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Less than 2 weeks away from the start of DevLearn 2019 and we are finalizing our plans, selecting sessions and getting excited (can you tell?) for everything that our team will learn at the conference.
DevLearn 2019 kicks off with a keynote from Sophia the Robot, an advanced humanoid robot, created by Dr. David Hanson of Hanson Robotics. Sophia will be engaging in a live interview and sharing her perspectives on how robots and AI are changing the nature of work. As I plan my schedule for DevLearn 2019, Emerging tech, AI, Machine Learning and LXP sessions are at the top of my list.
I love technology, it’s at the heart of what we do! But I have questions…..
We're smitten with technology. And we're afraid, like young lovers, that too much talking might spoil the romance. But it's time to talk. – Sherry Turkle
L&D as the end game!
AI and machine learning have already made their mark on nearly every aspect of the modern business and consumer experience, except in Learning & Development. Just like everything in L&D, we are the end game, the last mile and this means we are often the last to adopt and/or benefit from advances in technology. Same is true for AI but not because we don’t want to, it is because we don’t have the time, resources, budget and support to make it a reality. For this reason, we in the L&D field are constantly playing catch-up in a rapidly changing world of work.
How can we embrace AI in Learning?
Personalization and Contextual Learning
AI and Machine Learning already gives us a personalized, contextual, and customized experience; Alexa and Amazon Shopping, Facebook Ads, Google predictive searching, and Customer Service ChatBots to name just a few. But we in L&D are still tied to the “old” ways through audience analysis, customized learning paths and some recommended learning through key words and search terms. Why? Because we don’t have the time, resources, budget or even support at the senior level to invest in the back end of learning technology to make this a reality in the future. We love to talk about technology and how it will change the way we work in the future, but this all takes a lot of work to get the content in a format that is usable for true personalization in learning.
When are we going to have the resources and time to make it a reality?
What wakes me up at night and tickles the back of my brain is, with all of this technology, innovation, emergence of AI and Machine Learning that we have at our fingertips, how do we make it work in L&D when we are still seen as an afterthought?
How do we get the content in there?
In nearly every other part of a business (B2B or B2C) we already have business systems in place for capturing the information which can then be utilized by AI and Machine learning and into ChatBots and digital assistants to provide just-in-time information when you need it. These systems are primarily driven by marketing, customer support, professional services and operations/logistics. These functions are already gathering a wealth of information that can be used to then inform and support the consumer. We don’t have these sophisticated systems in place in L&D.
L&D is still stuck in the tech dark ages because we don’t have a seat at the table, we are not a part of the Digital Transformation conversation in business. When will L&D get a seat at the Digital Transformation table?
The challenge we are facing
Without the resources, time, budget and organizational support, we can’t yet make this a reality. Getting the content from our existing courses, modules and objects into a format that can be consumed and utilized by AI and Machine Learning is a seemingly insurmountable task.
Let’s look at the numbers:
“Hey boss, I think ChatBots are the way to go for better supporting our learners but I need the next year+ to convert our existing content into a usable format? So, I can just ignore all my other projects, right?!”