Tomorrow’s AI-Augmented Workforce

There is absolutely no doubt that AI is going to play a pivotal role in shaping the future of work. Some even said that AI’s impact will be as significant as the steam engine, electricity, and digital computer, and it will catalyze the next industrial revolution as these technologies had for the first 3 industrial revolutions. Recently, I had the privilege of participating in an episode of the Future of Work (FoW) podcast, hosted by UC Berkeley Extension (UCBx), which is the continuing education branch of UC Berkeley (UCB) where I received my triple major undergrad and graduate degrees.

While the mission of UCBx is to equip the workforce with the essential skills needed to excel in today’s rapidly evolving job market, the FoW podcast serves as a beacon for those seeking to stay informed of the challenges and opportunities for tomorrow’s workplace. Through insightful discussions with experts, thought leaders, and industry professionals, the podcast explores topics ranging from technological trends to changing workplace dynamics and their implications for individuals, organizations, and society as a whole.

Jill Finlayson

The FoW podcast is hosted by none other than Jill Finlayson. I’ve known Jill for ~4 years through my work with UCBx. I can confidently say that every time I collaborated with Jill, whether it’s teaching a class or participating on a panel, Jill is always very well prepared with pages of notes. Her forethought, planning, and thoroughness would sometimes put me to shame.

For those who might not know Jill, I must say that she is a well-accomplished and inspiring woman with a unique empathic leadership style. And she has a list of achievements that is way too long for me to enumerate. Jill is currently the Managing Director of the CITRIS (Center for IT Research in the Interest of Society), an Innovation Hub spanning multiple UC campuses (including Berkeley, Davis, Merced, and Santa Cruz). She is also the Director of the EDGE in Tech (Expanding Diversity and Gender Equity) initiative at UC, aiming to promote diversity and inclusion within the tech industry. Jill has hosted the Leaders in DEI Webinar Series at Berkeley Global. And she is also a lecturer at SCET (Sutardja Center for Entrepreneurship and Technology).

Through her multifaceted roles and engagements, it’s not hard to recognize that Jill is very passionate about driving innovation, fostering diversity, and advancing technology for the greater benefit of society. I’m humbled to call myself a colleague of hers, and I’m lucky to have the opportunity to learn from her on occasions. So I’m sure you will also learn something from our conversation in this podcast.

This episode is available on: Spotify | Apple | Amazon. And here is the transcript

Summary Generated by AI in ~5 Sec (for the 8000-Word Transcript)

AI will be integrated into all aspects of work similar to computers, becoming accessible to everyone even without technical backgrounds. The democratization of AI, particularly with ChatGPT, is simplifying its use and reducing the need for coding skills. Understanding AI principles can help users grasp its capabilities and limitations.

AI is defined by automating human actions and decisions while having the ability to learn and improve over time. Data inputs drive AI decisions, and learning is achieved through feedback on decision outcomes. Feedback is essential in machine learning to correct errors and adjust the AI model for better predictions. Different learning paradigms involve human input, with supervised learning relying solely on prepped data and reinforcement learning incorporating human feedback. All forms of machine learning involve some degree of human teaching to mitigate bias and improve outcomes.

Generative AI, like ChatGPT, predicts and generates text by forecasting next words in a sequence, showcasing a pattern-based approach to language generation. This process, while seemingly predictable, can still facilitate creativity and innovation. Generative AI can quickly provide numerous creative ideas and combinations, aiding in the creation process. However, its hallucination capability may lead to misleading information. Strategies like retrieval augmented generation help ground the AI in factual sources, enhancing its reliability, especially in knowledge-based applications.

ChatGPT enhances employee engagement by efficiently extracting and summarizing relevant information from documents. The enterprise version ensures data security by running within a secure environment. Paid versions offer better quality and specificity compared to free versions. High adoption of AI in organizations increases productivity and efficiency, offering a competitive advantage.

Exploring how AI can be utilized effectively in the enterprise setting can provide a significant competitive edge. Leaders can encouraging employees to embrace AI by

  • providing education on its applications
  • creating goals for AI integration
  • implementing lightweight governance
  • Leaders may benefit from developing a basic understanding of AI to enhance collaboration with technical teams

The evolving AI landscape offers the promise of automating mundane tasks and allowing individuals to focus on innovative problem-solving and more strategic decisions for the business.


As you can see, even a Chief AI Strategist like myself, can use AI to help me perform time-consuming tasks in seconds. Companies that are successful in encouraging everyone to explore using AI in everything they do will gain a long-term competitive edge through a huge productivity gain. And if you are an early adopter, the first-mover advantage is even greater. So what are you waiting for?