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Is there a skills gap for effective Human/AI collaboration?

Business Chief takes a look at Accenture “Missing middle skills for Human-AI collaboration” report

|Nov 14|magazine6 min read

With companies rapidly adopting artificial intelligence (AI) technology - something which has only been accelerated with the impact of COVID-19 - Accenture reports that while some roles will be done exclusively by either humans or AI, most emerging roles will be conducted by a collaborative effort from humans and machines. This future of working together in a dynamic space is referred to as ‘the missing middle’ by Accenture.

Such roles will require people to apply a higher level of human skills, with Accenture’s analysis indicating that more than half of jobs in the US need more high-level creativity, and 47% requiring more complex reasoning and 36% needing more socio-emotional skills.

Following its undertaking of extensive analysis on how to enhance human capital, Accenture identifies core, high-level intelligences that will be important for increasing human/machine collaboration.

Three dimensions of skills development

Within its report Accenture proposes that workers and employers work together in three ways to accelerate the learning and application of essential human skills to enable human and AI collaboration.

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Mutual Readiness

Where both parties realise common aspirations for the new workplace environment. This can be broken down into three stages:

  • Preparing for change by implementing a long‐term strategy and clearly communicating to employees 
  • Reimagining work by assessing tasks needed, mapping internal capabilities, then developing new skills needed to bridge the gaps
  • Using AI to tap into potential, AI algorithms can identify hidden talents and transferable skills

Accelerated Ability

Ensure that workers are provided with up to date resources to enhance their skills.

  • Utilising scientific methods to improve the effectiveness of learning, especially for experienced workers
  • Harness smart technologies such as VR to improve the levels of immersion, enable people to experience real situations, and reduce the cost of training 
  • Learn from each other by encouraging employees to develop new skills via peer-to-peer learning

Shared Value

Develop a culture that values education and lifelong learning.

  • Recognise individual needs by giving people time to adapt and prepare for new forms of work
  • Co-fund learning to enable people to pursue their choice of skills development 
  • Drive lifelong learning by tracking performance outcomes and engagement, as well as combining skills training with support 

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Image source: Accenture

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