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MIT establishes working group on generative AI and the work of the long run

From students writing essays to engineers writing code to call center operators responding to customer inquiries, generative artificial intelligence tools have sparked a wave of experimentation over the past 12 months. At MIT, these experiments have raised questions — some recent, some ancient — about how these tools can change the best way we live and work.

Can these tools improve our work or could they make sure skills unnecessary? How can we use these tools for good and minimize potential harm?

The generative AI wave has generated excitement, fear and plenty of speculation concerning the future, but no clear answers to those key questions. To explore how generative AI can lead to raised jobs, MIT is convening a working group Generative AI and the work of the long run. The working group starts with 25 corporations and nonprofit organizations in addition to MIT faculty and students. The group collects original data about how teams use generative AI tools – and the impact these tools have on employees.

“The world relies on MIT to translate difficult ideas into positive impact for the good thing about society,” said MIT President Sally Kornbluth. “This working group is targeted on exactly that: given broad public concern about AI’s potential to eliminate jobs, they’re developing practical strategies for the way generative AI may be used to enhance existing jobs and improve people’s lives.”

Organized at MIT's Industrial Performance Center (IPC) and led by IPC Executive Director Ben Armstrong and MIT professors Julie Shah and Kate Kellogg, the working group recently published the primary issue of its monthly newsletter. , to share his initial insights – and convened his first meeting with AI leaders from a various cross-section of world corporations. The working group also hosted a workshop on responsible AI practices on February 29 in collaboration with MIT's Industrial Liaison Program.

The MIT team driving this initiative is a multidisciplinary and multitalented group that features Senior Fellow Carey Goldberg and Work of the Future alumni Sabiyyah Ali, Shakked Noy, Prerna Ravi, Azfar Sulaiman, Leandra Tejedor, Felix Wang and Whitney Zhang belong.

Google.org is funding the working group's research through its Community Grants Fund Digital future projectan initiative that goals to bring together a variety of voices to advertise efforts to grasp and address the opportunities and challenges of AI.

“AI has the potential to extend prosperity and transform economies, and it will be important that we work together across industries to totally realize the opportunities of AI and address its challenges,” said Brigitte Hoyer Gosselink, Director of Google.org. “Independent research like that is a very important part of higher understanding how AI is changing the best way people and teams do their work, and it is going to function a resource for all of us – governments, civil society and businesses – as we engage adapt recent methods of working.”

Over the subsequent two years, the working group will perform three activities. Initially, it is going to conduct research into early use cases of generative AI at leading corporations around the globe. The group's goal is to grasp how these recent technologies are utilized in practice, how corporations make sure the tools are used responsibly, and the way the workforce adapts. The group is especially concerned with how these technologies are changing the talents and training needed to do successful work. The MIT graduate Work of the Future Fellows are collaborating with corporations within the working group to conduct this research, which will probably be published as a series of case studies starting in 2024.

Liberty Mutual Insurance joined the working group as a part of its long-standing collaboration with MIT researchers. “In a 12 months of extraordinary advances in AI, there isn’t any doubt that it is going to proceed to shape the long run – and the long run of labor – at a rapid pace,” said Adam L'Italien, CIO of Liberty Mutual. “We are excited to work with MIT and the working group to make use of it to empower our people, construct recent skills and do more for our customers.”

Second, the working group will act as a convener and hold virtual quarterly meetings for working group members to share progress and challenges in using generative AI tools and learn from their colleagues. MIT may also host a series of in-person summits for working group members and the general public to share research and highlight best practices from member corporations.

Third, based on the group's research and feedback from participating organizations, the working group will develop training resources for organizations working to organize or retrain staff to integrate generative AI tools into their teams.

IBM joined the working group as a part of its broader investments in reskilling and workplace transformation related to generative AI. “Skills are the currency of today and tomorrow. It is critical that employees and employers alike put money into continuous learning and maintaining a growth mindset,” said Nickle Lamoreaux, senior vice chairman and chief human resources officer at IBM.

The working group has already interviewed or worked with greater than 40 corporations. Working group members include Amsted Automotive, Cushman and Wakefield, Cytiva, Emeritus, Fujitsu, GlobalFoundries, Google Inc., IBM, Liberty Mutual, Mass General Brigham, MFS, Michelin, PwC, Ranstad, Raytheon and Xerox Corp.

To learn more about this project or to get entangled, visit ipc.mit.edu/gen-ai.


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