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10 Immediate Uses for AI in Learning and Development
ATD Blog

3 Ways AI Is Shaping the L&D Future

Tuesday, November 21, 2023
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Artificial intelligence (AI) tools offer almost limitless possibilities, from language translation to immersive virtual learning experiences. An AI-powered future is not theoretical; it’s our reality. This excitement has generated a lot of buzz in the learning and development (L&D) field, but which AI tools are shaping the industry right now? Which applications are leading the charge?

1. AI-Driven Translations

As organizations strive to expand their global reach, translating content accurately and efficiently has become paramount, and traditional methods are often costly and time-consuming. AI’s generative capabilities and large language models (LLMs) provide real solutions to these challenges.

Not surprisingly, different companies approach AI-powered translation in different ways. Established translation companies may leverage AI to enhance their capabilities while maintaining high-quality standards. Emerging tech startups might build user-friendly platforms that connect users to LLMs. Some provide self-service tools for efficient translations, and others offer a hybrid solution, combining machine translation with human translators for refined results.

Some organizations are also setting up LLM-powered translation departments. This approach allows them to use their own data and create a customized translation history—offering more control but requiring a deep understanding of AI and a commitment to managing it effectively.

But AI’s impact on L&D goes beyond text translation. Some tools can generate videos from text and seamlessly translate them into multiple languages, offering a dynamic and efficient solution for creating multilingual content.

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2. AI-Generated Video

The potential of AI-generated video is exciting. But as our industry’s experience with it matures, our standards for quality and effectiveness also continue to mature. For example, some AI-generated avatars provide compelling voiceovers, but with off-balance lip-syncing that can significantly disrupt a viewer’s experience.

Imagine we’re using AI to generate a dishwasher-loading tutorial video. We feed the AI tool a script about how to properly load a dishwasher, and it provides a library of clips to illustrate those steps. The AI system might sequence the steps correctly, but it might not explain the importance of placing tableware in a particular way to ensure proper cleaning—because it lacks the full scope of human knowledge and experience.

Human intervention becomes invaluable in situations like these. Video producers can refine and polish the video, aligning it with their creative vision and expertise, or add critical information to explain why we do things a certain way. This collaborative approach leverages AI to handle repetitive tasks and automate production while preserving the essential human touch that defines a well-crafted video.

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3. Personal Productivity Bots

Productivity bots have the potential to become indispensable assistants that help us avoid meeting fatigue. One of the most remarkable aspects of productivity bots is their capacity to reduce the burden of repetitive tasks. They allow you to focus on what you do best while they provide a valuable safety net, ensuring no task slips through the cracks.

Imagine you find yourself in a back-to-back meeting schedule. Even if you take your own notes, you might still miss important details. An AI productivity bot can fill in those gaps by accompanying you to each meeting, listening in, transcribing discussions, summarizing key points, and even identifying action items.

But it doesn’t stop there. These bots can integrate seamlessly into your workflow, making appointments on your calendar and sending you reminders to follow through on your commitments. For instance, if you promised to deliver a report by Friday in a meeting on Tuesday, your trusty productivity bot will keep you on track by sending you nudges throughout the week.

The AI-Powered L&D Future

Just a decade ago, many of these ideas—AI-generated translations and videos or personal productivity bots—would have sounded like science fiction. Yet today we find ourselves at the cusp of a new era in learning and talent development, driven by the power of AI.

The magic in all these AI solutions lies in our ability to collaborate with them. They complement our capabilities, augmenting our work rather than automating it entirely. They excel at handling the mundane while we, as human experts, contribute creativity, critical thinking, and empathy.

About the Author

Matt Donovan is the senior vice president and chief learning and innovation officer at GP Strategies. He is a recognized name in learning, bringing more than 25 years of experience crafting learner-centric solutions and leading high-impact development teams. Not only has he received a large assortment of industry awards, including being named one of Training Magazine's Top 10 International Trainers under 40, his articles are regularly published and presented at a variety of national and international conferences. In his current role, Donovan has collaboratively implemented and grown GP Strategies’ Innovation Kitchen. You will often find him presenting at global industry conferences or writing articles for industry-specific publications.

In his former role as the global leader for digital learning strategies and solutions, Donovan oversaw the multifaceted team responsible for creating an extensive portfolio of engaging learning experiences employed by Fortune Global 500 companies. Many of these courses have received industry awards and recognition.

Donovan joined GP Strategies in 2009 with the acquisition of Option Six. He has an M.S. in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University.

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