Role of AI in HR and L&D

HR Tech Outlook | Wednesday, February 24, 2021

AI is permeating all facets of life. For example, The advancement of AI helping the fight against coronavirus is real. One of the most important tools scientists have in this battle is artificial intelligence (AI) because it can perform repetitive tasks, like testing different vaccine models, much faster than humans. AI is already transforming our lives, and this transformation can only accelerate as a direct result of the pandemic.

Learning professionals tend to be passionate learners, so they are certainly capable of picking up this new technology and running with it. Given their interest in AI, technology is certainly ready. Many of the applications are already in place in other industries; it's just a matter of adapting the use cases from other markets for its purposes.

There are many examples of AI in our daily lives but fewer of those applications are in Talent Development than just about any other field. While there are some notable exceptions, most HR departments are a step or more behind other business functions when it comes to adopting AI.

In larger organizations, there's a good chance you already have a department utilizing AI for other problems for the business – automating customer service, evaluating financial opportunities, recognizing when machines are about to fail before it happens etc. It is important to find out who's working on these problems in your company and persuade them to build a pilot solution for you. You may be surprised by how easily you can deploy a simple chatbot and put your toe into the AI pool quickly and with great results. A chatbot creates the illusion of a conversation between the machine and the learner, making it a great choice for learning.

Given how fast technology and - in a larger sense - our society is changing, L&D programs must stay abreast of the newest approaches, training modules, and methodologies in learning. The one-size-fits-all model is now a thing of the past. With AI, you can gather insights from the vast amounts of employee data coming in, augmented by deep analysis and thereby facilitating the creation of customized learning initiatives.

Learning insights also help develop a wider understanding of learner behavior, leading to predictive capacities. Using the insights, organizations can create intelligent and smarter positioned content, that’s adaptive, intuitive, and responsive to a learner’s personal journey. As a result, AI will transform how learning content is delivered and foster retention, leading to greater alignment with business values.

Speaking about how AI could help drive personalized learning experiences, Miguel says, “If your organization wants to be on the bleeding edge and has a budget to match, a compelling application of current AI is the idea of loading chatbots with employees and geolocation data. The bot automatically delivers bursts of information supporting an impending activity – possibly before the employee even thinks to access learning materials.

Virtual mentors utilize AI techniques to track learner progress, even as it evaluates the many mental steps on a learner’s path through the training -- estimating domain understanding and retooling the program where necessary. These systems can also offer feedback and guidance, improving learning productivity, as well as prescribing targeted training programs for a learner.

Once all the data has been collected and analyzed, L&D leaders can unravel key insights on cost structuring and learner progress and retention. Thereby, any gaps in the program can be reassessed and redesigned.

Today, businesses of any size can develop e-learning applications because the consumer application and adoption of important technologies occurred driving down both development costs and the need for specialized skill sets. Designers and developers are as important as ever but now they can create amazing learning applications with the phone in their pocket. The future in which AI is an ever-present aspect of the way employees learn is not a lock. Remember Second Life and virtual reality goggles. Both were considered ‘revolutions’ in L&D. One is dead, and the other is on life-support. They are both cautionary tales of what happens to L&D technology if ubiquity and purpose are absent. Both were fun (VR still is) but lack a reason for existing outside of a few niche applications – like pilots or train conductors. The event-based AI in L&D are powerful tools and companies in that space are of the cutting-edge variety. Realizing the AI’s potential will require people outside L&D to create unintended uses for the tool.

While this is only the beginning and certain areas are still nascent or theoretical, every year AI makes rapid advancements. Imagine a future where AI instructional designers are taking charge of virtual classrooms, powered by real-time case studies and simulations! Undoubtedly, we live in exciting times, and AI is truly an incredible tool for employee engagement, workforce productivity, and - eventually - business profitability.

AI experts are exploring the options of involving AR (Augmented reality) in L&D space. AR has already been used in education. AI in education has transformed the teaching methods and made it easy for students to grasp the content very easily.

Artificial Intelligence in Education has changed the methodology of teaching and made it easy for students to achieve more with less. Reading the entire text book and imagining what is happening has been replaced by AI powered educational videos. Future of AI in learning and development will change the way training used to happen traditionally. AI powered training helps in enhancing the knowledge of the employees which can be measured and the knowledge of the employees is coupled with the growth of the organization.

The biggest advantage of using AI systems in L&D are undoubtedly the benefits of the analytics they offer. They can compute large chunks of data and provide insights on learners. Identifying skill-gaps, the behaviour of the learner, their retention and understanding levels make it easier for the L&D professionals to enrich the learning experience. Analyzing the preferred type of content, time of completion, level of engagement are other analytical features that go a long way in developing intuitive future learning material.

AI can also play a critical role in attracting and retaining top talent. Employees expect a robust training program and opportunities for personal development, and they want access to training materials when it is most convenient for them. A corporate LMS that doesn’t offer the convenience and flexibility to which they are accustomed is a detriment and leads to increased turnover rates.Thus AI can provide tomorrow’s workforce with the tools and user experience they demand.

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