Sally Bruce: Do Be Thoughtful About AI, But Don’t Be Afraid

Sally Bruce at the Sydney THINK event 2024

As jobs and workplaces change in response to the quick march of AI through our lives, the worst thing people can do is put their heads in the sand.

Instead, says Sally Bruce, chief operating officer at Culture Amp, an employee experience platform, we need to work out how artificial intelligence can improve not just outputs for work but outcomes for humans – and embrace it.

“AI is a great enhancer – I’m not going to be replaced by a robot, I am going to be replaced by someone who is harnessing the tools at their disposal to do my job better than I can,” says Bruce, speaking at Qantas magazine’s first Think. event for 2024, a dinner at Brasserie 1930 inside the grand heritage hotel Capella Sydney.

Sally Bruce

“The example we’ve all been living with for a while now is that someone like me, who’s directionally challenged, can become a competent Uber driver when you turn on a maps app. The opportunity is amazing and the potential for us to create more value, and more interesting work, is really very real.”

Bruce says AI can also help train humans to develop their own EQ (emotional intelligence). At Culture Amp, they have been deploying generative AI in their online performance feedback program. 

“We provide online tools for people to provide feedback, which becomes part of the repository for an individual’s performance and is shared with them and their manager. When a person is giving feedback, they can be in any kind of frame of mind and their feedback can be constructive – or not.”

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At the point where an individual is crafting their feedback, the generative AI kicks in to suggest a potentially better way to frame it – absent of any human emotions or biases.

“Generative AI can be used to prompt, ‘Hey, I find this kind of feedback lands better if you couch it this way’. Even if the individual dismisses the suggestion, they’ve ingested some information. The next time that person is providing feedback, generative AI will again suggest an alternative pathway. You’re creating micro-learning moments that can change behaviour. This is not ever going to replace someone whose EQ is already highly evolved, but it can take someone on a journey.” 

According to Bruce, leaders must be vigilant about the tools they’re using and data governance. “Be really thoughtful about the AI tool you’re using – where is the information going and where is the data stored?”

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At the end of the day, she also reminds us to pay attention to the humans in our loop – particularly younger generations.

“Wisdom is everywhere, in every room, in every experience. Take the time to notice it and listen to it. If, like me, you’re on the wrong side of 50, speak to as many young people as you possibly can because your perspective is really dated and your relevance is at risk. You are not the experience or knowledge expert anymore. The landscape is changing constantly and wisdom is everywhere. Make sure you use it.”

Think. is a thought-leadership event and content series, presented by Qantas magazine and in association with LSH Auto Australia – the country’s leading Mercedes-Benz dealer group. Find out more about LSH Auto Australia.

SEE ALSO: Jenelle McMaster: Being a Smart Leader Isn’t Enough, You Need AQ

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