5 Essential Capabilities to Thrive in an AI World

May 02, 2024 by Matt Burr

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This is our second blog post in a series on how we think AI is impacting learning. You can read our statement on our own approach to AI in Learning here and read how we think AI is impacting the L&D profession here.

As AI systems become more prevalent in the workplace it’s imperative that we understand the capabilities, knowledge and principles that will allow our teams and organizations to maximize the potential of AI.

But understanding how to maximize the potential of AI means much more than just knowledge of, and practice with, the AI systems of the moment. We need to study the principles that will help us make better decisions, think more creatively, and design new ways of working—with whatever AI system comes next.

In short, we need to understand the human capabilities that are essential in an AI world.

Thriving in the Age of AI: 5 Key Capabilities

In this post we’ll look at 5 capabilities that we think are going to be more essential than ever in an AI world. These 5 capabilities form the basis of a Program that Nomadic is developing on “Thriving in the Age of AI” that will be released in the coming months.

  1. Collaboration (with AI). As AI does more and more of the routine work in our organizations, we will be tasked with more complex, creative, and human work. Thriving in this workplace will mean using AI not just to replace existing workflows but to be our co-pilot and coach—tasked with augmenting our intelligence and improving our performance. Individuals need to figure out what work to outsource to AI, and what to augment with AI. And to do that we need to know our own strengths and weaknesses and the strengths and weaknesses of AI.

  2. Focus & Attention. We already live in the most crowded information environment in the history of the human species. AI promises to make it more crowded still. But AI also offers us a way to focus our attention, curate our information diet, and decrease the noise. Those who can best control and maximize the relevance of their attention environments will be poised to outperform in an increasingly noisy world.

  3. Intuition. For nearly two decades we’ve told ourselves to be data-driven. To be as rigorous, objective, and numbers-driven as possible when deciding what to do next. ALL of that is still true. But in a world where AI is automating more and more of the brute analysis and interpretation of data, intuition is having a renaissance. That’s a good thing.. We have increasing evidence that intuition is not a mystical or magical power, it’s a real life physical skill and a critical part of the way our brains and bodies work. And like any other muscle, intuition can be exercised and strengthened.

  4. Imagination & Creativity. It doesn’t seem like the Generative AI models have an imagination. There are hints of self-awareness and incredibly creative language, images, and videos—but no sign yet of true imagination. In the Age of AI, that’s the kind of thing we should pay attention to. Imagination is a human thing. Truly human things are growing in value and importance as AI progresses. In an AI world we need to expand our imagination, using our own education and experience in partnership with AI to re-imagine what’s possible.

  5. Judgment. Don’t let AI cloud your judgment. A world of rapidly increasing complexity causes confusion in all directions. It’s very easy to lose your way. To forget what matters most or why you’re doing what you’re doing. The Age of AI will be complex and chaotic for quite some time, so good judgment will be more important than ever. Good judgment starts with anchoring what you do in first principles: to know what you believe, and to practice giving it voice.

We think that developing these types of human capabilities (this list is far from exhaustive) will give individuals, teams and organizations a true competitive advantage in a world where for most of us, technology doesn't matter any more. We will all have access to the same powerful machines that we won’t own or operate.

Helping your people develop these capabilities will become the essential function of any organization.

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