Women in Tech: At the forefront of innovation - Key takeaways from Nancy Gleason, New York University Abu Dhabi

We are delighted to launch our new Women in Tech series, where we will hear interesting stories from inspirational people leading the charge at the forefront of innovation.

In episode 2, we hear from Nancy Gleason, a disruption expert, and Professor of Practice, Political Science & Director of the Hilary Ballon Center for Teaching and Learning at New York University Abu Dhabi.

Interviewed by Intellectual Property Partner Melissa Murray in Dubai, Nancy discusses the future of work and skills in the corporate and university setting, particularly in light of AI adoption.

Listen to the podcast here and read our key takeaways from the podcast below. These takeaways highlight the evolving nature of work, the importance of adaptability, and the need for continuous learning in the face of technological advancements.

  • Opportunities and Challenges of Automation Economy: Different cultures will respond differently to the automation economy based on infrastructure, access to technology, and cultural norms. While automation offers increased productivity and efficiency, it also creates inequalities and poses challenges, especially for underrepresented groups like women.
  • Future of Work: The future of work will undergo significant transformations due to advancements in technology, particularly AI and robotics. Tasks that can be learned through observation, like making coffee, can be automated, leading to changes in job roles and responsibilities.
  • Adapting to Change: Organisations and individuals must be willing to adapt to changes brought about by technology. Embracing lifelong learning, being curious, and networking are crucial for staying relevant in evolving job markets.
  • Impact on certain professions: Even professions like teaching will see changes due to AI, with tasks like grading papers potentially being automated. However, human intervention and critical thinking skills remain essential for ensuring accuracy and ethical decision-making.
  • Advice for Future Careers: Nancy advises aspiring professionals, especially women, to follow non-traditional trajectories, embrace curiosity, and continuously learn new skills. Networking and exposure to diverse perspectives are also critical for future success.
  • Emphasising Critical Thinking: In professions where AI is increasingly utilised, such as law, critical thinking skills are paramount. Humans provide value through their ability to discern inaccuracies, challenge assumptions, and ensure ethical outcomes.
  • Value of Human Judgment: Despite advancements in AI, human judgment remains essential for discerning inaccuracies and making ethical decisions. Professionals must cultivate critical thinking skills to complement technological advancements.
  • Career Journey: Nancy’s career has been shaped by her expertise in handling disruptions, which has evolved through various professional experiences, including international aid recruitment, graduate school, and teaching. She emphasises the importance of reflection and adaptability in navigating career paths.
  • Mission within Education and AI: Nancy’s mission involves contributing to NYU Abu Dhabi's goal of developing globally aware leaders while also addressing the potential dangers of manipulation from artificial intelligence. She aims to equip individuals with lifelong learning skills to mitigate the negative impacts of AI.

Women in Tech - At the forefront of innovation podcast series

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