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How to Select AI for Development

Authored by: Roger Pearman and Robert Eichinger

The Artificial Intelligence (AI) era for development is upon us.  While in its infancy for public consumption, individuals are regularly testing the publicly available AI options. Further many organizations are either integrating AI solutions now or are considering how to integrate these into their daily operations. The AI applications are many, and the platform options are growing exponentially. It will become more challenging to select the AI tool that best meets a range of one’s specific needs.

AI for HR

Our HR and talent management worlds are not immune to the advances of AI. To date, most of the applications in these areas are focused on HR operational best practices.  Bersin’s Galileo®, for example, allows access to their 25 years of research, articles, HR tools & best practices, and vendor analyses, all accessible within a curated (known) environment.

Many more HR questions are being posed to AI tools that access information from the public domain, and have been aggregated by tools such as OpenAI’s ChatGTP, Microsoft’s CoPilot, Google’s Gemini and more. Apple will release their version by mid-year.

Most of us rely upon internet searches, Wikipedia, and even social media and social media platforms for information. We now can access information from a mind-numbing number of sources, as AI’s power is held in its ability to answer our queries in mere seconds. What’s not to like, right?

Buyer Beware

All openAI sources rely on very sophisticated algorithms and system “training”, by both the programmers and everyday users. Yet, on every open AI platform, you’ll read disclaimers such as:

“can occasionally produce incorrect or misleading responses which may contain inaccuracies or biases”.

So, how can we be confident that the answers we receive to our questions are reliable? What percentage of “correct” will be enough to satisfy our needs? Do we have room for error?  After all, we may be basing our key strategic and talent decisions and expenditures based on what we learn. We suggest that you consider the following 5 criteria when selecting an AI resource.

AI Selection Criteria

EngineKnown entities; innovators; secure
Data BaseCurated, vetted, trusted content
Time CoverageFull Career – from first job to retirement
Depth of ContentAll Aspects
Multiple UsersMulti-User
1. Engine

The AI engine interprets the prompt (e.g. “How can I be a better listener?”), searches the database for answers and constructs a response. The user can shape the response by providing more context to the question and/or by asking a series of questions.  Other informational parameters can also be defined by any user and the chosen system will respond accordingly.

    Over time, all open-source engines will be equivalent. Some will have features and benefits that allow them to stand out, but not for long. As in the automobile industry, where the first company to have 24-way adjustable seats, or GPS display gained a temporary competitive advantage.

    We sense that the larger, known providers, will be able to continuously add features and content, and will be able to be price competitive. And, we know that pricing matters.

    2. Database

    This is the already-populated information treasure trove where the engine goes to find answers.

    The initial excitement around AI was that all the engines were going to “scrape” the world-wide-web for content, store it, and make it available to answer questions in a rapid and highly reliable manner. Yet, with all the (intentional and unintentional) disinformation, conspiracies, opinions, falsehoods and (especially) biases out there, we need to question the veracity of what AI returns to us. We’ve all read countless stories about AI-generated responses that are simply inaccurate, sometimes even for simple math equations, so we must learn to be discerning.

    A ”ScrapE” might include crap. Think about this wordplay for a minute.

    There are two, distinct database constructs anchoring AI engines, and the major AI platform providers have enabled both options. One leans on the data scraped from all over the universe and the other relies only on fully curated content. You might label these as open AI and closed/curated AI.

    Our engine sources responses from only our 6+ million words of curated data that anchor 6000+ development tips. The content and strategies are all authored by our founders over decades. The engine responses are specific to the context of any question, and all content is research-based and experience-tested. We know of no other publisher who has as rich a development content portfolio as do we, as we provide reliability in the relevance and value of the responses.

    3. Time Coverage

    AI that supports career development and coaching should start at the entry-level (internship) and end with how to act at your retirement party! 

    A career-minded individual will need advice about a portfolio of skills:

    • Interviewing tips, strategies, and questions
    • organizational cultures that would be the best fit
    • assessment of the current state
    • knowledge, skills, and attributes needed for one’s next role and how to develop them
    • strategies for meeting specific responsibilities
    • level-specific practices from entry-level to the C-suite
    • experiences and exposures to pursue 
    • who best to network with…and more 

    Go with a solution that provides accessible content covering all aspects of a full career.

    4. Depth of Coverage

    A full career involves performance, behavior and promotions. A useful AI solution would have content covering performance today (while still in a specific job), and requirements for the next move to cover skill growth and development. All in service of doing well in whatever job comes along.

    Promotions involve getting ahead while fulfilling a career plan. Getting ahead has its own set of skills and characteristics. There is a set of KSAs (Knowledge, Skills, and Attributes) above and beyond doing today’s tactical job. The set is often referred to as being a High Potential–being able to grow and develop agilely throughout the steps to the end goal of a career plan.  This special set needs to be periodically assessed and some KSAs in the set require intentional development efforts.

    Some behaviors are direct requirements of a job, such as customer relations, and those that transcend most jobs, like collaborating. How one acts and is experienced by others is as important as doing the tasks of a job.

    A useful AI advisor must contain content specific to behaving and acting across a wide swath of conditions and situations.

    5. Multiple Users

    For whom does the “bot” toll?  A useful AI platform would help any person by answering questions and giving career advice in context to their level, role, and challenges. Whether in the moment of need or for the longer term. 

    The platform will be doubly useful for a manager to be able to inquire and receive reliable advice on how to help a direct report or team member specific to that person’s role, responsibilities, or development need. 

    The same applies to a mentor, sponsor, or coach.  The most useful AI platform would help them help a client. It would have content addressing how to coach, especially how to drive a client into action.

    Choose a reliable AI solution that can support everyone in your system, no matter their needs.

    There is much more on the way and already in development by the many AI developers.  We’ll be hearing more about AI-driven virtual reality, augmented reality, AI-based simulations, images, and more.

    We’ll help you keep up with the options that have the most relevance for personal and professional development, in context to your unique needs.

    Learn more about our customizable enterprise solution, The Career Architect© or schedule a call for a demo with our team.

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