Artificial intelligence has permeated almost every aspect of business life. It has learned how humans do things and then figured out more efficient ways of performing the same tasks. Until recently, many experts agreed that AI was incapable of communicating effectively with individuals. Forbes even states that AI can't replace humans in the world of corporate communications. However, AI chatbots have changed a lot of the consumer-facing part of corporate interactions. The use of AI has even extended to training and development.
The Impact on Training Regimens
Training Magazine mentions that AI stands to offer a massive return on investment for learning and development in corporate environments. An AI teaching agent doesn't need to be paid the same as a regular worker, and it is available to trainees at any time of the day or night. This flexibility means that trainees can use their time as they see fit and be more flexible about what time of day they dedicate themselves to learning. An AI instructor is also more engaging to a student than merely looking at a pre-recorded video, since it can interpret and answer questions that the student poses. The increased engagement comes from the methodology behind AI training assistants.
How AI Training Works
AI training assistants don't just depend upon artificial intelligence but combine AI with a technological advancement known as natural language processing (NLP). Towards Data Science defines NLP as the field of data science that enables AI to read, understand, and interpret the meaning of words. NLP allows AI training assistants to operate on a level that is close to a human trainer. During a training session with an AI training assistant, a command typically goes through four steps:
1. Recognition of the Command. The AI picks up the command in the student's voice, then filters out background noise and interprets the command based on the words it deciphers.
2. Database Connection. The AI connects to the particular servers or databases where the information resides.
3. Specify the Problem. The AI will then look at the query presented by the student and determine what they want to figure out. Defining the problem allows the AI to prepare an appropriate response.
4. Respond to the Question. The AI then replies, either vocally (through a speech synthesizer) or through text, as is the case with most AI bots.
Smart Learning Assistants
AI training assistants have gotten to the point where they can do many routine tasks efficiently. Through the collection and querying of data, an AI training assistant can determine the efficiency of training through outcomes, and even help struggling learners with specific areas in which they demonstrate weakness. The lack of a face removes judgment from the equation, allowing students to ask seemingly "silly" questions of the instructor without feeling stupid. Harvard Business Review notes that using a robot to train surgeons resulted in fewer risks to the organization and the human trainer as well.
In the past, training within organizations required scheduling classes and face-to-face interactions. The new generation of employees doesn't have the same demands for learning as the employees of yesteryear. Many of millennial employees grew up on the premise of on-demand learning. They are familiar with interaction over the internet and finding the information they require to solve problems on a piecemeal basis. The implementation of AI to help these employees learn leverages their familiarity with digital instruction.
The Role of Learning
Human beings are always learning. How we internalize information takes several different forms based on what we want to do. Whether it's training on STCW courses for engineering operations on a boat, or increasing vocabulary for better communication with the board, the end goal is being better at what we do. Despite this, training systems have consistently failed to deliver on the promise of training employees promptly. With the improvements in AI and their dedication to the field of learning and development, the area might have finally found the most efficient way to deliver training to those who need it.