In an era where AI is reshaping our world at an unprecedented pace, touching every sector from private to public and nonprofit, the comparison with previous industrial revolutions is inevitable yet distinct. AI’s influence is profound, with an estimated 300 million jobs expected to be impacted by 2030. Can we reskill the displaced workforce fast enough?
Reskilling at the speed of AI in the 4th Industrial Revolution.
While in every Industrial Revolution, jobs are displaced and new jobs are created, the individual-level reality calls for a more nuanced, proactive approach.
We stand at a unique crossroads.
We are adopting AI much faster than it took us to adopt Electricity, the Telephone, The Personal Computer, or even the Internet. The velocity of change surpasses our traditional systems’ capacity for reskilling, creating a pressing challenge.
The other part of the equation is that over half of U.S. adults have a literacy level below the 6th grade and 40 million below the 3rd, making integrating them into the AI-driven digital economy challenging and urgent.
The private sector re-skilling focus has been predominantly on the 25% represented by knowledge workers, leaving a significant portion of the population needing tailored support for digital literacy and skills.
At ai4sp.org, we have briefed 1,800 global leaders in 2023 about the challenges and opportunities of AI. While raising awareness of the skills gap is an important step, we asked ourselves,
How can we facilitate economic mobility for individuals through immediate improvements in digital literacy?.
Using AI to start addressing the Individual Digital Skills Gap.
We interacted with thousands of individuals, assessing their skills gaps. We also evaluated emerging methodologies to assess digital skills; the result is a set of 20-25 targeted questions across eight dimensions designed to pinpoint current digital skill levels and highlight areas for development while also offering individual benchmarks.
Working in a collective impact approach with Large Foundations, Government Entities, and the Private Sector, our goal is to release askUrsula.ai, a free AI-powered Advisor to assess and activate – guiding individuals through their learning journey and equip them with access to free training to thrive in the AI economy.
We released similar AI-powered advisors to help small businesses and nonprofits start using AI; tens of thousands have used our tools. We will leverage that experience to allow individuals to address their skills gap.
This initiative is a commitment to inclusive progress, ensuring no one is left behind in the transformative wave of AI.
Our assessment method, focusing on eight critical dimensions of digital skills, is specifically designed to empower the 80% of the population not traditionally classified as Knowledge Workers.
This demographic is at a critical juncture, facing the transformation, displacement, or alteration of their jobs due to the rapid advancement of AI technologies. By identifying and addressing their digital skills gaps through this tailored assessment, we aim to provide clear, actionable guidance.
This approach is essential for enabling these individuals to adapt to the changing job landscape and seize opportunities for economic advancement and personal growth in the evolving digital economy.
Eight Dimensions of Individual Digital Literacy:
- Information and Data Literacy: Understanding and analyzing data is crucial for making informed decisions and solving problems across various sectors. This skill is essential for economic advancement.
- Digital Content Creation and Management: This involves creating and managing digital content. It’s crucial for sharing ideas and collaborating and can lead to innovative and entrepreneurial opportunities.
- Digital Communication, Collaboration, and Participation: Effective digital communication is vital for working in networked environments. It improves teamwork, extends professional networks, and can enhance career opportunities.
- Problem Solving and Innovation: The ability to solve problems and think creatively is essential in a changing digital environment. Employers value these skills, which can lead to career growth and entrepreneurial opportunities.
- Digital Learning and Development: Continuously learning about digital technologies is necessary to stay relevant in the evolving job market.
- Security, Privacy, and Compliance: Knowledge of cybersecurity, privacy, and data compliance is increasingly important. This understanding is vital for protecting personal and organizational interests and fostering ethical digital operations.
- Digital Wellbeing and Identity: Managing one’s digital presence and addressing digital stress are essential for a balanced digital life, contributing to personal effectiveness and well-being.
- AI Fluency and Interactivity: Understanding and using AI effectively. Focusing on affordable generative and conversational AI tools is critical for enhancing productivity and innovation. This skill is vital for both personal and organizational growth. For those at the advanced level, this dimension involves using AI for new developments, envisioning new applications across industries, and contributing to societal progress through ethical AI applications.
Let’s Start with 10,000.
As we journey through the dynamic and transformative era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, at AI4SP.org, we lead with purpose in AI-driven reskilling and empowerment.
Our ambition for the first phase is bold yet achievable: to reach and positively impact 10,000 individuals in the United States, equipping them with vital digital skills to navigate the AI era.
Looking ahead, we are gearing up to broaden our horizons with upcoming releases in Spanish and Portuguese to bring invaluable resources to individuals in Latin America, Europe, and Africa.
By enhancing digital literacy and skills, we strive to ensure that no one is left behind in the rapidly evolving digital landscape as we invest in, build, use, and support AI that Works for All.
Please get in touch with us to learn how you can join our efforts to reskill individuals and help with their economic mobility and our societal growth.