Artificial Intelligence: You can like it or hate it, but you can’t ignore it | Edcor

Artificial Intelligence: You can like it or hate it, but you can’t ignore it

Can you name a few ways in which Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been helping us in our day-to-day lives for the past few years? Why not ask Alexa, Siri, or Google?! Or open your smartphone with facial detection or fingerprint recognition and search or ask a chatbot? Soon, I hope, you’ll notice that all your social media is showing you posts about AI so you can learn more about it. Unsurprisingly, AI has touched more parts of our daily lives beyond voice assistants and social media. Talk about Smart homes and energy efficient devices, automated surveillance, or smart devices including your refrigerator and ovens. How do you think the e-payments with the banking App or the fraud detection on the credit cards suspecting unusual activity have been working? My point is, whether you like it or not, the new ways of working and the advent of AI are certainly somethings that you can’t ignore.

There are positive sentiments coupled with growing apprehensions about the use of AI, especially with the press it has gained over the past year. However, if we look around us we’d find that AI and our lives have been integrated long before ‘Enterprise use of AI and Upskilling in AI’ became hot topics of discussion. With this post, I aim to highlight how the future of work is shifting and why it’s important for organizations to adapt to the upcoming changes.

The Disruption

There aren’t many things that break the internet nowadays. However, one such phenomenon was seen in November of 2022 with the launch of ChatGPT – Chat Generative Pretrained Transformer – OpenAI’s text-generating chatbot that has myriad applications and makes lives easier for working professionals from various realms. Sure, it does have its limitations and can produce erroneous results on things it’s “not yet” trained on but it sure did give its users a taste of generative AI’s magic in response to simple short text prompts. So much so that Microsoft in January of 2023 announced its multibillion investments in OpenAI for accelerated AI breakthroughs. Following suit was Bard – Google’s conversational AI. Bard uses language models to understand questions and context and draws on information it finds across the web to provide high-quality responses. Soon, there was a boom in AI-based Applications that could potentially help organizations develop their marketing assets, create workflows for Sales and HR teams, and leverage web data at the click of a button. AI did take the way we work to another level.

The Growth

It is noteworthy that the global AI market size was valued at 136.55 billion US dollars in 2022, and is now projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 37.3% from the year 2023 to 2030.

The McKinsey Technology Trends Outlook 2023 report calls AI the restorative force that has set organizations on a growth path with transformative business impact. However, at the same time highlighting the dearth of talent in organizations to carry them to success – out of the 3.5 million job postings for high-demand tech skills there were half as many qualified individuals. Upskilling and reskilling in these high-demand areas could mean success for most organizations.

“This new generation of AI will remove the drudgery of work and unleash creativity,” said Satya Nadella, Chairman and CEO of Microsoft. “There’s an enormous opportunity for AI-powered tools to help alleviate digital debt, build AI aptitude, and empower employees.”

The Big Questions

The obvious questions and this is where all the reservations are: Is AI all good? What is the level of accuracy of information? How to ethically use AI? Is my data protected? How to get what you want from AI?  We do not have all the answers yet. AI is still in its nascent stages of development and that’s why more and more research and training is going into the field. Here are my 2 cents as a non-expert who has read extensively about this and has hands-on experience with many AI powered tools.

  • Generative AI may not give you completely accurate answers on what it’s not trained on yet, but it is evolving for sure.
  • The ethical or non-ethical use depends on humans using it and not the other way around – there’s a big training opportunity for us right there.
  • AI used through the enterprise APIs has complete data protection, whereas the data exchanges with the free platforms are used to train evolving Gen AI models. Basically why you see a notification on Gen AI platforms saying do not share sensitive information here.
  • Prompt engineering, simply put how to talk to AI to get what you want, is an upcoming field that has seen a lot of traction in terms of learning resources to use AI optimally.

As AI learns with us and as we learn AI, there are tremendous growth opportunities that will make the future of work very distinct from what it is now. As you may have heard, it’s not AI that will replace humans in various jobs, it is humans who know AI will.

The Change

According to literature available on Benefits Pro, 52% of the current workforce seems to be keen on learning new skills about AI to stay at the top of their game and for career advancement, and 64% of HR Managers agree that AI is an in-demand skill in the digital literacy realm. Moreover, eDX in partnership with Workplace Intelligence surveyed 800 C-suite executives and knowledge workers to help business leaders understand how AI will impact the future of work and came back with the findings that 79% of executives opine that learning AI would be crucial to be prepared for the future of work. However, there seems to be a gap in learning on company-provided upskilling programs and 39% of incumbents said that they’ll likely quit for better learning and development elsewhere.

The Future of Jobs Report 2023  shows that upskilling in realms of AI and Big data is one of the Top 3 priorities for the period of 2023 – 2027 for employers across the globe. These are the most prioritized skills not only in the Information and Technology Services, Electronics, and Telecommunications industries but also in the Media, Entertainment and Sports, Insurance and Pensions, Business Support, and Property Maintenance Services sectors.

To this end, Edcor has launched its Critical Pathways programs – many of which target the high-demand skills in the fields of Cybersecurity, Big data, Digital Transformation, and Artificial Intelligence. These programs are offered through nationally accredited schools and education partners whom we have vetted for content and pedagogical success. These programs can be accessed by cohorts or individuals. Edcor plays a consultative role in helping clients fulfill their workforce development needs through the Edcor School Network.

If this has piqued your interest, please get in touch. Think Edcor. Think Possible!

   By Spardha Khera, Edcor

Edcor is a woman-owned business and is the benchmark in education benefits administration. For 42 years, our customized service and solutions have allowed Fortune 500 Clients to use education benefits programs for employee recruiting, retention, and development. Please feel free to reach out to us!