AI Literacy: Essential Skills for Next Gen Careers

published on 08 July 2024

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not just a tool; it’s becoming a co-worker. It’s automating routine tasks, creating content, analysing vast amounts of data, and even making decisions. This shift means that the jobs of tomorrow will require a new blend of skills—skills that allow us humans to complement, rather than compete with, AI.

Parents and teachers often ask me; ‘what is the significance of AI literacy in the future of work’.

Or, to be more accurate; ‘what the heck is this AI, what am I supposed to say when I am asked, and how the bleep am I supposed to help these kids understand it when I don’t have a clue myself?!?’


I know it’s friggin overwhelming for most of us.

But understanding AI literacy is crucial because we need to support the next generation with the knowledge and skills to thrive in a future where AI is ubiquitous.

So, let me see if I can help... 

AI Literacy Explained

Imagine a world where your car drives itself, your fridge orders it’s own shopping before you run out, and your personal assistant is a computer program. This is the world AI is creating. AI literacy means understanding how these technologies work, how they impact our lives, and how we can use them responsibly.

It’s not building these programs, it’s using them, mastering them to benefit from  implementing them in our lives and in our work.

Why It Matters

Work will never be the same again, AI is changing 'how' we'll work.

Jobs are evolving, and many tasks that were once done by humans are now done by machines (or programmes). Look around everyday life, because of automation there are fewer check out staff at Tesco, there are fewer banks open and fewer bank tellers, warehouse staff are working alongside robotics to dispatch goods and in offices accounting, filing and tax preparing now take a fraction of the time it once did. 

It's not slowing down either, let's take 'Driving' as a job and a task; the age of autonomous vehicles is upon us. This includes haulage, busses, trains, trams etc, the need for human-drivers will decrease. Autonomous vehicles and remote driven vehicles are even making their way to construction sites, there will be fewer need for digger and JCB drivers too. 

🫢 Autonomous Solutions for a Mixed Jobsite - YouTube

But with the growth of AI will come new jobs and industries too, and being AI literate means you can be part of where this exciting future takes us, rather than being left behind.

How to Help the Next Generation

It may seem overwhelming but there is action we can take to support your young adults, whether at home or in the classroom, before they leave education or enter the workforce.

1️⃣ Demystify AI

Start talking about the AI we are already using, by breaking it down into simple concepts we can help contextualise the AI tools already part of every day life. Here's some;

🛍️ Shopping: Your Tesco and Amazon recommended products is powered by AI.

 📍Navigation: Gone are the days of paper maps; AI now gives us the best routes and travel options.

🍿 Content: Ever wonder how Netflix knows what you’ll like? AI algorithms analyse your preferences to suggest shows.

🤳 Facial Recognition: Unlocking phones and verifying identities are now done through AI-powered facial recognition.

View of AI powered GPs
View of AI powered GPs

2️⃣ Encourage Curiosity

Get curious! Encourage them to explore AI through tutorials and eLearning. There is no commitment and they are largely self paced video content and free, purposely positioned to inform the next generation.

Not to brag, but you'll see below that we've been doing this for quite some time. We share the best opportunities on our social channels (little plug, it's at @miFutureHQ). There are many that range from just an hour or two that they could do in an evening.

Some of the best opportunities we share on our social channels, so follow us and don't miss out!
Some of the best opportunities we share on our social channels, so follow us and don't miss out!

3️⃣ Focus on Soft Skills

Teach them the value in building their problem-solving, critical thinking, and creativity, which are essential for working with AI.

These soft skills, as you may know them, have never been so important- these are skills that will complement AI literacy, and cannot be replaced by machines and robots. Well, not yet anyway.

Employers are not expecting school leavers to have technical skills, but desire them to have the soft skills they can nurture and build on in their employment.

There are many ways they can build these complimentary  skills, It's so important that we wrote about ways to improve soft skills, here: 

🗞️Adapting Work Experience for the Digital Age: A New Approach

4️⃣ Stay Informed

Keep up with AI trends and discuss them with young adults. Show them that AI is a field full of possibilities. The video above showing the driverless vehicles above was on YouTube, which is an incredible resource and library of all new and exciting topics in AI, get exploring.

📺 We've created a beginners AI Literacy playlist to get you started

Don't panic... but don't wait either

To prepare our learners for the future of work, the education systems must integrate AI literacy into their curricula. But, we know that isn't unlikely to happen, or at least it is not happening with any urgency right now.

Who's going to step in and save the day?


Parents, teachers, grown ups... it's on us!

AI literacy is not a luxury; it is a necessity for the next generation's careers.

By exploring AI tools and understanding their impact, young adults will be equipped to navigate and thrive in the future job landscape.

We should encourage and support the learning of AI concepts and the use of AI tools. This will not only prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow but also empower them to innovate and lead in new industries that AI will help to birth.

As always, you can reach out if we can help with anything 

You've got this 😎✌️

Gem HallettmiFuture Founder | @miFutureHQ

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