Keeping up with AI

Ross Stevenson gives his a personal view of how to be smart with generative AI

We have the opportunity to stay ahead of the curve with the right guidance and context for users

Generative AI is happening whether you like it or not.

So why ignore it?

Let’s face it. the HR and L&D industry is slow to adapt and adopt the latest tech.

We struggle to connect with our audience because we fail to stay ahead. With the acceleration of both hype and advancements daily in the generative AI space. We can’t afford to fall behind.

Our customers (your internal employees) are already using or misusing these tools.

As an L&D industry, we have the opportunity to stay ahead of the curve with the right guidance and context for users. This only works if we practice what we preach and level up our own knowledge.

How do L&D pros feel about generative AI tools?

Research into the State of AI  involved 130 L&D teams and revealed two key insights:

  • 77% of teams told me they see integrating generative AI tools into their team as critical for organisational success.
  • Yet, 64% of those same teams told me they don’t understand generative AI and need to be upskilled.

It’s clear we’re aware of the opportunity, but we don’t know how to capitalise on it.

How to be smart with Generative AI

Look, generative AI tools are not a Swiss army knife.

They’re not the right tool for every job. But you have to be in the know. You can’t make the best decision, otherwise.

Here are two ways to get up to speed.

Educate yourself

Yes. It sounds simple but it is incredibly effective.

The best way to cross any knowledge gap and/or fear of the unknown is to learn more about it. The more you know, the more you can be a strategic partner to your business.

It might seem scary right now. But this topic isn’t as complicated as you might think.

This talk from Spotify’s chief research and development officer helps to demystify the conspiracy to make AI seem harder than it is. If you prefer a short explanation, you can find mine here.

Explore case studies

How much hysteria the market experiences over a new tool doesn’t matter.

If it doesn’t solve problems and have use in your work, it’s useless to you. Never buy into any new piece of tech just because market expectations are high.

Be an individual thinker!

I’m big on generative AI tools but that doesn’t mean they’ll be useful for your context. Reflect on five to ten tasks you do often. Play with generative AI tools to see if they can help.

If not, that’s fine.

The right tool for the right job, always.

Ignore the hype

My final point to note is not falling prey to the hype.

This is really hard to not do. FOMO (the fear of missing out) is a real problem in our society. Generative AI will no doubt change how we work, the careers we build and the skills we acquire. Right now, we are all speculating as the show unfolds.

Gartner captured this perfectly in their “Hype Cycle for AI in 2023”. Generative AI sits firmly in the “Peak of inflated expectations” column. It will no doubt do great things but I doubt it will be half of what we hear today. Soon it will slide into an everyday productivity enhancer, where we’ll get a better application of its capabilities for work.

In sum, research deeply but don’t join the cult.


Ultimately, the simple action of play, experimentation and doing will accelerate your know-how with generative AI.

In summary be smart in your approach, educate yourself and use case studies and always fact check the hype.

Ross Stevenson is learning strategist at Steal These Thoughts  

Ross Stevenson

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