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How to Leverage AI in Learning and Development

September 19, 2023 | By Soma Bhaduri

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How to Leverage AI in Learning and Development

Artificial Intelligence ( analyzes volumes of data quickly and accurately, enabling businesses to understand customer preferences, personalize user experiences, and craft strategies. This article outlines the role of AI in learning and development.

It is estimated that by 2030, AI-driven activities will lead to an increase of 14% in the global GDP. According to a Mckinsey survey, nearly 87% of all enterprises invested in AI by 2020, and 1151 of those 2395 respondents have reported to adopting at least one AI-backed function or machine learning system in their organization.

AI in Learning and Development

AI is positively transforming the L&D sector by providing innovative approaches for ongoing challenges.. It is helping organizations optimize the effectiveness of their training through overall superior curriculums, personalized learning experiences, automated assessments, greater learner engagement, lower costs, and improved memory recall.

Organizations are increasingly using AI to gain insights into a learner’s performance in order to create personalized training programs. This helps meet a learner’s specific learning needs and at a pace that they are comfortable with. AI-based learning systems can leverage these insights to provide learners with bespoke feedback and guide them through the curriculum. They can even use these insights to create adaptive tests that match the difficulty level for each learner and deliver a more accurate assessment of a learner’s knowledge.

AI can be used to translate training materials into regional and local languages, which makes them accessible to a wider range of learners. AI also helps organizations create engaging content such as videos, quizzes, and interactive materials and is an excellent tool to offer round-the-clock support and guidance through chatbots and virtual assistants. With its predictive capabilities, AI empowers organizations to predict learner performance and identify at-risk students to uncover knowledge gaps and offer timely as well as tailored interventions for improvement.

AI in Content Creation and Curation

The growing sophistication of AI-driven tools in eLearning along with the emergence of new, innovative solutions such as Chat GPT are allowing the L&D function of these tools to ideate new topics for training content, create engaging learning material, and automate time-consuming tasks, resulting in more efficient and effective learning experiences.

AI tools also make it possible to curate topical content from disparate sources including subject matter experts, books, audio, video, and transcriptions, among others. These vast amounts of content can help organizations enhance storytelling and create scenarios involving role-play for improved and more engaging learning experiences.

New AI Tools for Learning

Numerous AI-driven tools can now be used to create superior training content, easily and at lower costs. For instance, AI makes it easier to create, edit, publish, and scale up the production of video-based content – even for people with no video production skills. They help generate quality audio and video content using a laptop or text prompts, respectively.

Content developers can choose the right tools depending on their specific needs. For example, they can use tools to hasten content production, improve the quality of the content, save on effort required to correct mistakes, in terms of editing or re-recording, and improve accessibility with transcriptions.

How to Use AI to Improve Learning

It is evident that AI provides numerous benefits that ensure organizational learning and performance success. Here is an indicative list of the ways organizations can implement AI in order to improve the learning experience:

  • Personalized Learning Experiences

    By using AI, organizations can assess the training needs of every individual learner and offer them personalized training. AI-driven tools can also be utilized to make appropriate adjustments to the training content for a personalized learning experience.

  • Adaptive Learning

    Based on the learning preferences of every learner, organizations can leverage adaptive learning systems that align with the learners’ progress and offer them the required support.

  • Automated Grading

    Repetitive tasks such as grading assessments can be automated using AI, which will afford trainers the time to engage with the learners and provide more support.

  • Learning Analytics

    Data analysis can provide organizations with in-depth insights into a learner’s performance, which can be used to improve the learning content and thereby the learning experience.

  • Virtual Instructors

    Organizations can leverage AI to create intelligent tutoring systems that operate virtually and offer personalized interactions with learners.

  • Translation

    Several AI tools are available that can translate training content into different languages, which help improve accessibility and ensure a wider section of learners, globally to benefit from it.

Enhancing Leadership Training with AI

The versatility of AI in training makes it a great candidate for leadership development programs. This is because AI-driven leadership development programs have proved accurate in identifying and nurturing potential leaders with appropriate skills and enabling them to become successful leaders.

AI is enabling organizations to identify areas of improvement, track progress, and provide leaders with the resources needed to succeed. AI-driven digital coaching platforms are being used to provide customized training programs, personalized instructions, and individual feedback to the leaders.

Furthermore, organizations are using AI to conduct surveys that not only help gain insight into how employees perceive their leaders, but also enable leaders to identify their own strengths and weaknesses. These insights are used to improve leadership development programs and align them to help aspiring leaders reach their full potential.

AI’s Future Impact on L&D

The ongoing improvements in AI and the emergence of innovative solutions will continue to transform the L&D function well into the future. Here’s a quick look into how AI may impact L&D functions in the future:

  • Personalization

    The predictive capabilities of AI will help L&D teams to identify the training needs of employees, in advance. Organizations can offer in-time training to reduce skill gaps, improve engagement, and reduce employee churn. Furthermore, based on the behavior of the employees, organizations can predict potential leaders, respond appropriately to the prediction, and initiate learning with the aim of enhancing their skillsets.

  • Virtual Training

    The advancements in natural language processing is leading to rapid improvement in the quality of virtual assistants. These improved versions of virtual assistants may engage more realistically with learners, provide instructions, answer their questions, and even participate in role-play scenarios.

  • Improve Training Materials

    The ongoing improvements in sentiment and intention analysis will help L&D teams develop and curate appropriate content, as well as, to refine or discard the content that may not be delivering the desired results.

  • Accurate Assessments

    AI-driven tools will find greater use in accurately grading the learner’s responses, that go beyond the current multiple-choice or fill-in-the-blank style of questions. With greater refinement, these tools will facilitate the automated evaluation of subjective answers as well.

  • Monitoring Employee Performance

    AI-based tools can be used to analyze learning outcomes. These insights would be used to offer targeted training content to employees that further improves their productivity while offering a better and more engaging learning experience.

Insights for Implementing AI in L&D

Organizations may implement AI based on their specific L&D needs. AI can be used to analyze the limitations of the existing training infrastructure, as well as to automate administrative tasks such as enrollment, onboarding, and training management. This will reduce the effort and time of the HR and training teams, enabling them to focus on developing superior training programs. Furthermore, AI tools can be implemented to optimize learning and skill development outcomes by accurately identifying skill gaps, forecasting relevant training needs, creating customized training programs, and providing personalized feedback.

However, there are certain considerations that organizations must weigh before creating an AI implementation strategy. Some of them include:

  • Costs

    AI is an expensive technology and calls for significant investments

  • Holistic Implementation

    AI cannot be implemented partially as that would lead to inaccurate analysis and poor results, defeating the very purpose of the implementation.

  • Biases

    Organizations must be careful about creating neutral algorithms as gender, racial and many other types of biases can creep in, which will only produce prejudiced results.

Before actually implementing AI solutions, it would help organizations to craft detailed implementation strategies that answer pertinent questions such as: what is the objective of the entire exercise? What challenges will AI help resolve? How can AI be used to improve employee productivity? Will AI solutions invade employees’ privacy?

Why AI is an Important Investment in L&D

The remote work culture and the emergence of new modes of communication have completely transformed the way organizations work. Organizations have realized that to keep pace with the dynamic work landscape, they must equip their employees with new-age skills and ensure their well-being by creating a sustainable and resilient workforce.

Since AI promises several benefits, more organizations are implementing it in their L&D functions. As learning takes center stage, organizations are prioritizing the upskilling and reskilling of their employees using AI. They leverage the power of AI to roll out learning initiatives that align with the company’s goals and build a culture of continuous learning, as well as facilitate succession planning.

Parting Thoughts

By leveraging AI to assess the specific training needs of their employees and quickly create superior quality content, organizations are able to meet the desired learning outcomes at much lower costs. Organizations must, therefore, consider implementing AI to gain a competitive edge over their peers through improved employee retention, effective workforce planning, and increased productivity. I hope this article provides the requisite insights to leverage AI in learning and development.

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Soma Bhaduri
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