The EU has taken the next step forward towards AI regulation, paving the way for the UK and US follow in their path – or find themselves falling behind. But as the systemic barriers to enter the technology sector persist, how equipped is the talent ecosystem to manage the risks of AI adoption?
Today, an overwhelming majority of EU Parliament voted to approve the EU AI Act, progressing the legislation through the final process of regulatory review and terms negotiation. The calls for regulation are shared by organizations across sectors, including many AI leaders in Big Tech, but the EU are the first global governing body to make clear progress on mitigating the risk of rapidly developing AI technologies. While they pave the way for the UK and US to follow suit, many technology leaders are only just realizing the acute shortage of talent that will be required to handle incoming regulation or help navigate the governance of AI implementation without clear guidance outside of the EU.
The technology skills shortage is now widening beyond engineering and development as the need for stronger governance, risk, and policy is imminent. However, the barriers to enter the technology industry continue to hinder the growth of the workforce. In the US, less than 5% of graduates receive a Computer Science degree, and through requests to enrol in technical courses are growing, resource and capacity strains are preventing universities from scaling their classes. Moreover, academic syllabus development and approvals cannot keep up with the pace of technological change; over a quarter of Kubrick’s US applicants majored in Data and Computer Sciences who are looking to undertake further training to gain more relevant skills for today’s workplace.
Amidst increasing concerns for governance, ethics, and security, there is also a new opportunity to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion while building a workforce to address these challenges. A greater need for behaviours and skills cultivated by a wider range of educational experiences, such as communication, logical thinking, and business analysis, can help break the gender divide that is created by recruiting from exclusively STEM backgrounds, amongst other barriers. It is time for leaders to reimagine who should be included in their technology workforce, especially when the risk of biases is heightened dramatically by AI.
Kubrick SVP Jay Lockwood spoke recently about the current state of the talent ecosystem at the Chief Data Officer Summit New York. Reflecting on what has enabled Kubrick to bring diversity into the data and AI industry, he said “The most important characteristic is the appetite to learn. We've added nearly 2000 professionals to the next-generation tech workforce and one thing that is most clear from recruitment, through our training, and once on client site, is that a passion and a desire to keep learning is the most critical attribute for success. This, alongside the continuous upskilling opportunities we provide and encourage, has allowed our consultants to keep evolving with the pace of change beyond their initial 4 months of training. Since we began our Data Engineering practice 7 years ago, only 25% of the syllabus remains the same, but we’re seeing Alumni from our first cohorts move into roles like AI Engineering and IoT Engineering from their own drive to keep learning.
“This commitment to evolution is part of Kubrick’s own DNA. Our team of expert trainers design and develop our training practices to keep ahead of the pace of change, as we’ve done within Data Engineering but also moving into emerging spaces across data, AI, and cloud – including governance and ethics. Our next cohorts have a significantly increased focus on ethics and governance for data and AI, in addition to our dedicated Data Management and Analytics Engineering & Governance practices. In these uncertain times, the key to navigating change will require an agile workforce capable of adapting to technological developments as they arise.
"At Kubrick, our training creates a strong foundation in today’s most sought-after skills, allowing our consultants to launch into immediate solution delivery, but it is only the start of our consultants’ journey into tech; it is a springboard for acceleration which is driven by the creativity, passion, and analytical thinking we look for when recruiting candidates from all backgrounds.”
Hear from Jay at his Chief Data Officer Summit speaker session, 'Is the Talent Ecosystem Ready for AI?' here:
To learn more about how Kubrick can support your team to navigate the changing data, AI, and governance landscape, get in touch: email@example.com.