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UK: DSIT publishes draft framework for AI skills for business

On November 30, 2023, the Department for Science, Innovation, and Technology (DSIT) published a draft guidance titled 'AI Skills for Business Competency Framework' for public consultation. In particular, DSIT highlighted that the framework is intended to enhance employees' understanding of artificial intelligence (AI) by outlining key knowledge and skills, including how to use AI tools and the secure management of sensitive data. Moreover, DSIT noted that the guidance was developed in partnership with the Innovate UK BridgeAI program and the Alan Turing Institute.

What are the main focus areas?

In particular, the framework sets out areas of focus for employers, workers, and training providers, including:

  • security and protection of data including the design, creation, storage, distribution, and associated risks;
  • collection, storage, manipulation, and curation of data, as well as the application of data management and analytical techniques;
  • problem definition and communication;
  • problem-solving, analysis, modeling, and visualization; and
  • evaluating and reflecting on performance and outcomes.

The framework breaks down each of the abovementioned focus areas into corresponding knowledge and skills, including:

  • effective use of AI;
  • appropriate behavior when working with AI; and
  • professional values and sound judgment.

What are the AI personas?

Notably, the framework categorizes individuals into different 'personas' based on their need for AI expertise:

  • AI Citizens: members of the public, possibly customers or employees of organizations using AI;
  • AI Workers: employees not primarily involved in data and AI, but whose jobs are impacted by AI;
  • AI Professionals: individuals with specific responsibilities in data and AI; and
  • AI Leaders: senior personnel, like board members, overseeing and implementing emerging technologies.

According to DSIT the categorization will help individuals, employees, and employers to identify their skills gaps and take steps to address them. 

Stakeholders can submit their comments on the framework here. DSIT explained that based on the feedback, InnovateUK BridgeAI and the Alan Turing Institute would publish updated guidance, an accompanying skills framework, as well as sector-specific case studies. 

You can read the press release here and the framework here.