The Data Chief | Episode 94

How to bridge the gap between humans and AI, with Sadie St. Lawrence

Sadie St. Lawrence

CEO of Human Machine Collaboration Institute and Founder and President of Women In Data

Current EpisodeEP94: How to bridge the gap between humans and AI, with Sadie St. Lawrence

Episode Overview

Sadie St. Lawrence, CEO of Human Machine Collaboration Institute and Founder and President of Women In Data, sits down with Cindi Howson. In this episode, Cindi and Sadie explore the impact of Generative AI on the world of work, from how to effectively leverage Generative AI by asking the right questions, to how the technology can expand on humans’ divergent thinking. There’s much more to the future of the world of work with Generative AI now at its core, and together Sadie and Cindi explore where we’re headed, and how we can successfully bridge the gap between humans and AI.

Key Moments:

  • Leveraging Generative AI for work? Start by asking the right questions (04:13)
  • What’s in store for the future world of work (18:18)
  • How Generative AI can expand humans’ divergent thinking (26:16)
  • Taking people and culture along the Generative AI journey (31:20)
  • The value of diversity in data (42:00)
  • A tale of mentorship (44:20)

Key Quotes: 

With Generative AI, now we have a command line interface that’s allowed us to converse, which is so core and essential to who we are as humans. The ability to be able to talk to one another. That's allowed us to survive for thousands and thousands of years and evolve.

I think that there's a lot of greater potential in terms of expanding our own creativity and strategic thinking. So while humans have flexible and moldable brains and we have neuroplasticity that allows us to learn new things, we have to put ourselves in those environments. AI is really good at divergent thinking. So when we think about creativity, a core aspect of that is divergent thinking. What comes to mind when you think of a tree? Maybe leaves and fruit. Divergent thinking is thinking of all the outside things, like sunshine and soil, that may be associated with the tree or that tree growth. There's a lot more potential that we've yet to unlock in terms of updating our own thinking to expand our own divergent and creative thinking.

We know that when we have more diverse teams where everyone feels that they can speak up, and you get better ideas. You get more collaboration. So having that core vision of what is that culture and environment that you want to have is really key.



Sadie St. Lawrence is on a personal mission to create a more compassionate and connected world through technology. Having grown up on a farm in Iowa she witnessed first-hand how advancements in technology rapidly changed how we work and earn a living, which in turn affected the overall success of a community. In addition, Sadie was homeschooled her entire childhood which led to a unique perspective in self-directed learning approaches and out of the box thinking.

Sadie holds a diverse education having degrees in piano performance, psychology, and data science, but at her core she has always been a teacher. In 2014 she transitioned from working in a neuroscience lab studying emotional learning and memory, to working in data science. During her time as a data scientist, she went on to lead data science teams and consult for Fortune 500 companies in AI. Through her work, she noticed that while many organizations and individuals have good intentions when it comes to D&I in data careers, there was a lack of progress.

Today, Sadie’s work is focused on educating individuals in technology, increasing access and pathways for all people and creating a more equal future for all.