Modernise, modernise

Written by Barry Johnson on 13 February 2018

The importance of learning has increased and will increase more as robotisation and automation bite and the non-routine, irregular, novel, changing, varying, erratic work-related technical, organisational, administrative, logistical and legislative faults occur let alone straightforward breakdowns and robotic errors. Yes, they will happen.

Nothing has yet been designed and built that has been perfect. Even space vehicles have gone wrong.

On Jan. 27, 1967, a fire during a ground test killed three astronauts preparing for the Apollo 1 mission. The space shuttle Challenger broke apart less than two minutes after launch in 1986, killing all seven astronauts aboard. In February 2003, the shuttle Columbia and her seven-astronaut crew were lost during re-entry into Earth's atmosphere. 

What will the human element need to learn? That is a difficult question to answer. Perhaps those things that are uniquely human. Goal–oriented behaviour, individual intentionality with a high level of cognitive functioning. Conceptualising an outcome that may require creativity and devise a series of goal-oriented actions contributing to the corrective outcome.

Using social components, such as enlisting the aid of other people. Collaboration goes beyond cooperation. By linking the collaborators together in the form of networked minds with cognition distributed across the participants, with all participants morally committed to upholding their part in the process.

It might be argued that the human elements are the most vulnerable elements, and most likely to contribute to faults. That means learning is required - and regularly updated learning.

Joint intentionality is we-thinking, a form of cognition that even children understand but is unavailable to nonhuman animals or machines, even AI controlled robots. Machines can have engineering redundancy, can isolate the fault and recommend a solution or switch in a bypass but often why it went wrong is missing, and that has to be identified.

Machines are part of a system that also has non-technical elements, and all elements must be working for the required outputs to be produced on time, every time, to required standards. It might be argued that the human elements are the most vulnerable elements, and most likely to contribute to faults. That means learning is required - and regularly updated learning.

As artificial intelligence-controlled robotic systems are introduced the whole human learning processes must be organised and equipped.

The process of identifying the learning needs, designing the learning processes to match the individual learners, organising the learning process from learner notification, through transport to accommodation must be as efficient as the industrial operations the learners will serve. Being calm and balanced is a requirement for learning so we must ensure it is so.

The learning functions, learning facilitators and facilitation resources need to provide an integrated learner experience, making complex industrial processes and systems easier for everyone to use. The learning professional will have a profound understanding of learning processes, the learners, their requirements and the difficulties they may experience.

Armed with operational knowledge we L&D professionals must eliminate the barriers and smooth their way.


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.​

Share this page

Related Articles