Adapt and reskill for the future of AI, or risk losing out

Organisations can stay ahead of the competition by ensuring their employees are skilled in the use of AI at work.
By: | September 21, 2023

The future of generative AI tools in Singapore and the rest of Asia-Pacific, said Dr Fermin Diez, Associate Professor at NUS, C-Suite leader and professional speaker, is bright. In most situations, he would encourage people, be it students just trying out the programme for the first time, or adults in corporate organisations looking to adapt to the times, to experiment with ChatGPT to its fullest in their spare time.

The relative affordability and accessibility of ChatGPT – free for individuals and available for organisations at USD$20 monthly – should also encourage more people to discover the possibilities offered by ChatGPT and other AI tools.

There is, however, resistance from employees when it comes to embracing the use of AI tools, even if their managers and CEOs are enthusiastic over the possibilities and potential of the AI tools due to a myriad of concerns, including being made redundant by technology. To alleviate some of these concerns, Dr Diez advised organisations to focus on retraining and upskilling employees to prepare them to leverage these technologies to improve their job performance and productivity.

Speaking to HRM Asia, he said, “What’s interesting about tools such as ChatGPT is, unless you’re working on the developing side of the programme, that it requires particular skills.” Unlike learning analytics, where employees would need to learn programmes and languages like Python and Java, AI requires learning how to ask and interpret questions, and understanding their limitations. “Eventually you’d need to learn how to integrate it with other programmes, and train it up with company data,” Dr Diez added.

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To him, employees in Singapore, despite growing up with the mentality of upskilling and reskilling when it comes to their everyday life, are now competing with the global workforce of employees to adapt and learn the intricacies of these tools. “Everyone is learning at the same pace because it’s all new to everybody at the same time,” said Dr Diez. “We’re all starting from the same place. If we’re in the part of the world where we are feeling reluctant about using it, or have a certain mindset about the technology itself, then we will lose out. This is about the people who are willing to start experimenting with tech.”