Here’s why AI literacy is easily the best thing you’re not doing
The missing piece that will boost proficiency and maximize returns

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If one skill could re-energize your organization’s culture and better your bottom line, wouldn’t you want to master it? That skill isn’t hypothetical; its name is AI literacy. Knowing how to use AI effectively involves understanding the technology, questioning its design, and thinking critically about its impact, both positive and negative. Unfortunately, an ill-informed AI detour can be a direct route to privacy breaches, inaccurate output, biased results, or missed opportunities. Even this early in AI’s boom, one thing is already clear: You can’t afford to take shortcuts. Keep reading to discover why mastering AI literacy should be your top priority this year.

Why AI literacy matters

As your organization begins to integrate artificial intelligence into your processes, AI literacy can be a valuable metric for gauging the level of adoption and effectiveness of its use. A highly AI-literate workforce can unlock a significant competitive advantage by maximizing the potential of AI tools and ensuring their responsible and ethical use. A high degree of AI proficiency also leads to maximized productivity gains and, therefore, optimal return on your investments in artificial intelligence. That’s because AI-literate staff are more likely to contribute to AI-led innovation, providing valuable feedback and insights.

This bottom-up approach to innovation not only accelerates use case development but also encourages a collaborative culture within the organization. Within the workforce itself, AI is shifting the skills in demand on a large scale. In fact, 24 recent studies show that soon 80% of the U.S. workforce will have some tasks affected by language models, and 20% are expected to see at least half of daily tasks affected by AI. Therefore, organizations that adopt and execute an AI strategy, and have a mission to increase the literacy of their employees and partners, will see the widespread growth they’ve long been striving for.

How to measure progress

Assessing your AI literacy can be considerably less stressful than you might think. To get an accurate measurement of your organization’s literacy, SHI recommends using the Meta AI Literacy Scale (MAILS), the latest peer reviewed research on this topic that includes a comprehensive survey that accounts for:

  • AI anxiety.
  • Willingness to adopt disruptive technology.
  • Comfort and effectiveness in using AI.
  • Understanding of ethical, privacy, and data integrity concerns.

This survey will provide an accurate baseline on where your organization is and where you need to focus your efforts to improve. Innovation is ahead of you with just a few simple steps.

How to boost AI literacy

In our experience, a hands-on approach is key to fostering AI literacy. The first step is deploying an enterprise-level language model-based chatbot, like ChatGPT. We recommend utilizing ready-to-use apps like Microsoft Copilot or Google Gemini or bespoke solutions developed on cloud hyperscale AI platforms like Azure OAI, AWS Bedrock, or Google Vertex. Give your employees room to experiment, and learn, emphasizing to them that the purpose of these tools is to enhance their capabilities, not replace their job. This will actually improve their career potential, empower them to compete in the modern economy, and give them a distinct competitive edge. By prioritizing AI literacy, you’re not just equipping your employees with new skills; you’re empowering them to become active participants in the AI revolution.

The second step is just as critical: Train employees by adopting a collaborative and inclusive approach to learning. For every dollar invested in an AI solution, a significant portion should be allocated to development initiatives that cover prompt engineering, responsible usage, and role-specific use cases. Take the time to define and communicate guidelines for responsible use and development. Establish a town square where you can host office hours, quell concerns, provide feedback, and establish goals. These training opportunities also help create a communal learning environment, where domain experts and users can share knowledge and insights. Running hackathons and other collaborative events can also encourage the practical application of AI skills, thus stimulating innovation.

These aren’t stunts but steps toward helping employees get excited about AI’s potential to accelerate their productivity, job satisfaction and career trajectory. Indeed, a report from Capgemini highlights that organizations that focus on broad-based AI education and promote knowledge sharing are more likely to succeed in their AI endeavors. And while internal collaboration is key, looking outside for help can be just as consequential.

How SHI can give you the go-ahead

AI literacy is not just a buzzword; it’s a road to a strong culture, workforce, and data-driven future. SHI is excited to use our hands-on expertise to help propel you forward, offering a range of training services, including:

  • AI end-user and admin training services.
  • AI executive briefings.
  • AI use-case workshops.
  • Microsoft Copilot implementation and enablement services.

Our experts can help you select, deploy, and manage AI products and solutions from top-tier partners to your unique needs, so you can make the most of AI’s many benefits. Together, we can optimize your processes, navigate the AI landscape, and make digital stagnation just another obstacle in your rearview mirror.

Watch this webinar about frontline perspectives on practical and profitable generative AI adoption, then book an AI executive briefing with our team to tap into AI’s (and your own) true potential today.

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