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Human touch: the true skills you need to use AI at work

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It is just over a year since the generative AI revolution began, and the debate has shifted focus many times along the way. 

Every major tech brand and figurehead has had their say, some more plausible than others; the interest of popular culture has waxed and waned based on those same opinions, and all the while, staff and teams in workplaces worldwide have been exploring and experimenting with ways to harness the power that artificial intelligence puts in their hands. 

That last part is key. When all is said and done, artificial intelligence is a tool that puts power and potential in the hands of those who use it, not a nebulous entity with the power to turn on us. 

In the context of the workplace, automation trends will continue to evolve as they have since the industrial revolution, enabling teams and businesses to work smarter than ever, but that does not mean that AI is gearing up to replace us any time soon.   

A report published in August 2022 by IBM took the same view, neatly proclaiming that while AI will not replace us, those who use AI will replace those who don’t. 

The workplace of the very near future will certainly require advanced AI capability, but effective human skills that simply cannot be replicated will become more important, not less. There is simply too much nuance to human endeavor to be replicated effectively. 

A recent survey published by Harvard Business Review explored this very concept, settling on how generative AI has changed the practices of businesses, strengthening the importance of human-focused culture in the workplace and the individual competencies that come with it. 

To succeed in an AI-driven workplace, here are the key skills that any effective workforce needs.

Digital literacy

This perhaps goes without saying, but to be an effective tech-forward workplace, digital literacy is an absolute must. 

For example, generative AI remains far from perfect, with a tendency to provide incorrect information, research, or even quotes. These are known as “hallucinations”, and being able to spot them is hugely important to avoid legal, ethical or reputational setbacks. 

Interpersonal skills

HBR’s report found that the ability to effectively and meaningfully communicate with others to garner cooperation are less common than digital skills in today’s workforce. These skills are vital for resolving (and avoiding) conflict, while empathy for those around you can bring enormous benefit to all. 

Domain Expertise

Domain expertise is defined as an extensive knowledge of one’s environment, whatever that may be. As AI handles more tasks, there is a significant danger of loss of institutional knowledge. Only people who have lived through turbulent times can help guide a business through a crisis and make critical decisions. 

The research also outlined steps that businesses can take in order to fully prepare themselves to be a well-functioning AI-driven business. It is not just a case of adopting the technology and charging towards the results. 

It outlines four Is in using technology to create a human-centric organization. 

1. Intention

A company’s business model should be designed with AI as a significant element, not just as a tacked-on tool. Leaders should think about how AI can help them get started, as well as achieve their goals. 

2. Integration

AI should be integrated across all functions of a business, with interpersonal communications highlighted alongside it. Teams should not be siloed away from each other. A unified AI platform for all is preferable to a single-user portal. 

3. Implementation

This has the potential to be the biggest hurdle, combining the tech and the people. The success of an AI business lies in how it is combined with the people; to achieve the best results, the people must be fully aware of its capabilities, and how best to utilize it. 

4. Indication

The potential for data to deliver value is immense in the digital era. How performance indicators are defined as well as understood is a tremendous method to improve performance. 

With all that in mind, the workplace of your future is waiting at the nextpit Job Board.

Insurance giant Travelers Companies has many roles advertised, including Solution Architect at its base in Hartford, Connecticut. In this role, you will be working with key stakeholders across the business, interfacing directly with senior technology leaders to transform the business’ technology capabilities, and pave the way for best-in-class solutions that serve its customers well. 

Semiconductor manufacturer ASML is experiencing a growth in demand, and so is seeking a Senior System Integration and Test Engineer to join its team in San Jose. The company places a high value on its people as well as its state-of-the-art machine learning products. In this role, you will need a background in physics, computer science, mechanical engineering, electrical ngineering or mechatronics, and have experience with system integration and testing.

This highly sought-after role of Senior Software Developer is one of many available at Boeing currently. The renowned aircraft manufacturer is seeking an experienced software developer to work with real-time data and to create tools using cutting edge visualization, development and analytical techniques. 

Want a new job in 2024? Start your job search today via the nextpit Job Board. This article was written by Doug Whelan.

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