Thomson Reuters Brings AI “Skills” Into the Workplace

Senior executives take note. Even non-skilled staffers can handle AI on the job with creative training.

C-suite officers wondering if or when it’s okay to remove artificial intelligence training wheels and allow non-technology workers to take over the wheel may want to take a close look at a new platform from Thomson Reuters.

Dubbed the “AI Skills Factory”, the media and technology giant has rolled out an artificial intelligence platform that enables any employee to train and build their AI skills with minimal or even no software coding skills needed.

The Thomson Reuters AI Skills Factory is focused on a handful of sectors the company operates in, including law, news and publishing, and tax and accounting services, allowing workers in all of those industries to experiment with new artificial intelligence tools.

The platform “offers an intuitive, low-code environment for users to experiment with proprietary content sets and language models, ensuring security through sandboxing,” DigWatch reports. “It includes data governance and bias detection tools, enhancing AI solutions’ robustness and ethical considerations.

Once mainstream staffers develop a potential solution using the AI platform, Thomson Reuters’ engineering team can step in and shape those Skills Factory building blocks into actual products and services that can beef up a company’s bottom line.

Allowing Workers to “Catch Up” On AI

Thomson Reuters sees the Skills Factory as an answer to an alarming lack of workers who can use the increasingly expensive technology safely and efficiently.

“When we look across our customer bases in legal professionals, tax professionals, corporations or Reuters News, we see a huge amount of opportunity to apply generative AI,” Shawn Malhotra, head of engineering at Thomson Reuters, said in a recent interview with Fox Business. “The problems that generative AI is good at solving are the same problems our customers are wrestling with today, so there’s a ton of opportunity.”

A primary problem is the speed at which AI is moving through the workplace, which could wind up leaving many rank-and-file employees behind as the technology gains more speed.

“We also know that we’ve got to move quickly, and we only have so much talent in the world who understands generative AI and how to leverage it in solutions,” Malhotra told Fox Business. “we need to move faster with limited resources, so how do we go off and do that? And that’s where the platform comes in.”

The Skills Factory is as much a training program as anything else – a much-needed program given the high stakes involved when companies invest in AI, often for multi-million-dollar sums.

“What we’ve done over the last several months is we’ve added new building blocks, ones that help you build generative AI skills,” Malhotra explained. “Ones that abstract some of the complexities and nuance of generative AI so that any developer, and in some cases, even subject-matter experts who aren’t coders, can start to assemble and experiment with generative AI.”

That accomplishes two key tasks, Malhotra notes.

“It lets us build applications much faster,” he explained. “It also allows more of our employee base to get involved with creating these solutions because sometimes it’s the deep domain expert who has the best idea who’s going to build the best solution,” he added.

That way, the AI skills platform enables workers “to build what we call an AI skill to figure out whether or not it’s adding customer value, so you increase the number of people who can participate in the innovation, and you increase the pace at which we can turn that innovation into real customer value,” he added.

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