Research & Thought Leadership

How artificial intelligence is revolutionizing the world of L&D

Manon Dave

Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence are impacting our lives in more ways than the naked eye can see. We encounter it every single day and it already has a huge impact on all aspects of running a successful business, including how we manage Corporate Learning & Development most effectively.

Think about the payments you make with your contactless card; the times Netflix suggests a TV show that you might like or the suggested jobs that LinkedIn thinks you might be interested in. These actions are all powered by artificial intelligence.

When it comes to learning, the options for enhancing learner experiences and improving learning outcomes – whether through voice recognition, machine learning or augmented reality – are endless.

To describe Artificial Intelligence in a simple way and its relation to learning, I like to break it into three rings:

Artificial intelligence is the ability of a system to learn new things on its own without being encoded with commands. As humans, it is what we learn, the new knowledge that we acquire.

Very similar to how we learn as human beings, with Machine learning you feed the system with data, and once a new concept is understood then it can be applied. This is the technique we are best at today.

Deep learning is a little more complicated but can be described as a technique that learns from trial and error. Over time, it learns to differentiate the factors and predict outcomes. This is what we do when we watch YouTube and try to pick up skills on our own. It takes longer but you end up having far more and better understanding of what matters to you.

These tools have a great impact on the way businesses interact with technology moving forward. Looking at your online shopping experience, you probably still encounter the prompts: “Would you like to add this to your basket?”, “People also buy this,” or when you like a picture on a social media channel and more of the same type of images then appear on your timeline. Magic? Not at all. These actions are all based on previous behaviors that personalize our future experiences.

How do these new technologies affect the world of L&D?

A survey held by the Workforce Institute has shown that the majority of the managers interviewed across regions described artificial intelligence as a productive tool that can make work better.

Many HR managers across the globe have reassessed how they use technology to build successful teams and already rely on these new tools to reduce administrative tasks – ranging from onboarding and training new hires to predict the need for upskilling talent in a specific area.

However, those navigating this transition heavily rely on reskilling their workforce to develop the skills needed for a rapidly changing world. An IBM Institute for business value study revealed that millions of workers will need to be reskilled as a result of the incorporation of AI in the next few years. Leaders should focus on fostering and growing “people skills” including creativity, judgment, and the ability to communicate effectively.

Together with my EdTech team, we are changing the way people interact with technology to learn. With the incorporation of AI, our online school provides immersive, impactful, and relevant learning experiences.

The Future of Learning report shows that by 2021, the use of AI in Education in the U.S. is expected to have grown by 47.5% since 2017.

Much of the innovation in AI for education is being directed at the area of personalization at scale; it can be used to detect learner strengths and weaknesses, switch content or methodology to get better results, or even match the learner with their perfect trainer or study partner based upon their interaction with the content.

This addresses an important issue for business: relevance is crucial to deliver return-on-time-invested for all learners but especially working adults who have very busy lives alongside their study commitments.

Organizations should look to reimagine their ‘ecosystems’ – relationship with partners to ensure the effective use of technologies to hire, nurture, and develop their talent in the most relevant and effective way.

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