L&D Strategies

AI-Powered Training Programs: What Does the Future Hold for Your Business?

Androniki Koumadoraki Content Writer LearnWorlds
9 min
employees using digital devices

“The machines are here for our jobs!” We have all heard some version or another of this oversimplified and exaggerated statement, right?

True, the machines𑁋that also go by the much cooler name Artificial Intelligence𑁋 have integrated into the workplace. They’re changing how businesses operate by automating tasks, revolutionizing data analysis, and transforming services and customer experience, among other things.

But the truth is that AI is creating jobs as much as it is abolishing. Because AI is not exactly substituting humans – it’s changing the way we do our jobs.

According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs 2020 report, “technological adoption by companies will transform tasks, jobs, and skills by 2025.” Around 85 million jobs may be displaced by a shift in the division of labor between humans and machines, while 97 million new roles may emerge.

As this technological integration continues, the changing needs in skill sets will only widen the current skills gap. Employers must implement corporate L&D programs to reskill and upskill their workforce quickly. Employees are well aware of this fact and fully onboard.

In fact, most employees put career development opportunities high on their list of demands when seeking employment. Whether their employer offers these opportunities or not determines their future in the company.

Would you like to hear something funny? Artificial Intelligence can actually help solve the skills gap problem that it’s creating.

In Oracle’s AI @ Work 2021 Global Research Report, 85% of people said they were unsatisfied with their company’s support, with 34% asking for more L&D opportunities.
Interestingly, the same report shows that employees are not simply well-disposed toward the machines – they believe in them more than they believe in their human employers. 82% of respondents stated they believe that robots can assist their careers better than humans. Another 85% want technology to help define their future (careerwise).

Employees are on to something. AI-powered corporate training can facilitate upskilling by identifying individual skills gaps and suggesting the optimal learning path for each employee.

That sounds intriguing, no?

Read on to learn more about how Artificial Intelligence is changing the corporate training landscape, and how A.I. in Education is not new but brings huge changes in today’s society.

AI-Related Terms Υou Should Know

Before we discuss how Artificial Intelligence can transform corporate training in your organization, let’s see what Artificial Intelligence is about and what related terms you must know.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence is pretty straightforward at its core: it’s a machine’s simulation of human intelligence. In other words, machines learn to think and act like humans. AI programming takes place in three stages:

Machine Learning

Machine learning is a type of AI in which humans train a system to perform various tasks by exposing it to different variables, not by programming.

A characteristic example of machine learning is a bot replying to requests for information – a function you can use to support employee training and customer education.

Machine learning algorithms can also predict outcomes. By monitoring and analyzing a learner’s past performance, they can identify skill gaps and offer content recommendations that will best cover the learner’s needs.

Deep Learning

Deep learning is another type of AI and machine learning. It’s a teaching method where an artificial neural network and convolutional neural networks of two or three layers are created and imitate the way people learn..

Examples of deep learning are machine translation, self-driving cars, speech recognition, computer vision, data mining, predictive analytics, and so much more. Deep learning in corporate training can be found in automatic translations of training content and advanced learning analytics.

Machine Learning vs. Deep Learning

The key differentiator between machine and deep learning is that machine learning processes structured data, i.e., data that has been somehow labeled and structured by humans, while deep learning processes unstructured data.

Natural Language Processing

Natural Language Processing (NLP) is another type of machine learning which teaches computers to understand, process, and produce language. Typical examples of NLP are voice assistants and machine translation.

How does NLP fit into corporate training? Think about chatbots replying to questions and text translations. Or NLP monitoring solutions that track and analyze learner behavior and attention spans.

What is AI-Powered Training, and Ηow Does Ιt Work?

AI-powered corporate learning is training assisted by Artificial Intelligence. Usually, the training takes place using an AI-enhanced Learning Management System (LMS).

An AI tool should have the following characteristics:

Just like Artificial Intelligence in the workplace is there to assist and not replace humans, AI-powered training is not meant to substitute instructor-led or blended learning. No matter how intelligent it gets, its scope is not to replace live instruction but to improve the learning experience for employees and reduce the workload of instructors and anyone involved in the course development process.

Take bots, for example; they can assist with teaching by answering straightforward questions and even with mentoring, as they can direct learners to the best courses. However, they can’t answer complex questions, demonstrate job-specific tasks, or effectively model and evaluate soft skills.

Undeniably though, the capabilities of Artificial Intelligence remain impressive. So next, we’ll see how the functions mentioned above translate into long-term benefits for your corporate training programs and your business.

11 Benefits of Implementing AI-Powered Corporate Training

Let’s see how AI can contribute to corporate L&D programs (and beyond!) and transform them from a linear process to an exciting learning journey for every employee.

1. Personalized Learning Paths

Creating linear learning paths for your employees sounds sensible. Ultimately, it’s in your best interest to streamline training and ensure everyone is trained equally. In this approach, however, the knowledge level, skill gaps, and learning preferences of each employee are not taken into consideration.

Artificial Intelligence can meet individual training needs and help all employees reach the same level of competency while following a personalized learning path. Here’s how it works:

2. On-The-Job Learning

Although this does not fall under traditional training, it’s worth mentioning how AI-powered work tools also promote learning on the job. Initially, they monitor user interactions with the tool. If the tool notices that the user isn’t interacting with a specific feature they would benefit from, they notify the user about it and offer help with a feature demonstration. This way, the employee learns on the job and immediately puts into practice what they’ve been taught, enhancing their work process.

3. Task Automation

Artificial Intelligence can replace human intelligence in mundane manual tasks around course development and learning assistance. Consequently, you have more time at your disposal and are less likely to make mistakes or overlook something.

4. Accessible Training

Artificial Intelligence creates truly inclusive training initiatives in every sense of the word. AI tools can assist learners with visual or hearing disabilities who would otherwise struggle to keep up. AI can read texts, describe images, decipher emotions, and recognize and transcribe speech.

An AI-powered learning platform removes language barriers as well. Thanks to NLP, AI can help employees from different countries understand the course material better. Not only can AI automatically translate the course content. The AI assistant will be able to understand employee questions in their native tongue and reply.

5. Faster Learning

We explained before how AI understands learner needs and responds to them by continuously adapting their learning path so they can reach their learning goals faster. This happens by identifying employee skill gaps and learning preferences and making on-point course and content recommendations.

Employees skip modules that are below their knowledge level and would just waste their time and energy. At the same time, they learn with the eLearning content that matches their learning styles. They learn what they need to learn fast and improve their performance.

6. Real-Time Feedback and Assistance

Asynchronous corporate training programs often suffer a lack of real-time feedback and interaction. With AI-powered learning, learners can get the assistance they need anytime they access their training.

The virtual assistant can give them a hint when they can’t reply to a quiz question, offer feedback on the spot once they submit their answer, and even answer simple questions they have.

AI predictive data analytics can also help identify learners falling behind and provide additional resources. The instructor will get notified and reach out to the learner offering timely assistance and helping them get back on track with their learning.

7. Higher Engagement

Artificial Intelligence increases learner engagement with the course in multiple ways and results in an overall superior user experience.

First, AI algorithms create a tailor-made learning experience for every employee, emphasizing their favorite types of content and leaving out redundant modules and material they don’t like. This makes it easier for learners to stay focused and engaged throughout the course and have better knowledge retention.

The use of virtual assistants and bots also plays a significant role in increasing engagement. Despite being machines, AI chatbots add real-time interactivity to the course and resolve learner questions, allowing them to move on in the course at their own pace.

8. Social Learning Experience

Most modern online learning solutions include some type of online community that encourages learner interactions, most commonly through groups or course discussions. Add the power of AI into online communities, and you’ll have the best social learning experience for your employees.

Because each time a learner shares content, AI identifies users that have shown interest in similar pieces of content in the past and notifies them. This takes the social learning experience to the next level, as no new content goes unnoticed, giving more learners incentive to join in and actively participate in knowledge sharing.

9. Reduced L&D Costs

Among the top benefits of AI for business is that it can reduce the cost of Learning and Development in the long run. Despite the initial investment, using AI technology in corporate learning programs decreases training speed while maximizing effectiveness, which is evident in better employee performance and, subsequently, higher employee satisfaction.

10. Efficient Customer Onboarding

All businesses know how important it is to help your customers start using your product and get value from it as soon as possible – something they can achieve only with customer onboarding. With a personalized learning program and the timely assistance of bots, customer onboarding becomes faster and more effective than ever, enabling businesses to secure product adoption and build a loyal client base.

11. Better Learning Analytics

The more data you feed AI with, the better. AI collects and analyzes data regarding learner interaction with the course overall and specific pieces of training content. AI algorithms record and synthesize this data over time and across different courses, thereby generating accurate predictions for future content consumption and enabling you to optimize future training experiences.

Overcoming 3 Common Challenges When Implementing AI-Based Training Programs

Implementing an AI-powered training program is no different from implementing any online corporate training course. Any additional challenges that may arise are mainly related to how AI works: data collection.

Initial Data

Data is the fuel of AI. AI technology heavily relies on data to produce algorithms and start doing its job. For example, your learning platform can’t perform auto-tagging unless it has processed many training resources that will enable it to identify common keywords and categorize the content.

The same goes for personalized recommendations to learners – they need to have been using the LMS for a while before the system identifies patterns in their behavior and which content they consume the most.

Inevitably, it will be a while before AI can reach the maximum of its capabilities and unlock all its functionalities connected to learning personalization. But the more options you give employees, the faster the system can gather data.

Worries About User Data

Employees might be worried about monitoring learner behavior and data processing closely. In this case, the best course of action is to be transparent and let employees know which data is collected and how it’s being used. To secure data privacy, implement advanced cybersecurity measures and data anonymization.

Understanding AI’s Limitations

There’s only so much Artificial Intelligence can do regarding actual teaching. The interaction with AI chatbots is helpful but can’t replace human interaction nor reach the educational value of a live training session or a discussion among peers. AI can never replace human tutors.

Over relying on AI is a trap you must not fall into. A course is only as good as its content. Therefore, you should focus on creating quality content and a variety of resources to cover different preferences.

So, Will You Side With the Robots?

More and more businesses have come to understand that one-size-fits-all training is a thing of the past for employee training, customer education, for any form of online learning. Artificial Intelligence supercharges training with automation functions, personalized suggestions, and assistance for learners with disabilities. Employees and customers expect and deserve effective training. So, what’s your opinion, will you side with the robots or not?

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Androniki Koumadoraki Content Writer LearnWorlds
Androniki Koumadoraki

Androniki is a Content Writer at LearnWorlds sharing Instructional Design and marketing tips. With solid experience in B2B writing and technical translation, she is passionate about learning and spreading knowledge. She is also an aspiring yogi, a book nerd, and a talented transponster.