Will AI give us superpowers, or will it replace us?


Will AI give us superpowers, or will it replace us? This was the question that more than 30 learning leaders explored at the Executive Learning & Development  (L&D) Workshop organised by EFMD in partnership with HEC Paris on 25 September at HEC Paris Le Château.

Anne-Valérie Corboz, HEC’s Dean for Executive Education and Martin Moehrle, EFMD’s Director for Corporate Services, opened the event by setting out four action areas for corporate learning to engage in AI.

  • Firstly, AI can significantly improve the efficiency of learning practices and learner experience. The use cases at the end of the workshop gave a glimpse of what is possible.
  • Secondly, with AI transformation, repetitive tasks will get automated, provoking a significant demand for up-and-reskilling that corporate learning must anticipate and manage.
  • Thirdly, to leverage the power of AI to augment knowledge worker productivity and improve user experience, AI literacy must be ramped up across the board.
  • Lastly, corporate learning should contribute to the organisation’s ethical framework and public discourse on the responsible use of AI.

The workshop was facilitated by David Restrepo Amariles, Associate Professor of Data Law and Artificial Intelligence, and Shirish C. Srivastava, Professor in Information Systems and Operations Management, both experts from Hi! Paris, HEC’s dedicated centre on Data Science and AI. They explained the functioning of machine learning, large language models and generative AI but also raised ethical considerations and stressed the need for AI literacy, transparency and accountability when using AI.

Participants were broken into three groups to work on scenarios in which (1) AI is supporting decision-making, (2) AI is a co-worker, and (3) AI is shaping the future workforce and respective skills.  All groups concluded that AI needs to be applied responsibly, with humans remaining accountable and transparency of use and minimisation of bias to be unconditional.

In the following, four companies shared an AI use case:

  • David Jestaz explained Forvia’s use of the Eightfold recruiting tool to significantly improve their hiring performance, more externally than internally. Recruiters’ AI literacy and internal data quality have been barriers to success.
  • Marco Mullers from dsm-firmenich shared their approach to raising literacy, first among the L&D team to teach the workforce at large how to prompt Chat GPT and other AI tools to propose personalised learning journeys for the development of specific skills.
  • Schneider Electric’s Nadège Riehl shared their experience in using AI to support the transfer of learning, especially behavioural change, through personalised nudging.
  • And Carlos Montalvan explained how Intercorp uses AI tools to accelerate learning program design and allows learners to gain first-hand experience in applying AI tools.

The use cases exemplified that AI must become an integral part of the corporate learner’s toolbox. Potential improvements in efficiency and effectiveness are astounding. But there are also plenty of risks to be managed responsibly. Hence, it is mandatory to accelerate AI literacy in L&D teams.

Yes, we are still in the early stages of AI adoption, and experimentation is key. Yet, at the same time, corporate learning must embrace all four action areas mentioned at the outset. The workshop should have been a milestone in this regard.

You can hear some voices directly from the workshop on HEC’s YouTube.

For additional insights, trends and perspectives about Artificial Intelligence (AI), visit the conversation here.