How AI Can Enhance Employee Training Initiatives
As Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been slowly becoming more a part of our day-to-day lives, algorithms that were once more behind the scenes are now available to the public. AI-driven systems provide a unique opportunity to reduce redundant tasks and optimize the work of professionals—including those in Learning and Development and training consultants. AI tools for learning design can augment the Learning and Development work cycle, ultimately allowing Instructional Design teams to be more efficient and focused.
Though there has been much apprehension about the use of AI technology, there are incredible opportunities for collaboration with AI technology to optimize the learning design process. The goal of use for those who would take advantage of AI-driven systems should be to improve outcomes and simplify the processes that we rely on. Our values around AI should be the same as our use of any technology—it should be used with a commitment to purpose, accuracy, and transparency.
With those goals in mind, now is the time to explore options for L&D to make use of AI to improve processes in the design and delivery of employee training and development initiatives.
Getting Started: 3 Ways To Take Advantage Of AI For Learning Design
1. Content Creation
Generative AI, such as ChatGPT, can generate human-like text across a wide range of topics. For the instructional professional, this technology can especially be helpful in generating frameworks for learning processes, research, and early versions of course content. Chatbots can function as personalized assistants, using Natural Language Processing (NLP) to provide key context and summaries that bolster creative workflow. Harnessing this technology will require close attention to the prompts we use to guide the system so that the generated response is honed to the needs of the Instructional Designer. For example, you can instruct a chatbot to provide a short summary of long pieces of text that focus specifically on keywords of interest. Utilizing AI means that instructional professionals can focus on refining the performance map and activities while ensuring that the content is accurate and addresses the needs of the learner.
Employee training and development content can be elevated with the use of machine intelligence, reducing repetitive processes and boosting employee efficiency and, often, content quality. It’s important to remember that machine intelligence is not the same as organic intelligence and is susceptible to algorithmic and data biases. Engaging with this technology means understanding that, because there may be errors in accuracy, AI can facilitate the creative process—not replace it.
2. Graphics Creation
For certain projects, instructional professionals may need graphics or specific designs that can’t be sourced online or are costly to create from scratch. This is where graphic design AI systems can be useful in the learning design process. Graphic programs such as Adobe Firefly and Dalle2 can generate prototype graphics and help refine existing visual designs. This is another easy way to integrate AI into the learning design workflow. As AI is used to begin the creative process, graphic designers are then able to reclaim time to engage with the truly innovative and creative elements of the work they do. By optimizing graphic productivity and efficiently creating prototypes, training consultants and L&D professionals are successfully using AI to streamline a more effective process.
AI may also be a framework for use when an L&D team doesn’t have the capacity for graphics enhancement. It can act as a basic tool for upgrades.
3. Audio Creations
Along with graphic and content generation, audio AI is another useful tool that can be integrated into your learning design process. Text-to-speech (TTS) technology, such as the software used by Wellsaid Labs, has been used by experts in the industry for some time since it allows you to transform written learning materials, such as articles, textbooks, or instructional content, into audio format. This is beneficial for learners who prefer auditory learning or those with visual impairments. Adding multimedia aspects to learning design can help when creating prototype content or to just make the learning journey more accessible. Audio content analysis is another AI system that can especially be useful in the initial drafting and research part of learning design since it can analyze audio sources (podcasts, lectures, videos, etc.) and provide concise summaries and transcripts for training consultants and Instructional Designers.
At the end of the day, it is clear the role that AI plays in our lives is changing. We are faced with both the challenge and opportunity of harnessing this technology. A successful collaboration looks like using these systems to augment the creative process to improve employee performance, learner retention, and project outcomes. As Artificial Intelligence progresses, the adoption of this technology into companies will only continue to grow. If we take care to adhere to ethical principles—and consider misinformation, bias, and other pitfalls within the content we generate—organizations and L&D teams have a lot to gain from the use of AI.