When people hear the term “artificial intelligence” (AI), there are often conflicting emotions associated with it. Many people and businesses fear the effects of AI rather than embrace the opportunities that could flow from it.
The recent viral news that claims Google created sentient AI has only contributed to the fear of how AI will impact our world and workplaces. Without going into detail about my thoughts and beliefs on this, I will say that I feel businesses are missing the point. We are becoming so stuck in the negative possibilities that could await, that we aren’t considering what – much more likely – positive outcomes could unfold as AI becomes more advanced and accessible.
How Will AI Impact the Training Sector Within the Next 5 Years?
From my personal view, I predict AI will specifically affect the training sector within the next 5 years. With the advancement of AI, will come the development of training accessibility and scalability. Where we currently need people to come in and teach practical and technical skills, AI will be able to offer step-by-step interactive training that follows each employee’s individual journeys with learning. Customer care has already taken the form of AI communication and support in many businesses, and it won’t be long until it will offer tutor-based support within the work environment.
How training providers can work with AI rather than against it
Similarly to blended learning now, when AI enters the training sector, the need for human connection in between online training will still be essential. But what would it look like?
AI will allow employees to learn on-the-job so that training providers won’t need to be readily on-hand for easy solutions. Here’s an example… An electrician finds themselves on a job and unable to connect an electrical system. Instead of leaving the job unfinished, they would be able to consult their AI that has already been encoded with a tree of step-by-step solutions. The training will be accessed through a series of questions and answers that will branch from the specific circumstances.
AI will, however, not be the sole training provider, as there will always be the need for complex training solutions that go beyond a simple embedded answer. Especially in high-level jobs, there will be gaps that will need to be filled by human creativity and innovative problem-solving.
What will the role of a training provider look like?
I believe that there will be a need for two different forms of training providers, being:
- Instructional designers, who will work with subject-matter experts to create content in an online environment that can be readily digested. This trainer will need to be technical in a way that they can understand and map out a decision-tree under different contexts, and create a navigator to the education that’s being applied.
- Facilitators that are specifically needed in the blended learning environment. Their role will be around offering additional support where the navigator isn’t able to offer a solution. These facilitators will need to have operational experience and high-level creative problem-solving skills. When you’ve got a problem that isn’t definable or solved with x (for instance supporting a distressed company that is faced with bankruptcy), there are a multitude of solutions that will need innovative problem-solving that AI will likely not be able to offer any time soon. You will need a facilitator who can apply context and worldly experience.
In short, I believe that if utilised wisely, AI will be one of the most promising technologies in terms of revolutionising learning and development. Not only will it enhance learning, but also improve challenges around efficiency, engagement, interactivity, scalability and recall.
Matt Lambert, Managing Director
Matt has a passion for innovation and doing things differently, which comes from his broad experience in front line and management roles within Business Intelligence, Sales, New Business Development and Commercial Finance held within blue chip companies. Matt has worked across five continents and 19 countries to launch new products, establish sales operations and lead strategic projects.
His passion for education comes from a desire to address fundamental structural issues within Africa. Matt has extensive experience within International Hotel School heading up its Durban Campus before taking over the online business, and then moving to Operations Director, before taking over and growing Summit since the beginning of 2018.