Building New Skills for the AI Era

June 6, 2023

In this video, InnoLead’s Scott Kirsner talks with Sandra Loughlin, the Chief Learning Scientist at EPAM, about how individuals and organizations should think about developing new skills — and dealing with anxieties — related to the coming AI era.

“With any skill development effort,” Loughlin says, “you need to think about what’s going to make people want to develop those new skills — particularly something like AI, that’s a little bit scary, right? It’s unknown, and it’s a kind of moving target. How do you get people to want to do that? That’s really the the trick of psychology, if you will, which is to kind of figure out what is the motivation for most people and harness it to drive change?”

Loughlin also addresses the need for organizational guidelines related to employees’ use of AI in their work. “We’re seeing companies who are not putting any guardrails in at all, [giving] no guidance. Everyone’s working on it behind the scenes, but there’s not a lot of public conversations, even internally, [to] invite [people] into the conversation. On the other side, what I’m also seeing are companies who are just like head in sand, ‘this is not a thing.’ I think it’s really incumbent on leaders to … quickly develop some of those guardrails.” But Loughlin says that leaders should make organizational guidelines “realistic, and give people the opportunity to practice and to explore because really, again, that is going to create both innovation in the organization, and give individuals a sense that they have some control over their destiny.”