• February 19, 2019

Invite AI to Join Your Learning and Development Team

Does the prospect of Artificial Intelligence (AI) being part of your learning and development (L&D) processes concern you?

Perhaps you worry that AI could take over all of the tasks that make up your team’s process. Or worse yet, eliminate the human touch in learning completely.

Relax.

AI isn’t a threat to the L&D world. In fact, components of AI have been around us for at least the last two decades.

It’s here to stay and must be embraced as a useful tool in the design of effective learning. I challenge you to invite AI to join your L&D team.

How Can AI Help the L&D Team Build a Better Learning Experience?

Since the digitization of learning, the role of L&D professionals has shifted in response to the way people prefer to learn.

No longer do adults spend hours searching through library books; instead, they find the information on the Internet.

As L&D practitioners, our job is to support this new way of learning by encouraging and enabling self-driven learning activities.

AI Predicts Learning Needs

AI is helpful in that it can predict a learner’s next move by the actions he or she has already taken.

It’s not some mystery. This information is built around data points. Additional learning content identified by previous data can be served up based on the learner’s indicated interests, job role or based on what the learner’s colleagues have studied.

What this means for your L&D team is that you must design learning content that complements and supports self-directed learning, but at the same time, include relevant content that is syndicated from other online sources. This makes courses more effective and interesting to learners.

Finally, Content Curation is Actually Efficient

Your L&D team can also utilize data when designing new courseware. While staying within certain parameters to meet organizational goals, you can link additional learning opportunities to core lessons.

Learning developers should view AI as not only assisting, but also as a “colleague” who handles routine. AI can be used to research, curate, and tag content within the learning platform. While this won’t replace the services of a subject matter expert or internal reviews conducted by the L&D team, it can reveal more layers of learning that are required. 

In this way, L&D can be free to concentrate on planning better learning and producing the best possible learning materials. It essentially expands the capabilities of the team.

Share Knowledge with AI

Very often, there are silos of training information hidden in organizations. This limits the ability of all employees to learn consistently. Human resources and management can facilitate the development of career-specific learning by sharing these internal training resources.

Once uploaded to the learning platform, an AI-solution can organize the content by subject or job type, adding more substance to the learning material. The content can be updated at any time, using self-service tools that include approval from the L&D team. 

AI Enhances the Learning Experience for Employees

From the learner’s standpoint, artificial intelligence has many beneficial qualities. Deloitte’s 2018 HR Technology Disruptions report shares the positive impact that AI and augmented reality are having on workforce learning. 

According to the Deloitte report, the emerging tools enable continuous performance management, greatly expand the possibilities for feedback and push us to reinvent corporate learning. This provides unlimited opportunities for L&D teams to improve the learning experience:

  1. Chatbots can give learners encouragement and answer simple questions as they move through learning modules. Appearing as an avatar addressing the learner by name increases the personalization of learning.
  2. AI powered digital learning assistants can intelligently suggest additional content that learners may find useful, depending on the topics they gravitate towards.
  3. More self-service tools and directories can help workers find answers to technical and work-related questions, which can eliminate the need for constant human intervention.

With regards to the human capital management, learning is increasingly being connected to performance. Therefore, AI will eventually be useful for predicting the success or failure of employees based on their learning activities. 

Interactive learning that simulates real-life work scenarios can help employees to practice in a safe environment to develop better skills on the job -- thus improving their overall performance.

Is AI really needed in L&D?

A report issued by Dell Technologies estimated 85 percent of the jobs that will exist in 2030 haven’t been invented yet. The challenge that L&D teams have is to design learning that addresses the most important soft skills that employees will need. The ability to learn will determine who stays employable.

To prepare workers to perform well now and in the future, employees need access to training that uses modern methods.

Dr. Patti Phillips, President and CEO of the ROI Institute told HR Observer:

Machine learning, artificial intelligence, and augmented reality offer opportunities for organizations to skill and upskill their workforce at a more rapid speed, with higher quality, and in some cases lower cost.

She recommended that L&D teams leverage this to become trusted advisors within their organizations. 

So is AI really needed in the L&D? My answer is yes.

L&D can and should search for opportunities to work with learning tools that include AI. It will help not only in serving the employees a more efficient learning experience but will also help in linking the learning and business outcomes together.

Surely not all the opportunities are not yet known and can’t be predicted, and as the technology evolves, new possibilities will arise. However, the benefits of using AI solutions to boost learning can’t be denied.

To sum it up:

  • AI gives the power to speed up the search for on-demand learning for learners.
  • Natural language understanding will make finding the needed information easy even from huge sets of data, long videos and documents.
  • It makes learning more motivating for the learners by chatting or suggesting content that is suitable.
  • Instructors will find AI useful in speeding up the process of finding the content needed.
  • AI could provide a ready-made template for content creation that includes pedagogical and instructional aspects so that content is presented more effectively.
  • The instructor will be able to evaluate learners’ progress more efficiently with AI.

About The Author

Ana Gebejes
Senior Learning Consultant
Ana Gebejes is experienced in creating and growing innovative digital learning programs. She has been teaching in higher education for nine years and has a PhD in computer science. She has worked with Valamis LXP first via her university, but since she liked Valamis so much, she decided to work for the company. At Valamis Ana is responsible for making the learning impact happen: she collaborates with clients closely in identifying their learning and business need and translate them into digital learning.

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