Six ways AI will change learning in your workplace
We’ve been focusing on technology innovation at Learning Pool recently and experimenting with emerging technologies that we think could be really useful in a workplace learning setting. It's been an interesting and occasionally hilarious process, notably when our team trained Alexa to insult me as I walked past, but the results show that the next wave of technology will be really exciting for us and our customers.
At Learning Pool Live 2017, Jamil Qureshi said that digital is just the hors-d’oeuvre and the next wave of technology will be more disruptive and transformative than anything we’ve seen before. But what does all that mean? What can we really expect in workplaces that are driven by artificial intelligence and how will the advance of technology impact the humble L&D team?
supporting learners in their workflow
The e-learning industry has always struggled to put itself right at the heart of the working day for users. Logins, passwords and platforms all cause friction that moves L&D sideways and limits its efficiency. If AI really is the new UI, then this is the opportunity to put learning right into the workflow for modern workers in fast paced companies.
Done properly this will mean seamless learning for your learners at the point of need so your learners can deliver a better customer experience, make more sales, avoid common mistakes and focus more time on the things that add value.
more choice, but better search
We all know what Netflix does with data and how it uses that to inform and filter what people watch. I love Netflix because it gives me an unlimited choice of content when I want it. But why then have the last five box sets I’ve watched all featured the West Wing or drug dealing cartels? Is it me? Or is it that Netflix has figured out what I would really choose and worked to make it easier for me to get on with watching?
If that’s true then applying algorithmic-based searches to learning might transform learning the way Netflix has changed my evening viewing! The good news on this is that the future is here right now. We’re piloting some of this technology with customers right now and will share our results later in the year.
you want agile, we’ll give you agile
Don Taylor talked at Learning Pool Live about Agile L&D. This is a vision of an L&D team more focused on outcomes than process, and a team that understands the importance of context as well as content and that’s made up of transient teams that move around the business.
AI will allow L&D teams to deliver on this vision by cutting down on the time taken to build interactive content so that we can help our customers respond to changing legislation, new product launches and market conditions in near real time to support users as they deliver for the business.
Personalisation is the watchword of our industry this year and comes on the back of groundbreaking work done by Amazon and other big tech companies for a mainstream audience. It’s no surprise that these developments have been driven by AI and the learning industry too will catch up. We’re using AI to help reduce the time taken by learners to complete mandatory training, saving customers time by getting staff back to work quicker and this is just the start.
We see personalisation as a pyramid where we can address different challenges as we get closer to the top, a fully adaptive learning experience. Personalising learning based on the location of the user, their performance on previous learning or related activities or the expectations of their job is all the easier using AI and machine learning. The benefits to organisations that work at scale will be huge.
content that works harder
Many organisations commit significant budget to developing content for learning. But how hard does it work for you? How many times have you used content you create in 3, 4 or 5 ways? When we built Adapt we wanted it to be highly modular so it could be delivered as micro-learning over time. AI is the key to that and harnessing the value of machine learning to understand what users are getting out of the content we provide will be key to the next phase of what our customers do, I think.
AI will also help L&D teams curate content much more effectively, staying up-to-date with new content so that programmes stay relevant for longer. It might be that AI reduces the focus on creating brand new content all the time and shifts focus back to the context in which we deploy content. Great in an environment where we’re helping support on the job performance.
Speaking at Learning Pool Live, Don Taylor reminded us about the 3 key questions that L&D professionals should always ask. Don came up with these questions at Learning Pool Live in 2012 – I didn’t know that until recently – and there’s no doubt they remain relevant in a post Web 2.0 world – if that’s a thing.
The next question is whether AI can help answer any of these questions – my guess is that AI can dramatically improve the answer for all 3 and I’m looking forward to working out how we do that.
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about the author
Paul is CEO and founder of Learning Pool. Since 2006 he has been working with our customers to help them improve the performance of their organisations through e-learning.
These days he’s most interested in how we can innovate our product set to make the most of new technologies that change the game for the businesses we work with.
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