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ATD Blog

UMU, ATD Discuss AI Usage in Talent Development

Wednesday, May 17, 2023

Artificial intelligence (AI) is not a new technology, but according to an ATD report, it is beginning to gain a foothold in learning and talent development. The survey, conducted in the second half of 2022, showed that most TD professionals plan to use AI for learning within the next 24 months. During a recent webinar, UMU and ATD discussed the use of AI in talent development.

According to AI in Learning and Talent Development: Embracing Its Future Potential in the Workplace, 25 percent of respondents who currently employ AI use it for personalized learning experiences and to measure learning initiatives and business impact. Respondents not currently using AI would most likely use it to measure learning and business impact (46 percent), for analytics (45 percent), to personalize learning experiences (45 percent), and for real-time training support for talent and learning initiatives (45 percent).

“The data shows that the majority of people are either testing or planning to test AI out in the next two years,” said Tony Bingham, president and CEO of ATD. “I think if we conducted the survey today, the responses about chatbot usage would be different because of the accelerated rise of ChatGPT. The data also shows how fast AI is changing.”

AI has huge potential for organizational use, according to UMU Founder and CEO Dongshuo Li. “It can improve individuals’ productivity by helping them achieve more and spend less effort doing it, which also can be good for their overall well-being. It is also beneficial for senior talent—it can save them time so they can focus on other areas of expertise. So, AI can help both individuals and organizations.”

Customer service and sales enablement had the highest AI application use (20 and 25 percent, respectively), according to the report. Although the data showed that AI was not presently regularly used for compliance training, 35 percent of respondents expect to use AI for compliance training in the next 24 months.


“In terms of where AI can be used, I would look to places where you see people trying to learn a new topic or where the documentation of learning transfer is required or critical to business,” Bingham noted. “AI also can guarantee knowledge transfer. In compliance, you can document the learning because with AI-based learning, users can’t progress until the material is absorbed. So, it gives organizations that are highly regulated the assurance that the knowledge has been transferred to the individual.”

The top outcomes highlighted in the report were increased time and speed at which learning could be deployed (41 percent) and increased employee engagement with learning (40 percent). Other benefits included improved organizational performance (37 percent), better-prepared employees to meet future business needs (33 percent), and better employee retention (12 percent).


“According to the data, AI helps an organization prevent unwanted turnover, and that’s a big part of retention,” Dongshuo explained. “Retention of your key individuals is important, and you want to ensure that your key individuals are advancing as fast as they can and have all the tools they need at their disposal.”

Although the report showed that AI use is low in learning and talent development, Dongshuo and Bingham are confident that TD professionals and organizations are becoming more knowledgeable about AI and its role in learning, which will lead to more TD professionals incorporating AI into their learning initiatives.

“It’s early and I think the data is going to change dramatically over time,” Bingham added. “We can use this data as a good benchmark as we see how AI use changes in the future.”

About the Author

Paula Ketter is ATD's content strategist. Previously, she served as editor of ATD's periodicals.

1 Comment
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I was honored to contribute to this research and it has my highest endorsement. It's wonderful to see ATD partnering with forward-thinking organizations like UMU, who recognize the potential to harness AI to enhance productivity, accelerate learning and increase human potential. I see AI as a marvelous (if somewhat flawed) tool that will only get better if we work with it. Thanks, Paula!
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