How A.I. could affect the world of corporate training

artificial intelligence conceptual digital image
Thinkstock

Artificial intelligence (A.I.) is already being used by businesses to interpret data, learn from customers’ actions, and even communicate to their customers.

But it’s being underutilized in the corporate training world. Corporate training takes time, both from your incoming workers and your trainers, and how you invest that time has a direct bearing on the productivity and morale of the employees who come out of it.

Fortunately, we’re on the verge of seeing a breakthrough in A.I. training, which could improve employee productivity, skills, and job satisfaction all at once.

How A.I. could improve corporate training

So what could A.I. do to make our training programs better? Here are five areas where A.I. could have an impact:

More individualized experiences

According to TalentLMS, part of the success of any training program is its ability to respond to individual needs. There are several reasons for this; for starters, employees are more engaged when they’re seen as unique individuals, rather than cogs in a giant machine.

Also, each person has a different learning style, and an adaptive program would be able to adjust a training program to those learning styles on the fly. For example, machine learning could transform a portion of written coursework into visuals for more visual learners.

Recursive feedback for improvement

No training program is going to be perfect immediately, but with most training programs having a digital element, it’s time-consuming and expensive to make changes on any kind of frequent basis.

Depending on the nature of your industry and the size of your business, your training programs should be updated at least quarterly, if not monthly. An A.I. program could feasibly handle this for you -- at least in some ways. It could gather information about employee engagement or failure points within the program, and automatically test new variations to try and solve the problem on its own.

More detailed reports on effectiveness and ROI

According to Training Industry, the focal point of a training program should be achieving a measurable return for the business relying on it. That means evaluating how each employee is learning and what type of impact it has on their future ability to work.

An A.I. program could more effectively measure each employee’s engagement with the program, and intelligently compare their results to a control population to figure out whether the program is doing its job. It would then, of course, be able to make adjustments to the program to improve it.

Intuitive, intelligent tests and quizzes

Most modern training programs, especially those automated with software, include some kind of test or quiz -- both to help employees recap what they’ve learned and to loosely measure the effectiveness of the program. Tests and quizzes developed with A.I. may extend beyond the basic question-and-answer format, and may adapt themselves based on individual progressions and needs. This would increase employee enjoyment of the program, as well as the program’s capacity to teach.

Smarter interfaces for workers

We’re already starting to enter an era where engaging with A.I. programs is borderline creepy. We have chat bots that can pass the Turing Test, and voice recognition software that understands exactly what we’re saying.

The next step for A.I. in training programs is going to be developing smarter, more intuitive interfaces that employees can use to more effectively engage with each program. This may include human-like conversations and engagements, or simply smarter UI for on-screen interactions. In any case, this area may also be capable of recursive self-improvement, so the potential is practically infinite.

How close are we to this reality?

Specialized A.I. programs are commonplace these days, in everything from voice search to trading stocks, so it’s important to remember that A.I. is already a reality. Many A.I. programs focus on consumer applications and other high-profitability areas, but as A.I. gets more affordable and more sophisticated, it will become easier to integrate with other systems.

In the span of the next few years, we expect to see a greater A.I. presence in employee training programs. In a decade or two, the way we work will likely transform so radically that specialized training A.I. may seem like small potatoes.

This article is published as part of the IDG Contributor Network. Want to Join?