About David H. Deans
Technology, Media, and Telecom research analyst, consultant, columnist - digital multi-platform practitioner - commercial transmedia storyteller @dhdeans
Here in the U.S. market, people rarely make it past their mid- to late-fifties before they are terminated by their employer in the 'annual culling' layoffs. Many are forced into early retirement due to their perceived lack of modern skills and experience. Also, while age discrimination is illegal, it is openly tolerated by regulators in most states.
Therefore, changing this ingrained culture to value older workers will be very problematic.
Your commentary about the manufacturing and finance sectors was insightful. In contrast, I consult with organizations in the Business Technology sector, and I'm witnessing a high demand for information and guidance on how employees can gain the required skills to apply productivity-oriented Gen AI use cases ASAP.
I'm envisioning a scenario where, in the not too distant future, these skills will be essential for most knowledge worker roles. Granted, demand in some markets may be significant greater than others across the globe. Over time, however, the expertise requirement will normalize in line with the U.S. market demand.
Willemien, you said, "One particular area where AI is beginning to be used is in hiring and job-seeking." I'm encouraged by the 'potential' benefits of AI in enterprise recruitment situations. For example, I'm hopeful that artificial intelligence can be trained to avoid the inherent bias of human corporate recruiters. While the current shift to value candidate Skills, over other qualifications, is a positive advancement for hiring decisions, I do wonder how this trend will evolve over time.
In my opinion, the "European Commission AI Act" should focus equally on the challenges and opportunities. The upside economic opportunities will need nurturing, otherwise Europe will once again be playing catch-up with American innovators. A regulatory-first mindset can limit innovation.
I agree that a lack of imagination is the fearful inertia that resists progressive change.
For example, the quest for a "return to normal" after the pandemic and in particular the rush to create "return to office" mandates by legacy business and government leaders is clearly based on fear of change.
Flexible Working models are a timely innovation that has the potential to impact commercial productivity in a very positive way. We can do better if we just try to evolve. So, let's all try to rise to the occasion, rather than retreat to a bygone era of leadership and management. The future awaits the bold and the fearless.
From my perspective, the typical school- to-work transition does not appear to have changed in a meaningful or substantive way since I entered the workforce more than three decades ago. And yet, so much has changed in the work environment.
That said, I'm encouraged by the recent advances in artificial intelligence, and the potential for students across the globe to enhance or augment their learning with the application of this emerging technology.
I anticipate that Open Innovation policies will continue to evolve in response to the Big Tech sector's perceived influence on the Global Networked Economy. And, I agree with your assessment that the full potential of technology benefits is clearly much greater than the current focal points.
Based on what I've witnessed over the last decade, the high cost of healthcare in the United States, and the excessive profits of many providers, limit the demand for operational efficiencies.
Regardless of the publically stated commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, I see very few incentives to positively change the current culture that is responsible for a lack of progress.