Article: ‘Step back and identify use of AI to create effective learning experiences’

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‘Step back and identify use of AI to create effective learning experiences’

Cornerstone’s Chief Learning Officer Marc Ramos shares insights on emerging trends in L&D, use of generative AI and its impact on business goals to create more efficient learning experiences.
‘Step back and identify use of AI to create effective learning experiences’

Learning and development (L&D) is in a transformational phase with automation changing the way we approach skilling – be it adaptive learning, the emergence of chatbots and virtual assistants or skills assessment using analytics. Artificial Intelligence’s impact on L&D is only set to increase as both work and workers continuously evolve and move towards a more automated future. 

From the developments learners see to what goes into creating these learnings, the learning and development space is brimming with excitement, with an increased focus on technology.  

Learners today have more autonomy over their learning experience in terms of accessing data, thanks to the advent of innovative technology like AI and ChatGPT. To explore how the needs of learners in the last few years changed, and what role can L&D play in enabling this shift, People Matters’ CEO and Editor-in-Chief Ester Martinez spoke to Cornerstone’s Chief Learning Officer Marc Ramos in a insightful conversation.

On the emerging trends shaping the future of L&D, Ramos emphasised the need to look at these developments through two lenses: what learners see, experience and consume and what happens behind the scenes. 

Taking the metaphor of kitchen and restaurant, he said: “These are exciting times for the L&D space with multiple chefs in the kitchen - the talent, compensation and rewards leaders - becoming more interoperable. What is happening in the restaurants, what learners see, and what is happening in the kitchen, what learning teams are preparing, are all in a brand new state.”

Connecting the dots with personalised learning

Ramos strongly felt that data is now a lot more open and relevant to both business and individuals, which allows for more accurate alignment of skill gaps to individual learning needs, underlining how technology is changing the way learning is delivered, with adaptive learning paths and AI helping to create more effective and efficient learning experiences.

Since, the only thing that binds all the HR functions is skills. It’s important that learner needs are prioritised with more personalisation and customisation taking place. “It’s important for L&D leaders to step back and not get distracted by all the hype of generative AI and ChatGPT. Understanding the use cases and interpreting correctly where this technology can be used is of prime importance,” he observed.

It’s about speed and accuracy, not just data anymore 

Learning is more than just content creation and curation. The question in point is whether we are able to personalise the curation with speed and accuracy. Sharing the example of Khanmigo, Khan Academy’s AI-powered guide, Ramos explained how smart curation or finding relevant information faster and accurately is more important than just creating content for the learners.  

Generative AI can help you curate content in different forms: videos, text, questions making it even more relevant for the learners. “The concept of Mentor Teacher Bot has  already arrived, the challenge is that of accuracy. However, the current machinery is becoming a lot more efficient,” he added.

Leveraging generative AI for learning

Emphasising the evolving role of L&D leaders, Ramos reiterated the importance of skills and how technology can be leveraged to stitch everything together. Quoting how the Novartis Learning and Talent Management Team put together a construct related to skills with the premise that “Skills is pervasive across the entire (enterprise) - from business needs to learning needs, people hired to fill certain skill areas, to stay competitive.” 

“Skills are in the middle, but what is that entity that makes sure all these different teams and divergent ways of thinking are brought together? As leaders, we need to identify that one thing that can stitch all this together and become the intermediary or broker to organise everything- removing duplication, redundancies, finding commonality, and getting speed and acceleration - for this skills operating system.” 

The possible answer could be using AI for learning portfolio management. Generative AI can help interject all the use cases from different departments to get a more relevant and accurate response. 

“When you think about AI for learning equity, one way is to think if it is more universally applicable for more people. The other way would be: Understanding learning challenges or disabilities and helping you identify and coach learners in different ways,” Ramos added, implying organisational responsibility in terms of thinking about people and their capabilities.

Critical skills L&D leaders need to have

Now is an excellent opportunity for existing learning teams to have that expertise to shine and to showcase best practices for others. L&D leaders must know about ChatGPT, how to put together good prompts, and getting familiar with all the other AI tools ander mechanisms for cross functional partnering.

“As leaders, we need to understand the technological requirements and their impact on business goals and other mechanisms to get that impact- be it learning, talent or finance,” Ramos cited during the interview.

“The skills the learning team needs to have today are: smart curation, training the trainer, as well as how to build scalable templates and approaches. It’s more about shepherding the machine rather than building the corporate castle,” he further added.

Stay curious, stop self-criticism

On areas organisations should take immediate action on, Ramos felt that staying optimistic with a heightened sense of curiosity could be the right approach to start the journey. “Biases can make you a little uncomfortable, but it’s okay to be uncomfortably excited every day. Stop your negativity and be much more curious and open at the same time,” Ramos shared as he recalled his old days with Google.

Key Takeaways: 

  • As we step into the AI-powered future of work, it is critical to analyse and understand the long-term impact of automation. 

  • With most facets of work undergoing a paradigm shift, interoperability will be key as we move towards an AI-centred future. This is set to have a lasting impact on learning, with generative AI possessing the capability to curate different types of content based on the learners’ requirements. 

  • It is critical that L&D leaders take charge, upskill themselves and focus on platforms such as ChatGPT and other AI tools and understand the significance of prompt engineering. 

Artificial Intelligence, generative AI and Machine Learning have all ensured a bright future for the world of L&D. With more focus being placed on learners’ needs than ever before, it will be exciting to see the extent of impact automation will have on creating efficient workforces and, by extension, successful organisations. 

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Topics: Technology, HR Technology, Learning & Development

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