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AI Literacy Is the New Computer Literacy

by Werner Goertz  |  November 8, 2017  |  1 Comment

When I was a teenager, my dad took me aside and said: “Son, I want you to put down that Fender Stratocaster and stop reading those books, because the only way you’ll ever get a decent job is if you become “computer literate”. What are we telling teenagers nowadays? Surely, we’re not sticking Generation Z behind mainframe terminals and teaching them COBOL?

In order to benefit from the disruptive force that is AI, we can safely set aside our knowledge of x86 chips, operating systems and programming languages, in favor of becoming “AI literate” – those of us who first become versed in knowing where to find and how to access our virtual assistants will have an advantage how to:

  • get fast, detailed and accurate information
  • efficiently organize our lives, manage our chores and still make time to live it up
  • protect our privacy and anonymity when needed

As much as Alexa, Cortana, and the rest try to adapt to human patterns of speech and behavior, the smartest of us humans will figure out how best to access our AIs:

  • which AI gets me the best deal on a new pair of running shoes or a flight to Cabo?
  • how can AI tell me whether that spot on my chest is a malignant melanoma?
  • which AI skill secures my home, manages my pets, lets neighbors know when I go on a trip?

AI literacy disaggregates the power of AI from the requirement to understand computing.

AI literacy democratizes AI and makes it available to anyone with a device and an internet connection (and a human brain).

AI literacy creates digital business opportunities for vendors who effectively reach the “illuminati” of the AI age.

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Werner Goertz
Research Director
1 years at Gartner
21 years IT Industry

Werner Goertz is a Research Director within Gartner's Personal Technnologies team, where he covers personal devices (smartphones, PCs/Ultrabooks, tablets/ultramobiles and wearables) and IoT. A special emphasis of his research lies in the Human Machine Interface (HMI) and multimodal I/O technologies: voice/speech processing and recognition, facial recognition and eye tracking, biometrics and motion/gesture control. Read Full Bio


Thoughts on AI Literacy Is the New Computer Literacy


  1. which AI gets me the best deal on a new pair of running shoes or a flight to Cabo?

    Hmm, What Do You Think About This?



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