Monday, June 17, 2024

Using AI to Create Better People

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Artificial Intelligence and much automation have two viable paths. One path supported by companies like IBM is to enhance employees. The other, more familiar path is to replace them with automation. I’m working with the World Talent Economic Forum. A recurring topic is how do we improve the quality of candidates coming out of education and better assure students’ success. A relatively common comment by our panelists is that schools aren’t training students well for today’s jobs, let alone the skills needed for tomorrow’s jobs.  

We spoke this week about how AI could address both issues resulting in better employees and more successful lives. Let’s talk about that here.

The Issue With Education

Typically educators in higher education either aren’t or never have been practitioners of what they teach. Their career path has been in education, and they often take a standard curriculum that was developed years or even decades earlier; students read and remember out-of-date textbooks and then test them on what they’ve learned. On the other hand, students often treat higher education as a right of passage without any real idea of what they want to do or even whether they’ll even like the job that this education anticipates. So you have two critical issues; the curriculum is focused on competitive grades that often show little more than the ability to study and recall what was studied. Also, you have students who don’t even know what they want to do, let alone develop the skills necessary.  

Fixing this would seem to be a three-step process where an AI-focused solution could be highly beneficial.  

We Begin With Analytics

We have a great deal of data on people’s careers, likes and dislikes, competencies, and personal assets and liabilities. From this, we should determine early on what personality traits and interests would best match certain work types. For instance, someone that is gregarious, charismatic, and good-looking would likely do far better in a sales job, while someone that was an introvert, liked math, and loved to create things might be better as an engineer. Salespeople typically don’t need advanced degrees, but they have to learn and talk about the products they sell to do better, going from high school into a sales training program, perhaps avoiding college. Depending on what they were interested in, the engineering candidate might do better in a trade school than a university.  

Before going to college, an internship would likely do both people good as it would showcase if they incline the resulting career suggestion.  

See more: Using AI To Create Better People

The Goal of the AI

To do this right, the goal of the AI should be assuring a happy life. Using the analytics captures those that test as happier at retirement as a baseline for testing the AI. Based on what it knows about the individual and others, recommend both a career and achieve it optimally. It could also make recommendations on getting married, having kids, and other critical life changes to ensure the successful future of the employee.  

Ideally, you would need the child very early so that you could begin to build a profile of what they liked, what they were naturally good at, what was the most successful path to retained learning, and what kinds of things can improve or damage their mood. This data then flows into the education system that crafts a lesson plan that best matches students’ interests and skills. It would also track whether they are picking up critical life skills or having behavioral deficiencies and based on both the analytics from the student and the growing total database of students (past and present). It could then advise on the best approach to reduce behavioral issues with the child.  And, assuring, when that child goes out on their own, they have the core skills (cooking, personal accounting, safety, exercise) that they need to be successful in the world.  

The system could then provide advice on the ideal mate, should be able to matchmake knowing what types of behaviors work best in marriage and aligning interests on major things (children, pets, careers) better assuring a successful marriage and help to keep folks that aren’t ready for marriage from getting married prematurely.  

In the end, what we are talking about is an AI live coach, one that would help you avoid mistakes and, over time, optimize your opportunities, significantly increasing the likelihood of a successful life. However, you defined success.

Wrapping up

What we mostly spoke about was improving college, but many destructive behaviors have been created, many mistakes made, and even whether college is best for the student isn’t yet known. But, through initial assessments, you could still highlight whether the student’s goals were reasonable, suggest others if not, and provide a path to tremendous personal success. If this process were done correctly, it would play down physical benefits like cars, mansions, or excessive wealth, while playing up work/life balance, contentedness, and lower stress.  

Also, one additional skill will develop, and that is working with AIs. As AIs advance, we’ll increasingly be surrounded by them, understanding how to work with them more efficiently, their evolving limitations and skills, and the likely growing list of things to avoid will undoubtedly be a critical skill for the future.  

We have AIs coming that will drive us, prepare our meals, make our drinks, even work to keep us safe. But the most crucial implementation will be their use to make us better people, teach us critical thinking, and help us find our best path forward in life. With all of the data being collected about us, there should be a requirement that most of this data should be used to our benefit. I expect, eventually, that will be a law. We’ll see. 

See more: The Conversational AI Revolution: The Threat And The Opportunity

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