AI on L&D

I interviewed ChatGPT on its view of L&D’s biggest issues. The answers were what you expect from any new boss; diplomatic, helpful and kinda good.

You can’t open a news feed, newspaper or magazine without seeing ChatGPT discussed, reviled, lauded or feared. As a person whose currency is words in the form of product ideas, business analysis, innovative concepts and learning strategies, I was very curious to see how ChatGPT might be impacting learning development in the coming year. ChatGPT has already been used to create movie scripts, music videos, novels written in the style of our favorite authors, research papers and test exams. It certainly won’t be long until others like me begin to use the tool to create learning experiences.

Full transcript of my interview with ChatGPT can be found below

The immediate implications are similar to what musicians have seen with ProTools and doctors have experienced with WebMD. ProTools allows anyone to make studio quality music. Not necessarily good music, but studio quality. This has caused a glut of new music to appear, pushing the perceived value of content towards zero while adding to the value of curation, critics and marketers.  WebMD democratizes information creating challenges to a doctor’s expertise. WebMD makes every patient feel as if they know as much as their physician about diagnosis and treatment.  Both of these dynamics will be on display for all domains that traffic in content. 

For L&D this means that the amplification of the pre-existing perception of business leaders that they know what learning they need combined with SME’s ability to create pro “quality” learning via a few prompts will exacerbate the internal challenges faced by L&D organizations.

Overall, I find GPT to be a game changer when it comes to my personal workflow. It has allowed me to move rapidly from idea to strawman as well as providing me with solid documentation of my journeys down various rabbit holes. What was formerly a simple sketch and a handful of thoughts in a notebook is now instantly transformed into shareable, testable, and even monetizable ideas. I am currently experimenting with ChatGPT as an assistant to my learning design process. More on that in the coming days.

With all this potential and buzz I thought it would be fun to ask ChatGPT what its thoughts were on learning development. Below are some highlights.

The similarities between how AI and employees learn

“AI models are able to learn through self-directed experimentation and exploration, and employees can also benefit from being given the freedom and resources to take a self-directed approach to learning.”

The use of learning in games

“Players reflect on their experiences and decisions, analyzing what worked well and what didn’t. They might compare their performance to others, read game guides, or use trial and error to understand the game mechanics better.”

The value of DE&I

“…diversity can also lead to a deeper understanding of the topic being studied and a more meaningful learning experience.”

Which “Friends” character would L&D be

“Workforce Development could be seen as Ross…”

How can we use AI? How important is L&D? Are you coming for our jobs?                 full transcript below

Let’s be honest. The typical job description role for a learning and development pro contains a number of bullet points that are likely to be replaced by AI in the coming years. L&D, like all workers, needs to take a hard look at what they do that adds differentiated value and quickly turn its focus away from the rest. I have written about the power of range before. This power is magnified by AI. As an industry, our Canva and Articulate skills are going to mean little in a world powered by AI created learning experiences. Our curiosity, creativity, and critical thinking skills will mean much more.

Please enjoy my conversation on L&D with ChatGPT. – j.

2023 L&D Look Ahead

My annual look an industry on the verge of greatness. Or not.

The primary activity of all organizations is Learning. Winners must quickly learn; new markets, new competitors, new technologies, new business models, new techniques, new customer needs, new regulations, new new new…  So why is L&D still viewed as a support function equivalent to payroll? Maybe it is because we haven’t yet learned that what got us here will not get us there? Maybe this is the year.

Wondering what workforce development might look like beyond 2023? Check out my 3 Mics presentation here.

A quick look back…

A quick look back at my 2022 industry predictions as I prepare my 2023 thoughts.

As I sat down to write my annual note on what will shape the workforce development industry in the upcoming year I took a minute to reflect on last year’s missive. For those of you who were not on last year’s distribution list I have included the note below. I addition to the summary, I also provided several specific public and private opportunities for clients. I have chosen not to include these but I am happy to discuss them privately. While the focus of my annual note is on the market, and for investors/suppliers, its assumptions have implications for CLO and other other learning leaders.

This year I will publish the updated summary here as part of my annual distribution. Company specifics will remain only for clients.

In Hindsight

Honestly, I am surprised to say that I stand by the all of it. Normally this would worry me. I would assume that it meant that I hadn’t learned anything in the last year. In this case there is another reason for my continued support of the themes laid out twelve months ago. I over estimated the speed of change that the industry would undertake. The lack of enthusiasm from industry leaders to last year’s document was my first hint of this. Despite their chilly reception, the cover of the latest Training Magazine has reaffirmed my sense of direction. Even if my sense of pace is likely still exaggerated.

On Video

One of the investment opportunities I discussed in my note was both publicly traded and video oriented. My recommended sell/short for this company was due to an overriding belief that the model for “factual” video content needed a serious rethink. And I didn’t see anyone, public or private, pursuing new models. Before I distributed my note I actually reached out to one of this company’s large investor and shared my thoughts. They were not convinced. They are down 87% October to October. This is not meant as an “I told you so,” rather it is meant to say that the opportunity in video remains and I believe it will be a big player in 2023.

Final Thought

As I turn my attention to the upcoming year I am doubling down on the trends I highlighted last year. Last year my conclusion was that the opportunity to built the next generation provider in the learning space was there for the taking. I still believe this. But I no longer think that a new player is the big move. For next year I am thinking bigger. More at the end of the month.