Video: Human + AI in Learning – The Augmented L&D Roadmap

Learning & Development

Human + AI in Learning – The Augmented L&D Roadmap

The "Human + AI in Learning" session explores integrating AI into Learning and Development, highlighting personalized learning, AI simulators, and the balance between technology and human interaction for effective L&D.

Building a skill-based organization requires understanding learner empowerment, flexibility, continuous improvement, and cohesive learning environments. Companies must integrate the power of knowledge management systems with blended learning approaches and link learning outcomes with talent mobility and career progression. 

In today’s AI age, humans must reflect on the indispensable skills they bring while leveraging the tech advantage to deliver quality value and efficiency for the enterprise. To deep-dive into this theme, in partnership with Skillsoft, People Matters organized a conversation on the theme “Human + AI in Learning—The Augmented L&D Roadmap.”

Rachna Shah, Head of Customer Success, Skillsoft, led this session with featured speakers Kalpak Huddar, India Head, Foundever India; Lekha Palakkot, Director - Learning and Development, Brillio, and Pradnya Arun C, Program Director, Learning Technologies, Aditya Birla Group.

The Augmented Learning Roadmap

“AI can complement our human skills to create more effective, personalized, and engaging learning experiences,” said Rachna Shah. Tech-led interventions like real-time traffic updates and personalized restaurant recommendations are enhancing the consumer journey with more efficiency and enjoyment. Organizational learning and development are no different. 

Citing how Skillsoft incorporated AI into the Prio platform through AI simulators, she noted that these simulators help learners receive real-time personalized feedback, enact different human behaviors, curate customized learning paths based on profiles, assess current skill gaps through Skill Benchmark assessments, and enable learner search and discovery. 

“AI is making learning more accessible and the learning process extremely efficient,” shares Kalpak Huddar, India Head, Foundever India. AI will change the entire learning cycle, making it richer, faster, and data-driven with integrated feedback. However, this learning transformation needs exemplary L&D leadership to drive it.

The Advantage of AI

Learner expectations and skill needs have increased. Lekha Palakkot, Director of Learning and Development at Brillio, elaborates, “Earlier, I could run a 10-day Python training program putting 25 people inside a classroom, but today, different people and diverse teams want different flavors of Python.” 

Lekha believes that AI can help identify current and future skill gaps, build personalized journeys to enable targeted learning, create specialized content for multiple use cases, and foster data-driven learning decisions. L&D needs to understand these nuances and create a safe, simulated environment for learners to practice their skills. 

Pradnya agreed, “Contemporary learning centers around content creation and curriculums made from course builders within seconds.” AI enables every aspect of the learning cycle, from builder platforms to LMS to LXP to content partners. However, L&D must keep the learner at the center, focusing on enhancing the learner experience and skilling outcomes.

The Journey to AI Adoption

Kalpak suggested that organizations begin by first understanding if they are ready for AI adoption and not just lap up a fad. “First, understand the maturity of learning you currently have, whether that can succeed into the next phase. Understand the cost and complexity of work involved, and whether it will serve the purpose 3-5 years later,” recommends Kalpak. 

Organizations must be mindful of how their existing technological platforms and learning engines operate and the integration of any new technologies at scale. Also, being data-backed, AI introduces data bias. L&D professionals must learn to recognize and minimize the biases in the data algorithms, which calls for strong data management operations. “Driving delivery seamlessly” should be the purpose, not only for today but also for future needs, he noted.

On the softer side, for the smooth transition of new technologies, it is essential to convey the right message to people about the “why” of disruption and how it shall affect them. Change management is a big task when embracing digital-based learning platforms. L&D must drive learner ownership and discipline. For the long term, organizations need to be mindful of whether they are ready to manage a change, assess the risks and limitations, and put in place adequate guardrails.

The Cultural Conundrum

Technology has the potential to outperform humankind, maybe both physically and cognitively. L&D must ensure that the human angle is not lost, and that human interaction remains integral to the learning process. The question is, “Do we humans have the perseverance, or will we be overshadowed?” Lekha believes that humans shall excel due to three capabilities: adapting, learning, and offering what AI cannot do. 

Brillio’s ethos is to value every human intervention. “While AI can give reports, contextualization of information happens through human touch. I ensure that either I or my team seeks feedback from learners by speaking as humans,” mentions Lekha. Pradnya shares a similar instance, “For an upskilling initiative, we used the metaverse for employee feedback to create a safe environment, but people feared the tech.” 

Amalgamating the human element helps leaders know what people ‘feel’ and gives people a sense of being heard and valued by the organization. Learning and Development is still a very human-centric organization built on trusted partnerships. Hence, the L&D fraternity should uphold emotional intelligence as a core competency.

Making AI Benefit Business

To maintain leadership, buy-in, tracking and reporting concrete outcomes is vital. Kalpak recommends measuring the adoption percentage (how many people are using the new product in a shorter span), completion rate (how many people have completed the course in the first few days), and time-to-proficiency (how much cycle time is the investment cutting down because of delivering faster and smarter). 

AI infusion should also translate to business value. For example, as a customer experience player, Foundever focuses on customer satisfaction. L&D thus measures whether new delivery methods are improving customer satisfaction levels, interaction time with customers, and customer sentiment. These metrics align with the business performance KPIs, and employees can “see the change” they expect. AI also helps loop in feedback and assess whether people enjoy the learning platform or need more. Brillio also assesses business impact through three lenses: customer or stakeholder experience (is my employee able to solve customers’ problems?), productivity benefits (pre-sales effort, go-to-market time), and financial benefits (cost reduction, margin improvements).

In summary, metrics should revolve around whether the learning design tech has helped achieve the business objective, delivered employee satisfaction, and, thereby, improved employee retention.

“The key success factor for the augmented L&D roadmap is to clearly outline the ‘why’ and ‘when’ of change and create readiness to accept change,” says Kalpak. Pradnya also advises L&D leaders to increase their appetite for AI, “Amalgamating AI and humans to become stronger together.” Lekha affirms, “AI is an ally, not a threat. L&D as a fraternity should be able to humanize AI and not leave everything to AI.”


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Topics: Learning & Development, #DigitalTransformation, #Artificial Intelligence, #SkillUp

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