AI Will Rock Learning’s World
Your value in the learning space is being challenged. It’s not being challenged by another operational activity, it’s not being challenged by organizational stakeholders, and it’s not being challenged by employees. Your challenger comes in a non-human form we call Artificial Intelligence, or AI. Many people will shrug off this paranoia saying, “a computer program can never replace human interactions”, and they may be partially correct. However, it can eliminate and replace many of the menial Learning and Development (L&D) functions. But it presents many new and value-added possibilities for learning as well.
When AI comes up these days, people begin to worry. There is good news: workplace Learning and Development is growing in relevance. If you haven’t noticed, it’s also evolving at a significant pace, at least technologically. Technological evolution is one thing, but what practitioners didn’t see coming so quickly is the integration and emergence of Artificial Intelligence into learning design and development. It’s safe to say that AI is both a blessing and curse for those in the learning function. but undeniably it is, and will increasingly be, a transformative force.
As organizations strive to stay competitive and adapt to the digital era, AI has become an invaluable tool to enhance their efficiencies and performance. Using AI within learning initiatives and strategies helps to streamline processes and ultimately foster a culture of continuous learning. But keep reading, and you’ll discover how AI will deliver benefits, but within a disruptive context. AI in learning will certainly eliminate certain roles, while simultaneously creating new avenues for growth and innovation.
The Role Of AI In Learning And Development
AI has significantly impacted many areas and will continue to do so. That’s the reality and workplace learning is no exception. It’s impacting various aspects, by rapidly redefining traditional learning paradigms but also offering innovative solutions.
One of the key areas where AI shines is around targeted, personalized, and tailored learning. Through sophisticated algorithms, AI can analyze individual employee performance and behavior through rapid and continuous analysis of their performance data. AI can determine when and how each employee should learn, evaluating their learning needs through past performance, and identifying current and expected skills gaps. It will also contribute to assisting practitioners curate and design tailored learning paths. This shift from one-size-fits-all training to personalized learning experiences enhances engagement and knowledge retention, thereby boosting the overall effectiveness of training programs.
Furthermore, AI-powered technologies will open access to previously undiscovered learning avenues, to support employee systems and on-demand knowledge needs using AI-powered chatbots and virtual assistants. These digital companions/assistants can provide instant answers to queries, guide employees through complex processes, and offer real-time feedback. This not only reduces the burden on human trainers and other resources, but also ensures consistent and accurate information dissemination, enhancing the quality of the learning experience.
Increased Efficiency Gains Through Automation
As AI takes on repetitive and time-consuming tasks, Learning and Development professionals can reallocate their time and expertise to more operational, strategic, and creative endeavors. Simply, it will promote the most skilled and value learning practitioners to the top and force others to step up their learning and business acumen, or be replaced, or even eliminated altogether.
All the mundane and menial administrative tasks like scheduling training sessions, tracking progress, and generating reports will be seamless and fully automated. Even the designing of basic learning interactions like onboarding or compliance training could be delegated to AI-powered learning design tools, with L&D teams focusing on designing innovative learning strategies, content creation, and fostering a culture of continuous improvement. It will also enable learning practitioners to develop the more holistic and operational mindset business leaders currently expect from them.
Shift In Roles: Elimination And Creation
While AI streamlines Learning and Development processes and augments its efficiency, don’t be surprised when certain learning roles evolve or are even phased out. Roles in the learning function that primarily involve manual data entry, basic administrative tasks, and routine content creation could see a reduction in demand as these activities become automated. Additionally, traditional classroom-style trainers could find their roles evolving towards facilitation and coaching of interactive and collaborative learning experiences through AI-powered learning tools.
Whenever new technology pops up, the human instinct is to focus on the downside. But new technology also brings forth many new opportunities and roles within the Learning and Development landscape. Here are just a few learning roles that AI could potentially create or even enhance:
AI Integration Specialist
Since the inception of the LMS and other involved learning technologies, there has always been a need for specialists to integrate this type of technology. Now with the integration of AI into learning platforms, organizations will absolutely require specialists who can ensure smooth implementation, troubleshoot technical issues, and optimize AI-driven features.
Learning Data Analyst
We’ve all focused on the term data analytics and business leaders now live on what their data tells them. With AI this data collection will increase exponentially and right behind it will be the need to extract value from it. This wealth of data needs to be analyzed to refine learning strategies. Using AI to conduct the analysis will require a higher level of capability from learning data analysts, to further interpret these insights to enhance personalized learning paths and improve overall training effectiveness.
AI certainly will play a role in collecting and creating learning content. But for now, it’s still AI and not human. This is why there will be a growing need for content curators. This human element will play a crucial role in sourcing and selecting the most relevant and engaging content from various sources, aligning it with organizational goals and learner needs.
Learning Experience Designer
This role currently exists, but it’s not clearly defined and everyone has a different interpretation of what this role is expected to do. In the near future, these learning experience designers will be expected to utilize and leverage AI tools to design immersive and interactive learning experiences that leverage AI-driven simulations, Virtual Reality, and gamification, to engage and educate employees effectively.
AI Ethicist And Compliance Officer
As AI becomes more integrated into learning, ensuring ethical use, data privacy, and compliance will be vital. Content appropriateness, diversity and inclusion, intellectual property verification, and data use will all be part of the concerns the the AI ethicist will address. These roles will focus on developing and enforcing AI-related policies, especially around the use and development of employees through learning tools.
You know what AI’s biggest benefit will be for all operational activities? It will free you from routine tasks. Now, Learning and Development teams will get to do what they always wanted to do: have the opportunity to focus on innovation. Imagine getting the time, money, and resources to explore emerging technologies, experiment with new learning approaches, and create cutting-edge learning solutions. The dream isn’t too far away.
These are just some of the possible roles for learning in an AI world. Really, it’s impossible to predict how AI will impact Learning and Development and what roles will rise from it. Simply, if you can envision AI’s value in the learning space then the roles will appear and added value will grow form it. As they say, the sky’s the limit!
The advent of AI in workplace Learning and Development represents a transformative juncture for the field. While some roles may undergo changes or even be phased out, the integration of AI will create new and exciting opportunities for practitioners to shape the future of learning. As organizations embrace AI-driven learning, efficient processes, and innovative tools, those in the Learning and Development domain must adapt, upskill, and embrace their roles as architects of a new era of workplace learning. By harnessing the power of AI, they can propel their organizations and employees toward a culture of continuous growth and development in the digital age.
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As you can appreciate, one article will point you in the right direction, but it only scratches the surface of the positive impact your learning efforts can have on an organization. Force yourself to go deeper and grow into the value you know learning can deliver to your business. eLearning Industry is offering a course to accompany you in your professional development. Enroll in their course, “How to Sell eLearning to Internal Stakeholders” at a limited special rate.
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