Another week, another tech trend! With nearly twice as many technologies being used in workplace L&D today as there were in 2011, you could be forgiven for thinking we already have enough tech to get to grips with in L&D.
Apps, 3D modelling, virtual and augmented reality – the list goes on.
There are already signs that artificial intelligence (AI) is gradually becoming an essential part of modern business but, rather than treating it as another buzzword, we need to start thinking seriously about what AI can bring to L&D.
According to a Udemy survey of 400 L&D leaders, 31% of organisations ‘plan to add artificial intelligence, machine learning, and algorithms to personalise learning in the next few years’.
Many organisations are starting to pilot AI to support various functions, but it hasn’t yet become a strategic priority for most.
But for those that have dipped their toes in the water (or ocean!), the rewards have been impressive. Used largely to streamline business operations and enhance products and services, AI has already delivered significant productivity and efficiency improvements.
With AI offering such potential, I wonder how much longer it will be seen as a ‘nice to have’ feature in L&D, rather than a ‘must-have’. Based on early results, it certainly feels as if we’ll be unable to ignore it for too much longer.
So, let’s have a closer look at what AI can bring to learning.
AI is great at learning how people behave and adapting the content they receive as a result.
If you are using a quiz as part of your learning, for example, AI can analyse individual responses, intelligently adapting the quantity and subject matter of the questions depending on how each person is performing. This means that every individual can access the content they need most to improve.
I don’t know about you, but this really blows me away!
This means that learners are receiving relevant content without having to look for it; they get what they need, when they need it most. In other words, it will allow them to learn in the flow of work, a key part of learning in the digital era.
Using AI in tandem with 3D animations, virtual or augmented reality, we can create truly immersive learning experiences.
These hybrid learning experiences blur the boundaries between the physical and digital worlds to create realistic scenarios that really hook in the learner.
This could be through a virtual trainer, powered by AI to think and act like a human to interact with learners. As machine learning can detect social cues in a conversation, the virtual trainer can respond in real-time to give the learner immediate feedback – just like having a conversation with a real human.
AI can also create smart learning content. It can be trained to extract the most important information from dense, complex content and present it in an accessible format.
We can use AI to turn lengthy training manuals into succinct study guides, intelligently grouped based on key topics and relevance. It can include chapter summaries, practice tests and flashcards to reinforce the learning and make sure it sticks.
If you have lengthy learning guides in need of revamping, then AI could be the answer you’ve been looking for!
AI gives us the ability to learn more than ever before about our learners, not to mention wider performance trends.
Over time, AI can build up profiles or ‘knowledge pools’ of each user, giving us unprecedented insights into their behaviour. This means that, in future, AI could direct people towards the learning they need to enhance their personal career path, taking into account their individual goals and aspirations.
Collectively, this will generate a powerful data bank, which you can assess to find trends and develop solutions that are better tailored to individual needs – a key part of getting learners onboard and engaged.
* * *
With so much potential, you can see why I’m so excited about what AI can bring to L&D. And it doesn’t have to be complex. With its ability to deliver personalised content that is intelligently tailored to individual needs, AI is the perfect complement to the modern learner. It’s surely only a matter of time before it becomes a ‘must have’ for learning professionals.
To read more about how to stay relevant by adopting a ‘digital-first’ mindset, download our whitepaper, ‘Overcoming the modern-day challenges for L&D’.
Stephanie Morgan FLPI, Director of Learning Solutions, Bray Leino Learning
Sharing ideas and observations to help improve performance.