Google’s Maya Kulycky Shares Why We All Need to Learn The Basics of AI

Technology is ever-evolving, whether we want to accept it or not. It seems that almost daily some new functionality, platform or interface is being introduced and it’s a bit overwhelming. But, much like anything else that we adapt to, we must stay abreast and in the know of the tools that could essentially help us get a leg up in the world—especially in the workplace.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is defined as a technology that enables computers and digital devices to learn, read, write, analyze and create. While it’s certainly not a new thing, we’ve seen an emergence of new types of AI in recent years with everything from those generated and futuristic images that flood our Facebook feeds to folks utilizing programs like ChatGPT to summarize social media captions or even full essays.

In an effort to help us understand the purpose and basics of the technology, Google recently launched its Grow With Google AI Essentials course in conjunction with educational platform, Coursera. EBONY had the opportunity to chat with the brand’s VP of Strategy and Operations for its research department, Maya Kulycky, and she provides insight on why we all should seek to learn more about AI, especially within the workplace.

EBONY: Briefly tell us about your role at Google at what it entails?

Maya Kulycky: I work as the strategy and operations leader for Google research. I’ve been inside of industrial research labs for over a decade. So, I’m lucky every day that I get to think about the breakthroughs that are coming when it comes to technology and I get to be a part of the creation of those new tools for the world.

With the new Grow with Google AI Essentials course, why was it necessary to introduce this now?

I feel like we’ve reached an inflection point. People have a lot of questions, and they’re wondering how can AI be useful to me in my life and my workplace. And, what are some of the things I can do with it? So, the timing seemed perfect. The course focuses on 5 areas: introduction to AI, maximizing productivity with AI tools, discovering the art of prompt engineering which is about designing inputs that will produce the right results, how to use AI responsibly, and how to stay ahead of the AI curve. There’s a lot coming at people right now and we wanted to create something that was approachable.

What are some of the ways that AI will help us be more productive, especially in the workplace?

The use of summarization is a good way to get going. Sometimes we just need to get organized and get ahead of things. That’s where tools like AI can help us to prioritize which things to turn our attention to first with quick summaries. It can simply enhance your workplace life.

For our community, it’s important to know the world that we live in while being apart of that and informing it as well. That comes from learning what these tools are, interacting with them, and giving feedback. We have to be part of this journey. That is important.

At the end of the course, people will receive a certificate. That certificate shows that you have learned real, practical ways to put AI to use and it makes you more valuable in the workplace. It shows that you are someone who understands not only the basics of AI but you’re willing and open to putting it to use.

AI has been met with some hesitancy, especially in our communities. How will the course help dispel some of those myths associated with the technology?

I understand people being cautious and asking questions, especially in our communities. Where you learn is equally important as how you learn. So at Google, we implemented our AI principles, which one of them is to be accountable to people. We want people to feel a sense of comfort. Inside the course, this is not something that you are accessing to act independently of people, but it is meant to help us make better decisions.

Updated: May 16, 2024 — 12:02 pm