This blog is a repost from American City & Country Written by Dr. Alan R. Shark.

There has been much talk about having an AI-ready workforce, yet there seems to be more focus on the need than on how we can achieve this. We also know that artificial intelligence (AI) is dramatically different from any other form of technology that has emerged since the advent of the open Internet. Given AI’s speed of transactions, complexity and potential for mistakes and bias, this nascent technology cannot be entirely left in the domain of science and technology. The National Academy of Public Administration identified “Make Government AI Ready” as one of its Grand Challenges in 2019. In addressing AI-ready government, we recognize that government functionality still depends on humans and human systems. This means we must identify the main characteristics of an AI-ready workforce.

A broad definition of an AI-ready workforce might refer to a group of individuals who possess the necessary skills, knowledge and mindset to effectively collaborate with and leverage AI technologies in their work environments. To achieve an AI-ready workforce, for current staff, we need to develop required training and development for AI that could range from a simple online required course to a more comprehensive certification program. We must also look at how schools of higher learning are adapting their curricula to include these newer skillsets aimed at addressing government needs. Changing or modifying the highly entrenched college curriculum is itself a monumental challenge. Teaching AI in college should provide students with a comprehensive understanding of artificial intelligence concepts, methodologies and applications while equipping them with practical skills to work with AI technologies. Ideally this should be infused throughout existing curriculums and at all levels. Given the rapidly evolving nature of AI, the curriculum should be adaptable and updated regularly to incorporate new techniques, technologies, and best practices. Here are some examples of how AI can be taught…

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