Deskilling and upskilling with generative AI systems

Publication Type:

Conference Proceedings




<p>Deskilling is a long-standing prediction of the use of information technology, raised anew by the increased capabilities of generative AI (GAI) systems. A review of studies of GAI applications suggests that deskilling (or levelling of ability) is a common outcome. We propose a model of a human interacting with a GAI system for a task that suggests settings more likely to yield deskilling vs. upskilling. The model highlights the possibility for a worker to develop and exhibit (or not) skills in prompting for, and evaluation and editing of system output. We illustrate these effects with examples of current studies of GAI-based systems. We discuss organizational implications of systems that deskill or upskill workers and suggest future research.</p>

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