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AI in learning and development: 5 key use cases & benefits

• 8 min read

AI in learning and development

Artificial intelligence and AI tools seem to be on everyone’s mind these days.  Across industries, sectors, and niches, people are wondering:

  • Will AI replace human intelligence altogether?
  • Will it create more jobs than it takes away?

AI is changing the world and changing it fast. Should learning and development (L&D) professionals care? Most definitely yes. A lot of learning management systems (LMS) already have powerful AI-based features which can help make training programs faster and more efficient.

This guide will look at the use cases for AI in e-learning, L&D, and corporate learning. After you see how L&D professionals already use AI, you’ll explore the benefits as well as the challenges that AI brings.

5 use cases of AI in learning and development

Alright, so, there’s a lot of talk about AI. We’ve established that.

But how exactly is it being used today? How do different digital learning solutions incorporate AI features and what do they do?

To answer these questions, here are five use cases of AI in L&D programs.

Use case #1: Virtual coaches

AI-powered virtual coaches are proactive virtual assistants for users on your platform. They can guide learners through learning activities and work within the learning platform to recommend content, monitor progress, answer content-related questions, and send push notifications related to content or deadlines.

Essentially, a virtual learning coach is like a chatbot, similar to the ones used for customer support on various websites and platforms.

Virtual coaches help learners and make the learning process more streamlined. That’s because, unlike human trainers and admins, they’re available 24/7. A virtual coach can answer many basic questions about learning content thus saving time for learners and admins alike.

A gif showing Docebo's virtual coach feature

Docebo comes with a virtual coach that is focused on improving user experience. Your learners can request recommended content, check their progress, and even have the virtual coach ask them multiple-choice questions to test their knowledge. This is a great feature for increasing knowledge retention.

And what’s more, learners don’t have to memorize any special commands thanks to natural language processing.

Use case #2: Deep search and auto-tagging

On an AI-powered learning platform, AI analyzes both formal and informal learning assets and improves their discoverability through search. It’s like the advanced search engines you see on Google or Amazon. When someone shares a new learning asset or creates new training material, the AI synthesizes the information in the asset to produce the most relevant search results.

During this process, AI identifies key phrases and creates tags for assets automatically to make learning content easier to find. Docebo’s Auto-Tagging function identifies key phrases from uploaded learning content and assigns tags automatically, cutting down on the time-consuming task of manual tagging. This helps admins with categorizing content properly and also makes the Deep Search function easier to use for learners.

Furthermore, with Docebo’s Deep Search, if you share an interesting article in your LMS and your coworker needs to reference it a few days later, they can just search for it and find it in seconds. This prevents anyone from needing to dig through a bunch of irrelevant search results.

Use case #3: Personalized learning

Personalization in a corporate environment was once unheard of. Employees were just a drop in the ocean of an organization’s workforce and “one-size-fits-all” was everyone’s mantra.

Now, employee training is a whole new ball game with an emphasis on customization and personalized learning methods. AI can be used to address different learners and different learning styles. A personalized learning experience that adjusts the learning content to individual learners’ needs leads to better learning and engagement.

Among AI’s many functionalities, one crucial one is its ability to provide relevant content suggestions and give recommendations based on an employee’s job title, interests, and the content they’ve already consumed. These AI suggestions are a great way to increase learner autonomy, too. Instead of always relying on their trainers to guide them, employees can find interesting and relevant content themselves, thus enabling self-directed learning. Such algorithms create a more personalized experience with a similar feel to Spotify or Netflix.

A gif showing Docebo's personalized learning feature

Use case #4: Content Creation

Now, it’s all well and good that AI can enable this kind of adaptive learning but who’s going to create all that content for the algorithm to recommend?

Historically, subject matter experts and company employees have taken countless hours out of their busy schedules and existing workloads to create content for L&D programs. However, although team members may be knowledgeable on a certain subject, creating engaging content that uses the latest in learning and developmental theory is a different kind of expertise altogether. Thanks to AI, organizations can save time and money by using this technology that has been trained to create effective and engaging content based on modern learning techniques.

With Shape by Docebo, you can turn internal or external knowledge into easily digestible microlearning “pills.” You can translate them automatically too, for quick deployment in multiple languages.

Use case #5: Identifying learning gaps

The truth is everyone has knowledge gaps. That’s fine, a single person can’t be expected to know everything.

Sometimes though, these knowledge and skill gaps affect employee performance and companies have to address them.

Without any AI help, closing knowledge gaps can be a drawn-out and tiresome proposition. Identifying individual learning gaps takes time and a lot of effort. Your L&D personnel would have to manually assess the knowledge of every employee to create a learner profile that’ll reveal and fill their learning gaps.

Instead, with AI-powered metrics and data analysis, you can identify skill gaps much faster. Once the AI tool is done with its analysis, your admins and trainers can start working on new learning content to use in upskilling the workforce.

Now that you’ve seen what the top AI-based LMS features are, let’s see how they can benefit your organization.

What are the benefits of using AI in L&D?

AI is here to stay, so you’d better get used to it. Thankfully, AI does quite a lot to earn its keep.

So, here are some top reasons for taking advantage of AI LMS features in your training programs.

Close skill gaps

AI has the ability to more accurately identify employee skills gaps and suggest the best ways to close them. How?

Machine learning algorithms predict outcomes, allowing you to provide specific content based on a learner’s past performance and individual goals.

For example, if a group of learners is unfamiliar with a company’s sales philosophy and format, they can take a “Sales 101” course to fill this gap. While members of the sales department, who are very familiar with the sales philosophy and format, can skip ahead.

The result? All learners can learn new skills and close knowledge gaps without sacrificing engagement or slowing down other learners.

Proactively support learners

One of the major benefits of all AI-based computer features is that they don’t have to wait for you to ask them to do something. AI and automation go hand in hand, and you can use AI proactively.

Invite-to-Watch features, for example, are designed to elevate the social learning experience by making sure that those who’d benefit most from a particular piece of learning content will get their eyes on it. When a user uploads something, the platform can automatically produce a list of people in the organization who may find it interesting.AI (or machine learning in this case) does this by analyzing the content to create a list of users who’ve shown an interest in similar topics in the past.

Interpret advanced analytics

AI can collect and interpret vast amounts of data, meaning you can gather key insights faster than ever. Think of AI as a learner itself: the more data it consumes, the more intelligent it becomes. For example, algorithms can analyze both new content and historic learning patterns, including content preferences and the performance of learners on the platform.

As an AI-powered system is fed more content, it becomes better and better at identifying patterns within the content and learner performance. This gives you a data-driven way to connect learning performance to real-world business results. Docebo’s Learn Data feature can centralize all your data in one place, letting you access all the learning KPIs and metrics in a format ready for further analysis.

There are clear benefits that AI brings to L&D, but there are challenges too. Let’s take a closer look at what they are.

What are the challenges of AI in L&D?

As with any L&D initiative, you should approach adding AI into the e-learning mix with care and planning to avoid as many obstacles as possible. Here are some of the common challenges that can come with applying AI to L&D programs.

1. Integration

A new AI-powered LMS needs to integrate neatly into your existing tech stack and the tools used in L&D activities. Usually, taking advantage of AI features will require a bit more than just downloading a few plug-ins.

Take into account whether you have the storage and the infrastructure necessary for AI capabilities to work properly. Of course, this need can be lessened somewhat by choosing a cloud-based SaaS LMS.

Even then, you have to set aside some time for your staff to get used to the new system and features. They should know how to use the tools, troubleshoot simple issues, and recognize when AI algorithms are underperforming.

2. Costs

High-tech features usually don’t come cheap. That’s true here as well. Think about which features you need and which you don’t. There’s no need to pay extra for fancy things you won’t use.

Of course, as with any large project, costs are variable. There are many factors that can affect the cost of applying AI to L&D programs, such as:

  • Whether you are adding AI to a self-hosted LMS or a cloud solution
  • Whether you need AI experts to update your equipment or provide consultation
  • Whether you have a lot of L&D team members to train on how to use the LMS

In essence, expect that if your LMS doesn’t already come with AI features, you’ll have to spend some money to get them.

3. Talent

AI, while powerful, is still very new. As such, it can often be hard to find experts to help you realize your AI projects. A lack of internal expertise is one of the main reasons why companies hesitate to pursue artificial intelligence.

There are two main ways to address this:

  1. Work with external experts and companies to provide solutions
  2. Increase internal expertise through training

4. Infrastructure

Features like automated content curation, recommendations, and personalized learning pathways are very tempting and the benefits they can bring are undeniable.

Nevertheless, you need to have the infrastructure to support all this. If your equipment and software are outdated, you won’t be able to properly use the often resource-intensive AI-enabled tools.

Therefore, if you want to use AI in your online learning programs, you first have to take stock of your digital infrastructure. Is it modern and powerful enough? If not, that’s another investment and cost to consider.

5. Overestimation

Artificial intelligence is very useful, but it’s important to remember that it’s an advanced technology, not magic. As such, the results you get from AI are only as good as the data you put in it. Even the best AI-based LMS won’t help you if your learning content is not fit for purpose.

That’s why it’s important not to neglect other parts of your learning and development strategy. You can’t expect AI to be a silver bullet that’ll solve all your learning challenges on its own.

This is yet another reason why training your staff to use AI properly is crucial. They need to be able to recognize the limitations of machine learning and AI when the system is not performing as well as it should.

Now over to you

Artificial intelligence will soon change everything. From the way we live to how we work and learn.

Staying ahead of the curve is important if you want to be competitive in your L&D efforts. Otherwise, companies that use AI more efficiently will also have better-trained and more knowledgeable employees.

At the same time, trying to add AI capabilities to your L&D platforms and tool stack on your own is expensive and extremely time-consuming. So, why not choose a cloud-based SaaS LMS instead? Docebo has AI features that make corporate learning more efficient and effective.

Find out how they can supercharge your training programs, by booking a demo today.