been awarded more than $60 million in compensation for his past three years of visionary leadership, has entertainment in his DNA and in his family. His cousin Chris was a beloved SNL performer and his spouse performs in a UK-based rock band. Farley himself hosts a podcast called DRIVE, where Ford’s top executive engages with some of his favorite people about what they drive and what drives them to succeed. My dream is to be a guest on Farley’s podcast, though I doubt he’d appreciate me waxing on about my love for Toyota, Honda, and Subaru.

Sorry, I digress.

Years ago, companies began developing what were simply known as informational and instructional videos, often posting them on YouTube. I’m impressed with the quality and polish of Toyota’s videos, which humanizes the company and makes clear that its success isn’t predicated on its Japan-based CEO. I especially enjoyed this video about Toyota’s famous design center in Southern California, and this video featuring  Dr. Gill Pratt, Toyota’s in-house brainiac, explaining how electric vehicles fits into its commitment to reduce emissions, an area the EPA says Toyota is the industry leader. Toyota Tacoma lovers will appreciate this video explaining the rationale for the pickup’s redesign and featuring some of the persons responsible for it.

The Detroit News reported that STARS, Ford’s previous digital platform, lacked the ability to upload videos, capture data or be accessed on smartphones. The academics at Ford University have overcome this limitation by creating a video-heavy website rife with entertaining features on vehicles, repairs, stories behind product design and engineering, how products compare with those of competitors, electrification, and more. The videos will also include Ford’s history, which should appeal to the Jew hating students on U.S. college campuses who will be delighted to know that founder Henry Ford hated Jews as much as they do. That Ford is based in Dearborn, which the Wall Street Journal dubbed “America’s Jihad Capital”, is another recruitment plus.

After a sales or service person watches a Ford University video, AI makes it possible to assess whether the signal hit the dish and measure how well the viewer understood the information. This allows Ford University’s educators to identify an employee’s strengths and where some remedial instruction might be required. This presumably will ensure no Ford University student will be left behind.

Abby Vietor/LinkedIn photo

“The stories are the same stories that we want our customers to hear,” Abby Vietor, Ford’s global director of dealer training and production, told a recent media briefing. “This is how that knowledge transfer is best going to happen. The dealer is going to be receiving a story, they’re going to be understanding that reinforcement and they’re going to have the ability to better articulate that story and pass on that knowledge to the customer in a way that the customer, being a human being, is going to be able to retain it and deploy it further.”

In a demonstration, the Detroit News said Ford University’s technology recognized a user completing the tasks as instructed and provided constructive feedback, such as encouraging more enthusiasm while speaking, avoiding the repeated use of “um”, and warning that the user blathers too much.

Just like the Ivy League schools, Ford University is DEI sensitive and will feature recurring racially diverse customers, salespersons, and technician characters in its videos.

The News said Vietor joined Ford a year ago to develop the platform, combining her New York University undergraduate film expertise and Vietor’s experience developing AI-enabled training platforms at Amazon Web Services. Vietor’s LinkedIn profile says she is based in New York City and that her education credentials includes a Master of Science degree from the London School of Economics, which impresses me a lot more than her NYU film degree.

Ford University struck me as an AI packaged concept that a management consulting firm would create, and sure enough, Vietor worked at Deloitte for six years. Marin Gjaja, COO of Ford’s electric vehicles business, previously worked at the Boston Consulting Group and holds a doctorate in cognitive and neural systems from Boston University, where he studied computational neuroscience and neural network-based AI. (Fun fact about Gjaja: He played on the U.S. National Volleyball Team and was an alternate for the 1992 Olympics.)

Boston Consulting Group was the firm responsible for Ford’s alleged discrimination against its most experienced engineers and other salaried employees who were fired as part of a massive downsizing, despite flawless performance records and having previously received citations for excellence. According to a lawsuit, Ford hired BCG to identify employees whose firings would provide the greatest cost savings, and the consultants utilized an algorithm to weed them out.

Ford spokesman T.R. Reid initially thundered that the discrimination allegations were “baseless”, and that Ford would “vigorously” challenge them, but the automaker ultimately chose to settle the lawsuit. Many readers of the Detroit Free Press and the Detroit News have posted comments over the years that Ford’s quality control issues stem from the company’s decision to fire its best and most experienced workers and move their job functions to Mexico and India.

Ford dealers profess they are excited about the automaker’s newly launched university.

Peter Battle, general manager of Pat Milliken Ford in suburban Detroit and a certified coach, said Ford’s AI technology is helpful because he can’t always be training the dealership’s 170 employees.

“It much more fits today’s society in the way people learn,” Milliken said. “Because they don’t learn by opening an owner’s manual and reading what their car does. They go in and start playing with buttons.”

Indications are that the best mechanics and techs at Pat Milliken Ford take the time to familiarize themselves with manuals. The Ford dealership, among the largest in the U.S., impressively has a 4.7 out of 5 Google approval rating based on more than 3,300 reviews. Indeed, if ever I opted to buy a Ford, I’d fly to Redford Township and get mine from Pat Milliken.

Notably, Pat Milliken Ford achieved its success when AI were just random letters in the alphabet. Founded in 1959, the Milliken family has run the business for decades based on its belief that “customer satisfaction is the key to our success.” Not surprisingly, the dealership has been awarded the President’s Award for excellence in customer satisfaction by Ford Motor Company for 26 consecutive years.

I’ve previously written about the lost art of car sales, and I’m confident speculating that if I walked into Pat Milliken Ford, I’d easily find an engaged sales person who was familiar with the dealership’s offerings and could generate some enthusiasm about the shoddily made vehicles that almost invariably will be subject to multiple recalls. As an aside, I’d wager that Pat Milliken makes a lot more money from servicing Ford warranty and recall repairs than it does selling the company’s gas guzzling trucks and SUVs.

China’s automakers are kilometers ahead of Ford and GM using AI to build better and lower cost electric vehicles, and Ford’s Farley thinks he can compensate by using AI to sell and service more vehicles. Based on Farley’s performance, it seems clear that making better and more reliable vehicles hasn’t been a desired or achievable method to drive sales.

Ford University will only be as good as the AI technology that it’s predicated on, and indications are that AI technology needs more improvement and refinement.

I asked Microsoft’s AI-driven Bing search engine whether Farley should be fired. Among the most prominent links was this commentary by Douglas McIntyre headlined, “Ford CEO Farley Must Be Fired”, which was posted a year ago. McIntyre a few days ago posted another commentary calling for the removal of Ford chair Bill Ford and Farley, but Bing apparently isn’t yet aware of it.

It seems there is still a need for a blog driven by human intelligence to supplement the artificial kind.

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