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The role of curiosity in workplace automation

Alison Horstmeyer (Intrinsic Curiosity, Santa Monica, USA)

Development and Learning in Organizations

ISSN: 1477-7282

Article publication date: 10 January 2020

Issue publication date: 1 December 2020



This paper describes the ways automation and artificial intelligence are shifting the business landscape and how learning professionals can use curiosity to enhance their own and their organizations' success.


A review of theory and research on automation and artificial intelligence, curiosity, and learning and development challenges was conducted.


Although technological advancements are already transforming the workplace, the optimal benefits of these technologies will be realized only in collaboration with human capital. In particular, as certain manual and technical skills are replaced by automation, the jobs that remain will require more highly developed social and cognitive skills such as creative problem solving, interpersonal skills and empathy, and adaptability and continuous learning.

Practical implications

Learning professionals are encouraged to use strategies that leverage the power of curiosity to cultivate the soft skills critical for success in technologically advanced workplaces.


Technological advancement creates an ever-changing organizational and learning landscape for employees and development professionals. Cost-effective strategies are needed to close the growing skill gaps that result. Curiosity is a helpful tool for growing needed competencies.



Horstmeyer, A. (2020), "The role of curiosity in workplace automation", Development and Learning in Organizations, Vol. 34 No. 6, pp. 29-32.



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