The Digital Native Generation has what it takes to fast-track societal AI acceptance.
2020 was an unprecedented year for AI adoption across the public and private sector. From enterprises to governments, citizens everywhere have been impacted by rapid digitization in one way or another. The integration of human-centric AI, however, will fail to fall through without proper societal reskilling and upskilling. As we step into the era of Industry 5.0, now is the time to begin wide scale societal AI adoption and acceptance. Thanks to Generation Z’s forward-thinking approach that embraces lifelong learning, governments and enterprises will be able to accelerate AI adoption.
One of the most important aspects of reskilling/upskilling is the ability to maintain an open mindset and to be willing to understand the benefits of acquiring new knowledge. The Gen Z way of thinking mirrors this point exactly. According to Dell Technologies, when it comes to the workplace, 77% are willing to be technology mentors to others at work and 75% expect to learn from peers on the job, not online programs. Moreover, a study by getAbstract revealed that, “More than half of adult Gen Zers said success in their careers depends on updating their skills and knowledge frequently, compared with 35 percent of Gen Xers and 34 percent of Baby Boomers.”
These facts are important. Gen Z is now the majority generation on the planet. By extension, they will soon constitute a substantial portion of the workforce and decision making bodies like the government. This means that Gen Z’s forward-thinking approach will become more commonplace, and will help to influence other generations to undertake reskilling and upskilling.
Moreover, because we are the Digital Native generation, we have already undergone a cycle of digital transformation during the early-to-mid 2000s. This transformation, which brought about the internet, social networks, new technologies, etc., meant that we had to learn new skills if these advancements were ever going to be useful to us. We therefore have the ability to fall back on our experience as a beacon that can aid the population in embracing the need to reskill and upskill in order to fast-track AI adoption and integration within society.
In summary, armed with first-hand knowledge of digital transformation, and an open mindset that can inspire others, Gen Z has the capacity to accelerate societal AI adoption.