Almost Anyone Can Be Successful With A.I.

Lessons learned from hiring an army of Generative A.I. Specialists

Joe Procopio

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Can almost anyone be successful with A.I.?

That depends.

Can almost anyone learn to code?

Wait. Don’t answer that yet. Because I don’t want to get into a debate about coding skills. Not yet. What I’d rather talk about are the soft skills you need to be successful with A.I. (or in spite of it), and how they have little to do with writing code.

Hiring an Army of Natural Language Generators

I was a part of one of the first VC-backed Natural Language Generation (Generative A.I.) successes, Automated Insights, starting back in 2010. I invented the part of our platform and ran the side of the house that brought the A.I. skills that weren’t code-specific.

Now, to be transparent, I am a developer. But I was tasked with hiring a small army of people who could provide the knowledge to be able to turn data into words — words that had more meaning than just looking at the data itself.

In other words, I had to find people who could not just use A.I., but could succeed with A.I.

Back in 2010, when NLG was a new thing, even before it had a name, I had no idea what those necessary skills might be, and it took a lot of trial and error to figure it out.

Why These Skills Are Important

I’m a big proponent of no-code and low-code. One of the arguments I make to support the no-code movement, and one that gets me into trouble with “real” coders, is that all of us, myself included, are just manipulating someone else’s lower-level code.

I mean, it’s 2023. Very few of us are writing low-level machine language. We’re superusers. Really super users.

Oh, so, can almost anyone learn to code? Meh. Sure. Depends on how deep you want to get into the syntax.

But what separates great coders from terrible coders is a certain set of skills that have nothing to do with memorizing syntax. What makes great code elegant, reusable, and efficient are the soft skills that develop elegant, reusable, and…

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Joe Procopio

I'm a multi-exit, multi-failure entrepreneur. NLG pioneer. Building TeachingStartup.com & GROWERS. Write at Inc.com and BuiltIn.com. More at joeprocopio.com