The AI revolution in learning

Written by Barry Johnson on 9 November 2017

We know that L&D is changing as more is known and understood about the brain. We know with the advance of the Fourth Industrial Revolution learning will be crucial to coping with the progress. Some of us wish to resist the learning changes.

Some of us fear the changes. Some of us are excited by the changes. Whatever our view, learning change is coming. Sooner or later the individual in the big office will be asking questions about learning and whoever he or she asks will point at you. Why? It’s L&D's job. We will have to get on with it, master it.

Let's look at one key change. The use of AI in Learning.

AI-based systems are radically changing how we are interacting with information. Already some university students in the USA are using AI for research and grading. Some learning systems are changing. Not a lot but it has started.

People need the support of people, so you will, perhaps, be doing some different things to facilitate learning.

Learners in the future may have vastly different experiences than the learners of today. AI will have custom tailored learning solutions for helping learners at different levels and types of work, with L&D professionals helping to support them as needed.

AI systems can put the learner in control of their own learning. People need the support of people, so you will, perhaps, be doing some different things to facilitate learning. AI systems will be programmed to provide information; learners ask questions, the machine replies and the machine will learn from the questions, so the form and structure of the information matches the individuals learning need.

Some people believe this can only be used for learning basic information. Others believe the power and adaptability of AI will enable better learning structures, so each learner has their own tutor. Learning facilitators will supplement AI learning, assist learners who need human interaction and hands-on experiences.


Trial and error is a critical part of learning, but for some learners not knowing the answer is stressful particularly in front of their peers or authority figures - like you. An intelligent computer system, designed to help learners to learn is less daunting.

AI could offer learners a way to experiment and learn in a judgment-free environment, especially when you can be called upon. In fact, AI may be the perfect format for supporting all kinds of industrial learning. AI systems themselves often learn by trial-and-error. We know this sounds like science-fiction, but it is already science fact.

Significant changes are still in the future, but AI has the potential to radically change learning, shifting the instructor to be a learning facilitator, matching the learning to each learner and adapting to each learner’s needs, indicating where the learning strategy needs revision, giving learners and facilitators feedback, changing how learners interact with information and changing and adding to your role.

AI learning is coming and as it does, distance learning will change - and you will still be around.


About the author

Barry Johnson BA, Chartered MCIPD, MCMI is the co-founder of Learning Partners. He has extensive experience in designing assessment events for development and selection and is an experienced facilitator and assessor.​



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Submitted on 21 July, 2019 - 13:53

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