Digital dexterity is indeed a strategic differentiator for the companies of today, as we all struggle to adapt to the rapidly shifting technological landscape. This is especially true when it comes to AI products and thinking about how workers interact with and consume these products is a critical challenge in improving the adoption of such tools.
On the one hand, starting with simple AI tools that have input into daily activities in clear and understandable ways could help the broader populace understand their uses. This, however, is only one small piece of what we at Dataiku believe Everyday AI can be. In this context, Everyday AI is simply utilizing the AI tools built into the products that we use daily. This is but one piece of what Everyday AI has the potential to be and, if applied improperly, could undermine the more holistic possibilities.
In our latest complimentary Gartner® research, “Quick Answer: How Can Everyday AI Improve Worker Digital Dexterity?” the authors lay out a framework for Everyday AI. This blog post covers how I think our definition of Everyday AI at Dataiku is both similar and different to Gartner®.
Applying the Gartner® 3-Part Framework to Everyday AI Beyond Digital Tools
The “Learn, Discover, Do” framework from Gartner is applied only to different aspects of a worker’s daily life where they could utilize AI products. Instead, however, we should utilize that framework to examine how workers learn to utilize AI products most effectively. This is actually enabled more through utilizing AI tools that are core to their expertise, not potentially secondary skills such as those outlined in the report. Workers need to learn the application and the limitations of AI tools rather than being expected to utilize them blindly. AI tools have biases and struggles and, without proper training in when and how to validate the accuracy of a model, it is dangerous to simply roll them out across the organization.
The "Discover" step is more about how "Everyday AI reveals more about your work and teamwork," and this is where I think the report has many good recommendations. Once you understand how AI can improve the core aspect of your business, you can look for additional AI products that can help you, such as those increasingly being embedded into the general-purpose, enterprise-grade tools many workers use. Learning how to write better documents, deliver better presentations, and consume time-usage analytics are all valuable but lower-stakes impacts of AI. This risks trivializing the impact of AI and companies aren’t capitalizing on the potential for AI to impact their strategy and operations.
Finally, in our opinion, the "Do" part is where Everyday AI enables and empowers every person in an organization to transform how they work. Everyday AI is about more than the prevalence of AI tools in our organizations — it’s about the increasingly broad ability of workers in every aspect of the business to create their own AI products using new tools and collaborating with internal experts. In his article titled “How AI Could Empower Any Business”, Andrew Ng said, “We can, similar to literacy, build a much richer society if everyone has access to this powerful [AI] technology. By that, I mean not just as a _user_of AI, but as a _creator_ of AI … Just like widespread literacy changed the world for the better, so will the widespread ability to build AI systems.”
Moving the power of AI from the hands of specialists with advanced degrees and coding experience is what will truly move workers into the next evolution of their functions. It’s not about everyone becoming data scientists; it’s about the data science skill set being more accessible to everyone within our organizations. The companies who help their employees to understand data, use more accessible tools, and effectively make AI-powered decisions will be the true winners, and having AI spell check, while perhaps will make some people more comfortable with AI, won’t move them along the spectrum of actually harnessing the true power of AI at scale.
Quick Answer: How Can Everyday AI Improve Worker Digital Dexterity? Adam Preset, Bern Elliot, 6 September 2022. GARTNER is a registered trademark and service mark of Gartner, Inc. and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and internationally and is used herein with permission. All rights reserved.