Skillsoft’s Framework for AI Transformation

September 14, 2023 | Reskilling Your Workforce | 9 min read

In today's fast-paced and volatile environment, businesses are facing a multitude of challenges. The workforce is stretched thin, with demands increasing on constrained resources. Moreover, there are sustained gaps in both tech and power skills, making it difficult for organizations to keep up with the evolving landscape. With constant pressure to remain competitive, companies must find innovative solutions to overcome these obstacles. Rapid advancements in Generative AI have opened up a range of applications that could fundamentally shift this dynamic and propel future economic growth.

AI offers a promising approach to address these problems by automating tasks, augmenting human capabilities, and enabling organizations to adapt swiftly to change. By leveraging AI, businesses can optimize productivity, bridge skills gaps, and effectively navigate the competitive landscape, ensuring long-term success and growth.

With the emergence of generative AI, companies will need to reimagine their skilling and talent initiatives. The World Economic Forum estimates that there will be nearly a 5x acceleration in adoption from five years prior. Breakthrough AI innovations, such as ChatGPT and Google BARD, offer conversational and content generation capabilities that will redefine the very fabric of the global workforce. This is particularly true when it comes to the ways we communicate, learn, and work. In fact, OpenAI predicts that at least 80% of all jobs, especially those of knowledge workers, will be influenced, changed, or augmented by GenAI.

Despite these projections, there exists today a wide AI skills gap. There aren’t enough AI and machine learning specialists available today, creating intense demand for professionals with these skills. What’s more, given the nascence of GenAI tools and platforms, many more will need training to not only adopt the technology, but understand the best ways to apply it.

So the question is, where do we go from here? How can organizations transform to capitalize on the disruption? Organizations must consider; the technical skills required to utilize the technology, the human skills to mobilize the organization and sustain progress, and the ethical and governance skills to responsibly leverage the technology to the benefit of society.

Skillsoft has 25 years of experience in helping organizations navigate seismic skill transformations, and we have drawn upon this experience to formulate a model for AI skills transformation.

Learn more about Skillsoft’s AI-Focused Solutions

Skillsoft’s AI Model for Skills Transformation

Skillsoft’s AI model for skill transformation prescribes a comprehensive and seamless pathway for any organization to achieve a range of performance outcomes, from Literacy to Mastery, via a blend of modalities. It includes a blueprint for the curricula, a forward-looking vision on how digital learning is reimagined, and perspective on how we work together in developing the next-generation of learning solutions.

This model prescribes four levels of proficiency through a range of instructional solutions:

  • Literacy – A core skills curriculum aligning the front line to the C-suite on the foundations, guardrails, responsible application, and leadership skills for AI.
  • Competency – A blend of technology, power skills, and compliance content to develop a robust understanding of topics, ranging from prompt engineering through ChatGPT, to the legal consideration of emerging regulations.
  • Proficiency – Hands-on, interactive courses and labs that enable learners to apply the technology in real-time.
  • Mastery – Instructor-led programs to certify learners on critical technologies and bring teams together to collaborate on different applications of the technology.

By aligning these learning experiences with the desired performance outcome based on audience and job role, we improve the overall AI "maturity level" and workforce capability of the enterprise. Skillsoft’s unique portfolio of digital courses, books, labs, interactive content, instructor-led curricula and coaching, enable the company to effectuate this transformation at scale, via our intelligent, AI-drive skilling platform.

Ultimately, we believe with the correct application and training, GenAI will impact: what we learn through the curriculum and skills we focus on; how we learn by leveraging the immersive capabilities of GenAI; and how we work to realize the greatest benefits of the technology.

Let’s keep exploring this idea.

1. What We Learn

With any emerging technology comes the need for awareness and education across multiple levels and functions of the enterprise. It is the responsibility of the organization to ensure their employees are trained on the most relevant, in-demand skills across all aspects of AI to help businesses grow.

Not only do employees need to learn the appropriate AI skills, but they need to learn how to collaborate with AI technology to augment their human intelligence. Now more than ever, businesses need a blend of both the tech and human skills to effectively navigate this disruption. By pairing AI technology with creativity, communication, problem-solving, critical thinking, and collaboration, employees will be empowered to do more meaningful work.

From a learning and development perspective, this means having an AI curriculum with a foundation centered around awareness, education, and skill-building.

The curriculum should educate the workforce on the potential impact of AI in their day-to-day jobs, and the opportunities to leverage AI for their everyday work. It should build a common language and shared understanding across the organization of what GenAI is, while equipping your team members to use it responsibly and effectively.

At Skillsoft, we are helping to transform the way in which employees learn about and collaborate with AI through our content. The release and development of our new Skillsoft Aspire Journeys - multi-modal learning paths designed to promote subject literacy from the front line to the c-suite. Skillsoft’s course content covers a wide range of topics, ranging from “Generative AI Foundations and Guardrails” to “AI and ML for Decision-Makers,” with other content focused on reimagining work, leading with transformation, and the human skills to sustain an AI transformation. Our newly-released Enterprise Literacy for Generative AI Aspire Journey consists of courses focused on: Foundations of Generative AI, Responsible Applications and Guardrails for Generative AI, Reimagining Work with Generative AI, Leading an AI Transformation, and Human Skills to Sustain an AI Transformation.

These Journeys are designed to equip learners with a solid understanding of the core principles needed to responsibly and effectively use, build, and experiment with generative AI. By exploring these courses, learners will gain the necessary knowledge to reimagine work across various functions. And, with Skillsoft's newly enhanced curriculum of ethical AI courses, learners and business leaders are empowered to not only grasp the widespread applications and advantages of AI but also deepen their knowledge about the potential biases associated with this technology.

But first, in order to assess skill gaps and recommend AI skilling areas, Skillsoft has developed new Skill Benchmarks specially designed for generative AI. These benchmarks evaluate learners' proficiency and knowledge in areas such as the principles of the technology, responsible usage, and its impact on work. Additionally, they assess engineering capabilities in ChatGPT. Based on the assessment results, learners are assigned a score and level, ranging from Novice to Advanced. This personalized approach enables learners to receive tailored recommendations for further learning, allowing them to deepen their skillsets and progress from AI literacy to mastery. Ultimately, this targeted learning approach helps bridge skills gaps within businesses.

2. How We Learn

The rich and immersive capabilities of GenAI are giving rise to the next generation of learning experiences, which allow learners to engage with training like never before. We believe that these types of transformative learning experiences more effectively assess employees’ aptitude while immersing them into programs that provide opportunities to apply their knowledge.

Skillsoft’s integrated methodology for skill transformation follows this basic model:

  • Benchmark: Index capabilities to understand the skills gap and recommend learning.
  • Instruct: Convey concepts through immersive, self-paced training with practice exercises.
  • Collaborate: Foster an exchange of ideas and concepts through live events and cohort interactions.
  • Apply: Practice skills in realistic scenarios with an interactive curriculum.
  • Perform: Coach leaders to ensure the new business approaches take root.

Throughout this Journey, Skillsoft uses AI to help deliver personalized learning through content curation, individual learning paths, skill level, and role. It helps to improve discoverability, accessibility, and localization through automated captions and descriptions.

However, the most transformative breakthrough that GenAI can create is with interactive environments. This interactivity helps learners to practice and apply critical skills, like a new manager having difficult conversations, through realistic and relevant scenario-based learning.

Skillsoft CAISY™ Conversation AI Simulator is an innovative GenAI application that simulates business and leadership interactions. Skillsoft CAISY allows employees to practice business interactions in an emotionally safe space, which would otherwise only be possible through live role-play discussions.

Learners can navigate these scenarios as they would in real-life. Skillsoft CAISY not only plays the role of the other person within the conversation but also provides personalized feedback and guidance on communication style. This experience features virtual characters that have been designed to mimic the personality and emotive characteristics of employees via large language models (LLMs). AI-powered tools such as Skillsoft CAISY will play an increasing important role in generating these new skills at scale.

3. How We Work

AI will help bridge the skills and talent gap in the workplace and will help to guide us in our own development. But its impact does not stop there. It will become an extension of us by assisting with a range of everyday tasks that will amount to a tremendous impact on productivity.

Skillsoft is leading by example as we look for new ways to incorporate GenAI into how we work. GenAI solutions have allowed all of our departments to enhance their productivity and deliver better learning experiences.

Our internal AI team utilizes these toolsets to implement new features in our learning platform, and our marketing and customer success teams are actively exploring new ways in which AI-generated content can drive efficiency and increase effectiveness. We’ve also started to leverage AI to accelerate our own curriculum development.

Most importantly, we are taking steps to understand the potential ethical concerns of using generative AI, including implementing internal guidelines and policies. (Read how to write an AI policy of your own here.)

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With the Right Education, Everyone Wins

Drawing from our experience applying GenAI and our understanding of the potential pitfalls of this disruptive technology, we can ensure our teams understand the critical need to use these tools efficiently, effectively, and ethically to best serve our customers, partners, employees, and those who benefit from what we do.

GenAI will be transformative for organizations of all kinds. It will allow people to think differently about the way they work, the skills they need to succeed, and the way in which they learn. And when armed with the right education, everyone wins.

To read more about new courses, Aspire Journeys, and training on generative AI, ChatGPT and related topics, check these resources: