Artificial Intelligence (AI) has transformed many sectors in recent years. From streamlining business processes and production lines to serving as faithful virtual assistants in our daily lives, AI has weaved itself intricately in our way of life. And as AI technology gets more sophisticated, businesses are finding more innovative ways to use it to their benefit and the benefit of their customers.
For instance, Amazon’s AI algorithm suggests products that you might be interested in using your search data. Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and other such virtual assistants use a sophisticated AI engine to understand your voice commands and interact with you in a near-human way.
It wouldn’t be a stretch at all to say that AI has had a profound impact on our society, and we have accepted it with open arms.
And one of the sectors where AI can do a lot of good is the learning and development sector. It is a pretty broad spectrum of interlinked industries. AI experts are tirelessly working on improving AI technology to enhance learning. For instance, a couple of years ago, DARPA (Defence Approach Research Agency) sponsored a study to create digital tutors for their new cadets. The aim was to decrease the time taken by novices to become experts in some key technical skills. The study showed that when trained by AI-based digital tutors, the recruits not only reached the required level of expertise but even outperformed most of the seasoned professionals.
It is evident that from student education and corporate training to helping differently-abled learn new things, all of these facets can benefit from the smart implementation of AI.
And in today’s blog, we will see how AI can transform learning and development.
Top ways in which AI is transforming learning and development
Given below are the top ways in which AI is, and further will in the future, transforming the learning and development sector.
Emphasis on Personalized Learning
Every individual has their own learning style and information retention threshold. Some find it easier to sift through theory, and some like a more practical approach to learning. Whether it is in school and colleges or enterprises where employees need to learn how to use a new platform, language, etc., learning and development are more efficient when every individual is considered.
Teachers and lecturers can’t craft a lesson that fits every student’s way of learning in the classroom environment. Their approach has to be generalized to benefit most of the students. But with the implementation of AI, companies, schools, colleges, etc., can create personalized learning experiences for every individual.
AI can assess an individual’s learning habits and then craft a custom learning plan to help them learn in the most efficient way possible. AIs do it by using a carefully created set of MCQs. The answers to those questions give the AI the base data it needs to start creating the plan. Then as the learning progresses, the AI learns more about the individual and tweaks the plan to achieve the best results.
Learning Stops Being a Chore
One of the biggest setbacks of classroom and formal learning is the lack of engagement. Usually, it’s one person standing in front of a class, giving a lecture, while everybody else sits quietly scribbling notes. It is an incredibly mundane way of learning that doesn’t suit many people. Unless the lecturer is Robin Williams from the Dead Poet’s Society, chances are you won’t learn too much. But with the help of AI, information can be articulated in more engaging ways. For instance, AI will create an assortment of engaging learning videos for people who respond better to video tutorials instead of reading materials. This way, the learning is still being done, just in a way that suits the learner.
According to Stephen Walsh, a cofounder of Andres Pink, 93% of organizations want to integrate learning into the routine working of their company. This means that on top of doing their daily tasks, employees are also required to learn new things.
It shouldn’t be a problem since most of the workforce comprises Millennials, and they always want to learn and develop their skills. But the formal method of learning, having to sit through classes after work, can feel like a chore. This adds the burden of learning on top of working at the same level of quality.
But thanks to AI, people can learn whenever they want to. Most lessons have milestones, progress trackers, and online assessments that help people learn at their own pace and whenever they want to. It benefits both: businesses, since the learning and work are both happening simultaneously, and the employees, since they are learning new things but are not getting overworked.
AI Makes Self-improvement Possible for Employees
Companies worldwide don’t just invest billions to get their employees to learn new things but also to develop the skills they already have. Contrary to what most believe, AI is not taking over people’s jobs, but it is actually helping them do their jobs better. Self-improvement can be in any area of an individual’s personality, whether it is their communication and body language or improvement in their coding skills. AIs, using data, figure out those areas in a person’s overall personality that need to be improved or enhanced. It then suggests a collection of modules, lessons, etc., provided in the most effective way possible. The users can go at their own pace and slowly work on their self-improvement.
Companies nowadays don’t want the most learned or skilled people. They want well-rounded employees who can deliver no matter the task. And AI can help them make their employees well-rounded.
Improved Completion Rates
When companies invest so heavily in their learning and development programs, it is quite disheartening to learn that very few employees finish their courses. While people can be bullied into doing mandatory training, according to stats, only 15% of employees are willing to complete their training programs.
But AI can help improve this number. A more engaging and personalized way of learning will motivate employees to finish more courses. As we have learned, Millennials are not against learning, but they also don’t want to be overworked. And so, if there is a way to train themselves that doesn’t hurt their work-life balance and their mental and physical health, employees are more than willing to see training programs all the way to completion.
Learning and development need to include differently-abled people as well. Many companies go out of their way to include differently-abled employees and make them feel like they belong. But learning in a classroom environment can be a challenge for a differently-abled person. AI experts around the globe are working tirelessly to make learning easier for everybody. For instance, AI programs can convert images into text for blind people. Google’s Cloud Vision API uses neural networks to identify contexts and create a textual version of an image. Similarly, people with hearing disabilities and dyslexia can also be helped.
Measuring Progress Becomes Easier
AI training programs usually come with progress trackers and milestones that tell learners how much progress they have made. Furthermore, AI programs can be trained to give learners quick pop-up quizzes and random titbits of information throughout the day as notifications.
Assessments are also a key part of the learning and development process, and with the test taker’s results, AI gets crucial insights about their learning progress. The AI can then use these insights to fine-tune its learning plan for individual learners further. Companies also get to find out about the knowledge gaps in their employees. If there is a course in which all of them are performing poorly, then companies can take necessary measures and find out the root cause. It can also make a case for hiring new talent. Sometimes, some skills can’t be taught in the given timeframe. Companies can try and train their employees, but at some point, they need to cut their losses and decide on hiring new talent. AI learning and development modules can help companies find talent gaps in their workforce.
Digital Content Creation
Creating lessons and training content is a time-consuming task. Usually, companies just end up buying learning material to save time. But with the help of AI, companies can create their own learning and training content. AI algorithms can scour the internet and search for specific topics. After that, based on the parameters set by the company, the AI can use that information to create training programs for various purposes. Couple that with the personalized learning factor, and AI can create digital content for every employee to enhance their learning and development. Such a level of in-depth personalization is impossible to achieve without AI.
As AI gets more mature and we figure out more ways to use it to enhance the learning and development of students and employees, businesses need to make sure that they keep up with the trend. A well-trained workforce can propel your business to new heights of prosperity. Personalized learning coupled with heightened accessibility and better progress assessment makes AI a vital tool for training their workforce. AI-based learning and development can be more engaging when custom-tailored for every individual according to their learning habits. Thus, AI makes learning a streamlined and efficient process that can benefit both businesses and learners.