January 2024
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Your AI Questions, Answered

Tuesday, January 2, 2024

Generative AI augments the L&D function; it doesn't replace it.

Artificial intelligence has become a zeitgeist. That doesn't mean, however, that society genuinely understands the technology. In "Unlocking the Power of AI," Myra Roldan provides a primer on AI, beginning with a description. AI consists of two main components: machine learning, which powers the systems to function, analyzes data, and makes predictions; and deep learning, which provides the data that trains machine learning models to recognize patterns.


Traditional AI is designed to solve problems, Roldan explains, while generative AI creates new content based on the data it has consumed (for example, ChatGPT).

Generative AI is most intriguing and holds the greatest promise for L&D, creating content based on prompts from industry professionals. Such prompts may include "generate a list of potential learning objectives," "write a learning plan," or "provide recommendations for improvement."

There are many myths circulating L&D's relationship with AI—for example, the idea that AI will make learning content fully personalized. While it is true that AI can help with personalization, it will require nuanced human design and experience for training to be tailored to context. Another myth is that AI will replace human tutors and coaches. The social-emotional connection of human teachers, however, is vital for learner success. AI tutors are narrow supplements, not substitutes.


Interested in experimenting? Start small, involve stakeholders, and evaluate rigorously, Roldan advises.

These tips were adapted from the January 2024 issue of TD at Work. Learn more at td.org/TDatWork.

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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