Today’s Thoughts ☠️
Hey there 👋,
I had planned to share strategies for closing skills gaps today.
But it needs more time in the writer’s room. We should be able to dig into that next week. Today, we’ll take a little detour, but still a skill-based one at that.
I’ve taken part in many discussions this week about AI (surprise). They all focus on what AI skills can give us.
I’ve been having a different train of thought.
The future is human-powered.
Here’s how you can unlock the potential of AI tools with your human skills
Get your tea 🍵 or beverage of choice ready. We've got lots to discuss!
THE BIG THOUGHT
In a World of AI, Being Human Is your Greatest Advantage
The question is no longer can you use AI for x.
There’s a great deal I believe you shouldn’t delegate to AI.
I know this is a somewhat complicated statement from someone who has spent the past year writing about this tech in learning.
I love digital technology.
I think AI will be incredibly useful (hence why I write about it so much). But, I don’t want it to replace some of the most fundamental experiences that make us human.
Parts of the workplace learning experience fall under this banner.
Current generative AI tools, and future AI tools, no doubt have the capabilities to make us work smarter.
Yet, I fear they have the same capability to deny us pivotal human experiences.
For example, when I was much younger in my first corporate role.
I spent the majority of my time learning not from an induction course or a pointless handbook. I learnt from all the people around me. Sometimes directly, often indirectly.
Sir Alex Ferguson (the legendary Manchester United manager) echoed this in his book on leadership.
He said the best thing to do when you begin any new role is to watch, listen and read. I still do all 3 of those in any new environment I find myself dropped into.
Timeless advice for anyone.
I have no doubt AI tech can and will accelerate the speed and access to learning. I welcome this like a cultist ready to embrace our AI overlords with loyal devotion.
Yet, this shouldn’t be at the expense of the human experience. An LLM tool can help me onboard faster perhaps, but at what cost to my most human trait of learning with and from others?
I’m not sure anyone knows the solution.
My best advice and hope is that we find the balance between augmentation and automation.
The tech nerd in me screams simplification and speed, but the human questions at what cost. In a world of technological marvels, careers after death and AI clones. I don’t want to lose the most human experience of learning that makes it so special.
Human + AI
If you haven’t guessed, let me confirm now.
I’m all for a human-powered future with AI. Not an AI-first operating system. I mean, we’re all human, aren’t we? Don’t answer that one.
I feel we tend to summarise our interactions with current generative AI tools through prompting alone.
However, this is only one piece of the operating system with these tools. If you want to be a truly smart operator with AI, you need to think beyond prompting. Use your most human abilities to develop frameworks on how, why and when you should interact with AI tools.
Consider your daily workflows and how AI delegation could support this.
Don’t search for perfect prompts to fit meaningless tasks.
→ Leverage these skills with AI operations
I believe we each need to deploy two unique human skills when working with AI.
These both happen to be two of the 5 skills identified in my ongoing skills series for the Future of Work.
Let’s walk through a workflow of these in action with an AI-delegated task:
The Feedback Workshop
Let’s imagine you want ChatGPT to help you craft a feedback workshop with:
Before you feed a prompt to CGPT, you should think critically about what you want to achieve with this task. Consider:
What do you want CGPT to focus on?
How do you want to design the experience?
What will best support your audience?
You continue doing this with each response that CGPT provides.
Your judgement and decision-making skills weave through this process too.
Use your humanness (I know it’s not a real word) to evaluate every response and help CGPT understand if it’s hitting all the right notes for you. If it helps, consider its responses as an ugly first draft.
You’ll work on this draft as a human task to provide the context and application it needs for your experience.
This is the difference between delegating everything to AI and working with AI. You will also be stronger in a human and AI approach. You can see an example of this in a recent video post.
Explore and experiment, don’t ignore
I believe conversations like these are important. That’s why I continue to be surprised at companies which ignore or ban conversation around generative AI at work. We know people are secretly using ChatGPT at work.
So, why do we not be proactive and help with best practices?
As Ed Sheeran said, “I’m thinking out loud”.
If you fancy sending thoughts back, I’ll be here.
If this sparked your neurons, here’s a few recent conversations that link to this ↓
Next time: How to close the skills gap - strategies and tools
Till we next meet, friend.
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Udemy Global Learning & Skills Report: 3️⃣ Key Takeaways
1️⃣ The Future of Work is skills
Everyone is talking about skills-first and skill-based organisations lately.
I’m totally bemused by this as I wonder what all these people have been doing up to this point. Throwing stuff at the wall and seeing what sticks, maybe?
Skills are becoming favoured over degrees, and I’m all for that.
I believe a degree is your golden ticket to the show of careers. It admits you but it doesn’t guarantee anything unless you continue to invest in your skills for the long-term.
For L&D pros like me and you, this means a strategic focus on identifying and nurturing the right skills, not more skills.
See pages: 3, 5-6, and 8-9
2️⃣ A game of skills
Noticing a theme here? Me too.
Not only is the future of work all about skills. Our speed to develop the best ones and drop what doesn’t serve us is also big news.
I look at skills in two buckets timely and timeless. This applies to writing too, FYI. Some we need for a few years, whilst others enhance our entire life. Understanding which is which is essential for you.
For an L&D pro/team supporting a business, keeping up with all this is hard.
Like really hard, yet we’re here talking weekly about industry research to help with that. So, you’re already doing the right things to keep up to date.
Of course, I don’t expect you to exclusively get everything from me. Be curious, follow industry reports, seek out your company data and get clear on how you can help support the pace and quality of skill-building.
3️⃣ Maximising AI with human skills
This will come as a shock to no one.
2024 will be the year we try to make sense of AI tools from funny interactions to meaningful productivity tools.
The key to making this all work (in my opinion) is our human skills.
You know my stance on this already. Be smart, educate yourself and those around you. Our most human skills of critical thinking, judgement and emotional intelligence are essential in navigating this arena.
Content that will make you smarter.
🤔 How do you keep up with AI in L&D?
I share an answer to this common question with the Training Journal team.
💡 How do we design for humans in the age of AI
This is a deep and thought-provoking conversation with the team at WeSchool.
🔥 You beat AI at this every time
Think AI can do everything? Think again!
We each hold a unique set of data that enables us to interpret and shape the world around us. It’s incredibly important for everything we do.