Published on Jobs and Development

From algorithms to opportunities: Harnessing innovation for youth employment

Graphic Designer Creativity Editor Generative AI has the potential to create new jobs and career paths for young people, as well as enhance the productivity of young workers. Copyright: Shutterstock

Artificial intelligence (AI) presents opportunities and challenges for workers of all ages and backgrounds. One exciting area is generative AI, which creates new content based on existing data and user input. This includes text (Open AI’s Chat GPT), images (Stability AI’s Stable Diffusion), music (Google’s Music LM), and code (GitHub’s Copilot).

Generative AI has applications across industries and domains including art, writing, software development, product design, healthcare, finance, gaming, marketing, and fashion. But what does it mean for youth employment? How can young people benefit from this emerging technology and prepare for the future of work?

Potential to boost youth employment

Here are three ways generative AI can boost youth employment:

  • Create new jobs and career paths for young people. As generative AI becomes more accessible and widely used, there will be a growing demand for professionals who can design, develop, train, test, deploy, and maintain generative AI systems and applications. Asking AI applications the right questions and “prompt engineering” will be a crucial skill. Additionally, there will be new roles for content creators, curators, editors, reviewers, and validators who can use generative AI tools to produce high-quality and original content.
  • Enhance productivity of young workers. Generative AI can benefit youth through creativity and scalability, enabling them to produce innovative, personalized content and drive innovation. For example, generative AI can help writers create outlines, drafts, or summaries for their articles or stories; developers generate code snippets or templates for their software projects; and designers develop mockups or prototypes for their product concepts. By providing suggestions and alternatives, generative AI models can augment human creativity and help users create text, images, and videos easily with their new ideas.
  • Enable new forms of learning and education for young people. For example, generative AI can provide personalized and adaptive learning experiences based on the learner’s preferences, goals, interests, and abilities. Benefits of personalized learning could potentially include increased student engagement, improved academic outcomes, and reduced dropout rates. Generative AI could help create interactive and immersive learning environments such as virtual reality simulations, gamified quizzes, and chatbot tutors that can engage and motivate learners. These environments can help learners develop skills such as problem-solving, creativity, and collaboration.

While generative AI has enormous potential for creating high-quality content and improving various industries, it also presents significant challenges that must be addressed.  While generative AI will lead to many new opportunities, some jobs will be disrupted, especially those that use repetitive skills.  Organizations will need to ensure the quality, credibility, and responsibility of generated content, as well as prevent and detect misuse and abuse. Skilling programs will need to focus on developing skills such as creativity, emotional intelligence, and interpersonal skills, which will become increasingly important in the future. It is important to note that 2.6 billion people remain offline in 2023. Countries will need resources to ensure that all people have connectivity, digital skills, and electricity and that the digital divide doesn’t exacerbate inequalities in access to these new types of jobs.

Summit to examine the rapidly changing world of work

Recent developments in digital technology are fundamentally transforming the world of work. To equip youth to adapt and thrive in this rapidly changing landscape, youth employment programs need to be agile and innovative. Solutions for Youth Employment (S4YE), the World Bank’s leading multi-stakeholder coalition on youth employment, is curating and learning from innovative practical solutions, which is at the heart of S4YE’s mandate.

Therefore, the team is organizing a 2-day Innovation Exchange and Partner Summit on November 7-8, which has three objectives:

  1. Discuss what recent developments in generative AI mean for youth employment
  2. Spotlight a few innovative solutions to youth employment that are being led by S4YE partners
  3. Celebrate youth as solution-creators for development challenges

With 12 sessions and over 45 speakers, the summit will include a keynote on generative AI and its impact on jobs, a plenary session with tech leaders, a venture funder and policymakers, a series of lighting spark sessions on emerging innovations in youth employment and a storytelling “pecha kucha” session with youth leaders.

We will also deep dive on the creative sector and talk to young musicians, film makers and artists who are using emerging generative AI tools to grow their art businesses. Discussion topics will include the promise of online gig work, designing social protection for informal workers, digital jobs for rural youth and refugees, new solutions in the field of agriculture and health sector jobs, increased access for women in unconventional jobs, how AI is changing the nature of jobs in the creative sector and more.

The summit is open to all! Please join us November 7-8, 2023, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST. To register for the summit, please visit this link. We look forward to seeing you at the summit!


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Namita Datta

Program Manager, Solutions for Youth Employment (S4YE)

Naria Santa Lucia

General Manager, Digital Inclusion and Community Engagement, Microsoft Philanthropies

Sunamika Singh

Program Officer, Solutions for Youth Employment

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