What is your company’s approach to new technologies like AI (artificial intelligence)? There are those that want to be on the leading edge, which is easy for companies that have the resources to be early adopters. Other companies take a more cautious approach, waiting to see how a technology develops and matures or becomes more affordable, thereby hoping to be fast followers who jump on the bandwagon at a time that makes more sense to them.
Both approaches have their merits, but an additional dimension many companies don’t consider is whether or not the approach taken needs to be adjusted based on the nature of the new technology in question. What about AI? Should your company be an early adopter or try to be a fast follower? This is an important question to address because the companies that delay their involvement with AI run the risk of not being able to take full advantage of the benefits artificial intelligence offers.
AI is More Mature than You May Think, but it Takes Time
The foundations of AI are solid and well established, but adapting existing AI technologies to your company’s specific context and unique needs will likely take more time than you think. In fact, it is safe to assume that the sheer amount of time it takes to develop, implement and integrate AI systems into your company’s business processes will stymie your plans to be a fast follower. In other words, if you aren’t currently developing artificial intelligence systems, your company is already way behind the curve. You may be able to catch up if you get started right away, but the available timeframe for exploiting prime opportunities is definitely getting shorter.
The impact of AI on business processes can be profound, but you’ll quickly discover that those business processes will have to be overhauled in order to make the most of AI, and that includes re-tooling individual human tasks. After all, most AI systems don’t operate entirely on their own in a vacuum – they mostly enhance what human workers still have to do. This in turn means that workers have to develop a whole new relationship with AI systems, and probably change the way they do things, or learn to do new things if the new systems take over some of their previous responsibilities.
There is also the matter of maintaining AI systems over time. The algorithms that make artificial intelligence so useful are first built on historical and recent business data and knowledge, which means that as things change over time, the algorithms will naturally decay and become less effective. New data reflecting the changes in business data have to be incorporated into the algorithms to keep them relevant and accurate.
AI in Corporate Learning and Training
How does the AI revolution impact corporate learning and training? It opens up the possibility of automating the tasks around curating personalized learning content for employees based on big data, serving it up based on individual preferences, interests, skills behavior and background. Think about that for a minute – your company’s learning and training staff could conceivably let go of the task of figuring out who needs what and instead focus on generating (or finding) the best content possible.
The benefits that AI can deliver just in terms of streamlining learning and making it more efficient are in of themselves mind-boggling. Every employee comes into a company with a unique set of skills and knowledge. If every employee is sitting in the same training getting the same content, your company is wasting valuable time and resources. Some of the employees don’t need the content and it may be too advanced for others. AI has the potential to take all of those inefficiencies out of the corporate learning process, and that’s huge. A robust AI system applied to corporate learning and training will identify and deliver what each employee needs to excel in their work along with other professional development opportunities. In fact, the right AI system will facilitate just-in-time, on-demand learning that puts most corporate learning and training efforts to shame.
An AI system could also take into account each employee’s learning style to serve up learning content optimized for how the employee prefers to learn. In addition, the AI system could be developed in a way to automatically make recommendations for improving learning content. Analyzing all the data it collects from employees engaging in the content, the AI would identify the areas that need to be tweaked, and perhaps one day even make the improvements on its own.
An increasing number of companies are realizing the many benefits that come with eLearning when compared to more traditional ways of delivering corporate learning and training programs, but very few are leveraging AI to take eLearning to the next level. Companies that want to lead the way on utilizing the power of AI to transform the way learning and training happen in the workplace need to be developing or adopting these systems now.