Industry News Details

Artificial Intelligence: Should You Teach It To Your Employees? Posted on : Sep 11 - 2021

AI is becoming strategic for many companies across the world. The technology can be transformative for just about any part of a business.

But AI is not easy to implement. Even top-notch companies have challenges and failures.

So what can be done? Well, one strategy is to provide AI education to the workforce.

“If more people are AI literate and can start to participate and contribute to the process, more problems–both big and small–across the organization can be tackled,” said David Sweenor, who is the Senior Director of Product Marketing at Alteryx. “We call this the ‘Democratization of AI and Analytics.’ A team of 100, 1,000, or 5,000 working on different problems in their areas of expertise certainly will have a bigger impact than if left in the hands of a few.”

Just look at Levi Strauss & Co. Last year the company implemented a full portfolio of enterprise training programs—for all employees at all levels—focused on data and AI for business applications. For example, there is the Machine Learning Bootcamp, which is an eight-week program for learning Python coding, neural networks and machine learning—with an emphasis on real-world scenarios.

“Our goal is to democratize this skill set and embed data scientists and machine learning practitioners throughout the organization,” said Louis DeCesari, who is the Global Head of Data, Analytics, and AI at Levi Strauss & Co. “In order to achieve our vision of becoming the world’s best digital apparel company, we need to integrate digital into all areas of the enterprise.”

Granted, corporate training programs can easily become a waste. This is especially the case when there is not enough buy-in at the senior levels of management.

It is also important to have a training program that is more than just a bunch of lectures. “You need to have outcomes-based training,” said Kathleen Featheringham, who is the Director of Artificial Intelligence Strategy at Booz Allen. “Focus on how AI can be used to push forward the mission of the organization, not just training for the sake of learning about AI.  Also, there should be roles-based training. There is no one-size-fits-all approach to training, and different personas within an organization will have different training needs.” View More