In January 2024, my colleagues and I had the opportunity to visit the Singapore office of LinkedIn as part of the activities organised by LAS.
The programme consisted of a fireside chat on the impact of artificial intelligence (“AI”) on work, an introduction to LinkedIn Learning’s content on the topic of AI and its new AI feature, and a tour of the office.
During the fireside chat, the LinkedIn Team shared insights from LinkedIn data about how AI impacted work. In response to questions from participants, they shared a few simple ways they used generative AI (“Gen AI”) tools to boost their work and productivity. Here are some takeaways:
- Gen AI’s impact on work
AI is not new but ChatGPT’s release caused massive interest in and conversation around Gen AI. With the data it has, LinkedIn observed increases in AI-related job postings as well as in the number of users who added AI as a skill to their LinkedIn profiles throughout 2023. Gen AI technology is affecting various skills and LinkedIn believes that the way that we work is changing. The workforce is adapting and learning to use Gen AI tools and LinkedIn Learning is responding to this with expert-led Gen AI courses and learning paths. For more, see the Future of Work Report: AI at Work by LinkedIn from last August and November.
- Other in-demand skills
While the demand for AI-related skills may be high, soft skills such as collaboration and communication continue to be relevant and important. In a subsequent presentation, I saw that three courses on communication skills and three courses on AI/Gen AI were among the ten most viewed LinkedIn Learning courses in the past 12 months.
- Using Gen AI at work
Here are two simple ways the LinkedIn team used Gen AI tools to boost their work and productivity – summarising lengthy emails and generating professional sounding emails. The LinkedIn team also had access to Copilot and shared that they were using Copilot’s functions almost every day. Outside of work, Gen AI could come up with a travel itinerary for your next vacation.
- Preparing for a future with AI
To reassure those worried about how AI might takeover jobs, the LinkedIn team shared the example of automated teller machines’ (“ATMs”) impact on the banking workforce and how, after ATMs were introduced, the responsibilities of bank tellers evolved to include more complex or service-oriented tasks. We can draw similarities to how digitalisation has impacted the libraries. In the same way, it continues to be important to shift away from worry to focus more on considering how AI may transform certain parts of the job scope and to become ready to take on new and/or transformed work tasks.
After the fireside chat, there was a short break. Pastries and croissants were provided and many of us lined up for drinks prepared by the in-house barista.
The session resumed with a sharing of LinkedIn Learning’s content and features including:
- Gen AI Learning Paths – these are a series of expert-led courses on Gen AI;
- AI-powered coaching – this is a chatbot embedded within the LinkedIn Learning platform that has the function of providing insights drawn from LinkedIn Learning coaches and database; and,
- LinkedIn Learning’s mobile application – learning is no longer confined to laptop/desktop screens and users may learn on-the-go.
Moving on to the final highlight of the visit – the tour around the office.
The workspaces were designed for hybrid work. There were clusters of desks where a department or team of colleagues could sit and work together, there were spaces where individuals could work quietly, and closed booths where a person could take part in a meeting without distracting others (as I type this, I think the LinkedIn office actually reminded me of study spaces in university libraries but sadly without numerous ergonomic workstations). We were also impressed with the amenities which included a gym, a yoga studio, pool tables, and play stations. For the curious, there is a clip by The Wall Street Journal featuring the LinkedIn Flagship office in Silicon Valley.
To end this post, I would like to thank LAS and LinkedIn for organising the visit. I believe the participants all learned from this visit and went home ready to apply some of the insights and tips that were shared.
Misa Mitsugi, Librarian, SP Library
Group photos were kindly provided by the LinkedIn team.