How Will AI Transform Learning & Development?

It’s almost impossible these days to have a conversation with learning or talent professionals without talking about AI or generative AI — and ChatGPT in particular.

Everyone wants to know how AI will impact learning and, in particular, how it will impact L&D jobs. The short answer is that AI will change – and is in the process of changing – pretty much every aspect of learning.

AI and generative AI will eventually do everything from automating administrative tasks and the creation of training content to creating customized learning experiences and simulating virtual mentors or coaches that provide guidance, support, and feedback to employees.

“Over time, generative AI will change the role of instructional designers (IDs),” said the L&D director for a technology services provider serving the insurance industry. “The jobs of instructional designers as they stand today are in danger of extinction, so they will need to have a higher level of thinking if they are going to survive.”

EI – Powered by MPS, a Brandon Hall Group™ Smartchoice® Preferred Provider, has been at the forefront of creating transformational learning experiences for more than 30 years. Their experts can provide a deep understanding of the potential of AI to transform the industry, as they do here.

But while the future is bright, most people believe far more research and development are needed to ensure reliability and validity, according to Brandon Hall Group™ research. There are also concerns about errors that could lead to serious mistakes or potential liability (76% of respondents), lack of a human touch (71%) and that the technology will be seen as a threat to jobs (55%).

The advice most learning leaders provide is:

  • Learn everything you can about AI and GenAI
  • Understand what it can do
  • Understand especially what it can’t do, because the future of the L&D function and the role of L&D professionals will depend on that

Tim Griffith, Senior Director of Training at multi-family housing operator Sequoia Equities on the U.S. West Coast, said he and his learning team are experimenting with ChatGPT. He said it is still not fully ready for many tasks such as in-the-moment talent performance support.

In addition, many learning organizations don’t believe they have the right skill sets.

Griffith also worries about a potential unintended impact on learning. “We already see with Google that people sometimes mistake access to information for knowing about something,” he said. “That could increase many-fold here. Therefore, what I worry about is the impact on our ability to learn things. Will people take the time to learn the skills they need if generative AI provides them with information?”

However, Griffith, a 20-year learning industry veteran, believes generative AI will impact corporate learning in ways that other technological developments have not.

“I believe that this trend is going to stick, and as training professionals we should be on the leading edge of this in our companies because this will eventually change so much of what we do, not just in our field, but in terms of how everyone gets work done,” Griffith said.

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Claude Werder



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Claude Werder

Claude J. Werder Senior Vice President and Principal Analyst, Brandon Hall Group Claude Werder runs Brandon Hall Group’s Talent Management, Leadership Development and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) practices. His specific areas of focus include how organizations must transform culturally and strategically to meet the needs of the emerging workforce and workplace. Claude develops insights and solutions on employee experience, leadership, coaching, talent development, assessments, culture, DE&I, and other topics to help members and clients make talent development a competitive business advantage now and in the evolving future of work. Before joining Brandon Hall Group in 2012, Claude was an HR consultant and also spent more than 25 years as an executive and people leader for media and news organizations. This included a decade as the producer of the HR Technology Conference and Expo. He helped transform it from a small event to the world’s largest HR technology conference. Claude is a judge for the global Brandon Hall Group HCM Excellence Awards and Excellence in Technology Awards, contributes to the company’s HCM certification programs, and produces the firm’s annual HCM Excellence Conference. He is also a certified executive and leadership coach. He lives in Boynton Beach, FL.

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