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Generative AI for L&D: Hype, Hysteria or Somewhere In-Between

08 August 2023

3 Min Read

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I don’t know if you’ve heard, but artificial intelligence is making some news. Let’s be honest; at best, you can’t avoid mentioning AI for more than a day. Whether it’s an article like “How AI Will Completely Change the Way We Live in the Next 20 Years” or one that states “AI Is a Waste of Time,” AI is unavoidable. And while sentiment ranges from AI heralding the end of humanity to it being the next forgettable tech fad (Metaverse?), the truth lies between these two extremes.

It’s tough to discern the reality of what’s happening amidst the breathless cacophony surrounding the topic. The speed with which these technologies have emerged and propagated is a big reason why. Most organizations were still wrapping their heads around machine learning and artificial intelligence when generative AI like ChatGPT began flooding the news.

While I find AI fascinating, it’s my job to help companies understand what it means for their organization, specifically learning and talent development. One thing is certain; these new tools further complicate an already complex learning technology marketplace. Almost every technology provider has AI in their messaging, on their website, on a T-shirt – even in their name! Not only do tech buyers need to figure out what vendors mean by AI, but also, more importantly, what AI means to them.

The first question L&D professionals should ask themselves is, “What do we want or need AI to do for us?”. When searching for solutions, it’s imperative to have problems or challenges to solve. While tools like ChatGPT for generating text and Stable Diffusion for generating images are game-changing, how will they help L&D teams engage and develop their learners?

ChatGPT could be used to create content or even curriculum, but it’s far from being able to stand independently without human intervention. AI can also be used to develop videos based on specific prompts. Still, if examples like this AI-generated pizza commercial are indicative of the outcomes (spoiler: they are), they are not ready for primetime.

“Pepperoni Hug Spot. It’s like family but with more cheese.” 

– AI-Made TV Commercial

L&D teams need to look at AI through the lens of their specific needs. Does the organization need a tool to generate surveys based on stated requirements? Perhaps it needs a tool to help turn a subject matter expert’s words into images. It could be a tool to recommend learning opportunities based on a learner’s specific needs.

Schoox has AI technology built into our platform that uses algorithms to recommend career paths, skills, and content. These are all practical applications of AI that are readily available. And we’re exploring how emerging AI technologies, like generative AI, can provide real business value for our customers.

There is little doubt that AI represents an evolution in how technology works and is created. However, it is crucial to understand better what this technology does and how it can be leveraged without getting swept away by either hype or hysteria.

David Wentworth Headshor

About the Author: David Wentworth
David is the VP, Learning & Talent Development Platform Evangelist at Schoox. He brings more than a decade of knowledge to the company, including a deep understanding of the workplace technology industry, with an emphasis on learning and development.

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