With all the hype surrounding the recent breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, you could be forgiven for thinking that AI had just been discovered. Not to take away from recent innovations like ChatGPT, but I think the writing was on the wall back in 1996 when Chess Grandmaster, Gary Kasparov, split a two-game chess match against IBM’s Deep Blue computer. With Kasparov’s defeat in the second match, the world knew that AI had arrived.
Fast-forward nearly 30 years, and we are now experiencing a quantum leap in the capability of AI to transform every aspect of human life. Yet, perhaps the most sobering thought is that we remain in the early stages of the AI revolution with an uncertain path forward, no assurance as to where it will take us, and no way of knowing how powerful it will become.
Those concerns recently motivated over 1000 AI experts to call for a six-month pause in AI development. At the same time, former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates responded by saying that AI would not “solve the challenges” that lie ahead. Instead, he suggested that people focus on putting AI’s vast benefits to work.
I tend to side with Gates. As Redwood Performance Group celebrates its 20th anniversary, I’ve seen many exciting developments in the learning space that have made our work as designers and producers more productive and efficient than ever before. While we don’t fully understand AI’s future capabilities or how fast it will evolve, we know that recent AI technology has transformed Learning & Development on several levels. Here are just a few of the more powerful trends:
As eLearning providers, we understand how a more personalized and practical learning experience improves learner engagement and outcomes. AI offers the promise of courses personalized for each learner to an unprecedented degree—all made possible by algorithms and AI that gauge and respond to a learner’s real-time performance.
Knowledge checks will intuitively understand the right time to ask the right question. Areas of difficulty can be instantly detected and addressed through targeted interventions. With these and many other capabilities, it’s little wonder that Bill Gates and other AI proponents recognize AI’s potential to revolutionize the availability and efficacy of education globally.
Based on submitted course content, AI will offer suggestions, such as whether using text, video, animation, testimonials, etc., is most beneficial to achieving specific learning objectives. In addition, since AI is adaptive and learns on the fly, machine learning algorithms will adjust the content type and difficulty level based on the learner’s performance.
Creating engaging gamification is a more complex and time-consuming aspect of instructional design. Here again, AI comes to the rescue with its ability to design gamification that keeps learning challenging and engaging. As with every other aspect of eLearning, AI won’t replace your instructional designers, but it will make them significantly more creative, productive, and efficient.
Chances are you’re increasingly using AI technology to design and build courses. At Redwood, we use AI to transcribe recordings, edit videos, and assist with graphic design. The latest advancements in AI take these capabilities up a major notch to unprecedented levels of productivity and efficiency.
AI can transcribe hours of interviews in minutes, generate sophisticated images and graphics with a few text prompts, or translate your course into just about any language on the planet with a few keyboard commands. Does this mean you can kick back and expect AI to handle the entire production? Not yet—but by significantly reducing these menial tasks, our design team can focus their energy on creative solutions to complex client challenges.
Predictive analytics describes a data-driven approach that analyzes learner data to predict future progress. For example, it enables fast and accurate analysis of a learner’s performance, predicts future outcomes, and adjusts course content accordingly.
One of AI’s more game-changing capabilities is understanding and communicating in human-like conversation. With computers now able to process and analyze human language, this creates many possibilities, such as instant analysis of written exercises, real-time feedback delivery, and more human-like avatars and coaches.
Kristen DiCerbo, Chief Learning Officer, Khan Academy captured the potential of AI in education in the following statement:
“We think GPT-4 is opening up new frontiers in education. A lot of people have dreamed about this kind of technology for a long time. It’s transformative, and we plan to proceed responsibly with testing to explore if it can be used effectively for learning and teaching.”
As with any powerful emerging technology, caution is warranted. Gary Kasparov, in a recent Twitter post, perfectly captured the importance of taking a balanced approach as we integrate AI into an increasing number of human activities:
“Saying AI will save or destroy because of a sophisticated chat app makes as much sense as the utopianism and doomsaying that occurred after my loss to Deep Blue. We are surpassed by tech, and we adapt. We learn to use it to our advantage, over and over.”
At Redwood, we couldn’t agree more. We appreciate the current benefits of AI and can’t wait to witness – and play a role in delivering – the magic its future capabilities will bring to the learning space!