Skills Workers Will Need in the Age of Generative AI – Part 1: Digital and Technical Skills
Generative AI tools like ChatGPT have been in the news a lot in recent months. A lot of the coverage and discussion has been about the errors these tools can sometimes make, as well as fears around jobs being lost to artificial intelligence. One thing that is clear is that generative AI technologies are changing how we do things at work and in our personal lives. These tools are also changing how businesses operate. As a result, workers will need to develop new skills.
This is the first part of a two-part blog series on the skills that workers will need in the age of generative AI. Part two will cover the soft skills that are becoming increasingly important as AI technologies become more prevalent. In this blog, we will focus on four digital and technical skills that are essential now that generative AI is freely available:
- AI prompting skills
- Verification skills
- Digital threat awareness
AI Prompting Skills
In the age of generative AI, where artificial intelligence systems can produce text, images, and even code, AI prompting skills will become increasingly essential for workers. This is primarily because the ability to leverage this technology will enhance productivity and creativity.
AI prompting skills involve the ability to write prompts and questions that can elicit high-quality, relevant, and coherent responses from AI models. It is also important to understand cultural contexts when writing AI prompts and questions to ensure the responses resonate with target audiences based in different locations. For example, prompting a generative AI tool to produce a response that resonates with customers, partners, and/or colleagues in both the UAE and Saudi Arabia.
With good AI prompting skills, workers will be better equipped to automate tasks, generate content, and solve complex problems faster and more efficiently.
Without AI prompting skills, on the other hand, workers may struggle to interact effectively with generative AI systems, so will fall further behind in the digital literacy and competency stakes.
E-learning can be used to improve the AI prompting skills of workers, helping them stay ahead in the rapidly evolving world of AI while also ensuring your organisation harnesses the full potential of this transformative technology.
With an increasing use of generative AI technologies in the workplace and wider society, verification skills are becoming among the most important that workers will need. Verification skills are essential to ensure the accuracy, relevance, and fairness of the output produced by workers using AI tools, as well as other AI-generated information that workers encounter.
Verification skills involve the ability to critically evaluate generative AI responses. The main things that workers should be able to identify include:
- Obvious and potential errors
- Irrelevant or misleading information
With good verification skills, workers can detect and correct mistakes, refine AI prompts to produce better responses, and ensure the output aligns with objectives, quality standards, and other requirements.
Without verification skills, workers may unknowingly rely on flawed or biased AI-generated responses, leading to poor-quality outcomes, reputational damage, or even legal liabilities.
Again, e-learning courses can help improve the verification skills of workers.
Digital Threat Awareness
Generative AI is bringing about change in a number of areas, including the digital threat landscape. To put it simply, the digital threat landscape has increased as a result of generative AI technologies, at least in the short term. Therefore, digital threat awareness is a crucial skill for employees in modern workplaces.
Digital threat awareness skills enable workers to recognise, anticipate, and respond to a range of potential risks and vulnerabilities, including:
- Data privacy
- Intellectual property
- Copyright violations
- Fake information
- Ethical considerations
With digital threat awareness skills, workers can effectively assess the potential threats and risks associated with the use of generative AI tools, develop strategies for mitigating and responding to these threats, and maintain the security and integrity of organisational data and systems.
Digital threat awareness skills should be part of your overall cybersecurity training. The aim is to give employees a better understanding of the specific threats the organisation can be exposed to as a result of generative AI. Some examples include:
- An AI-generated voice mimicking a known employee in an attempt to gain access to systems, data, or buildings.
- Publishing content produced by generative AI that breaches a third party’s intellectual property or copyright rights.
- Fake, AI-generated images being used to, at one end of the spectrum, blackmail the company or, at the other end of the spectrum, win unwarranted trust.
In the modern world where generative AI is becoming better and more freely available, the ability to adapt should not be underestimated. As a result, adaptability is a critical skill that workers need to help them keep up with constantly changing technology and business realities.
New AI technologies will continue to emerge, and existing ones will continue to evolve. This means workers need to be able to quickly adapt and learn how to use them to their advantage.
Furthermore, the increasing use of AI is also leading to shifts in job roles and responsibilities. As a result, workers need to be prepared to adapt to new roles or learn new skills to stay relevant in their fields.
Being adaptable means being open-minded, flexible, and willing to learn. With the ability to adapt, workers can embrace change, learn new skills, and stay ahead of the curve in a rapidly changing work environment.
Staying Ahead of the Curve
Businesses in all industries are moving quickly to understand how they can benefit from the rapidly evolving capabilities of generative AI. Workers shouldn’t be lost in this race, however, as generative AI technologies work best when they are used by skilled and knowledgeable workers.
As highly advanced generative AI technologies are available to individual workers and companies right now, the time to improve the AI-related competencies of your workforce should be on your agenda now too.