How AI Is Transforming Training, Development, and the Learner Experience
Artificial intelligence (AI) has received a lot of coverage recently in the media and on social media. It is also a topic of conversation around dinner tables and cups of coffee across the UAE and Saudi Arabia, and not just among techies – everyone seems to be interested. The catalyst for this interest was the introduction of ChatGPT, but it is just one exciting technology in the AI sphere. What a lot of people are thinking about is the impact that AI will have on how we currently do things.
According to research, approximately 18 percent of tasks that are currently performed by people could be automated by AI technologies. The training and development function of organisations will not be immune to the changes that AI is bringing about. That leaves the question – how will AI transform training, development, and the learner experience?
As well as looking at the transformational impacts of AI, it’s also important to understand its limitations.
What AI Won’t Do
On the surface, AI tools like ChatGPT can perform impressive tasks. Ask it a question, for example, and it will give you an authentic and (probably) accurate answer. However, AI technologies will not replace the skills and creativity of skilled instructional designers and e-learning developers. Instructional designers and e-learning developers can use AI technologies when developing new training content, but AI tools have an augmenting rather than a replacing role.
The Transformational Change that AI Will Bring
The areas where AI is likely to have the biggest impact on training, development, and the learner experience include:
- Identifying skills gaps
- Developing more personalised learning experiences
- Enabling virtual instructors
- Assistance with content creation
- Employee skills
Identify Skills Gaps
One of the things that AI technologies can do better than people is process large amounts of data to derive meaningful and useful information. This capability of AI technologies will enable organisations to better identify skills gaps, both immediate skills gaps and those anticipated for the future.
Develop More Personalised Learning Experiences
An important benefit of using e-learning as a training delivery method is the ability to develop personalised training content. E-learning courses that are personalised achieve higher levels of engagement and better training outcomes because they are more relevant to the learner. This enhances the learner experience.
There are many strategies that can be used to develop personalised learning experiences. Using AI technologies offers the potential to optimise this process. For example, AI could enable adaptive learning where the training course dynamically adjusts as the learner progresses to adapt to their capabilities. A specific example could be the difficulty level of quizzes. An AI-powered adaptive learning course could adjust the difficulty level of a quiz based on the learner’s current level of knowledge.
Enables Virtual Instructors and 24/7 Interactive Support
AI-powered chatbots are one of the most common uses of AI technologies. Some online retailers, for example, offer customers virtual sales assistants to help with choosing the right product. Similar tools will increasingly be used in training courses, particularly e-learning training courses.
AI-powered chatbots could offer learners 24/7 technical support to help them overcome issues they are having with completing the course. A stage further would be offering learners a virtual instructor that they can interact with. For example, learners could ask a virtual instructor for further information on a specific topic area, or where they can find additional reading materials.
Assistance With Content Creation
While AI technologies have limited capabilities in high-quality content creation, particularly on complex or organisation-specific topics, they can still help with the content creation process. For example, AI tools like ChatGPT can be used to create the first draft of text, or it can produce a summary of an in-depth document.
Other potential applications include image creation and AI-generated voiceovers. These tools won’t be suitable in all situations – there will still be many situations where a professional voiceover artist is required, for example, or where a graphic designer is needed to create a complex infographic.
As with most applications of AI technologies, content generation capabilities give training and e-learning professionals additional tools to help them create the best possible courses and learning experiences.
Employees Will Need to Enhance Some Existing Skills and Develop New Skills
Another way that AI will transform training, development, and the learner experience is the type of training that will be needed in the future. A lot of the emphasis at the moment is on the impact that AI will have on jobs. Most experts, however, believe a more accurate way to look at AI is the impact it will have on tasks. Put simply, AI will take over tasks rather than jobs.
As a result, there will be skills that some employees need today that will become obsolete in the future. There will also be skills that many employees don’t currently have that will become more and more important. And there will be skills that employees will need to improve in a world where AI technologies are commonplace.
For example, repetitive and manual tasks are the types of tasks that AI tools are best placed to take over. However, creativity, critical thinking, and leadership are examples of skills that are beyond the capabilities of AI technologies. These are the types of skills that will need more emphasis in the future.
Forward-thinking, customer-focused e-learning developers will always use new technologies to improve how they operate and the services they provide. At Capytech, for example, we have been using the metaverse to enhance the learner experience.
AI is an evolving technology that comes with concerns and downsides that need to be worked through and resolved. It is also a technology that should be positively embraced where it can improve training, development, and the learner experience.