How AI influences the learning & development world

Nick van Oostrum

AI, artificial intelligence, has been a lot in the news the last few years. Some people view AI as a help in daily life, some are afraid to lose their job due to it and some are afraid that AI will eliminate humanity. So the opinions are quite divided. Let’s dive into what AI actually is and how it will influence the world of online learning?


Artificial intelligence in L&D

AI is already developed in such way that it can write content indistinguishable from content written by a human double. This clever way of creating learning content is introduced on all levels, at primary schools but also in corporate environments. A one-size-fits-all model isn’t up-to-date anymore. Using AI you collect data of the students. By means of deep analyses you can present personalised learning environments. Because AI-systems understand learning behaviour increasingly better, it will eventually be able to predict learning behaviour.

Using the insights from AI, organisations can create more clever content that’s adaptive, intuitive and responsive on favour of the personal journey of the student. AI influences the way in which the learning content is offered, so organisations can motivate and stimulate their students and employees in a way that suits the organisation. This way, AI creates a personal plan for users of Hubper with as goal to reach a certain level before a set deadline. 

Moreover, an artificial intelligence tutor can provide personalised feedback by using data of specific students. For instance, in America an intelligence tutor system called “SHERLOCK” is used to teach Air force engineers how to detect and solve problems. Another convenient application is when AI summarises the content of difficult manuals in clear texts and a step-by-step plan that’s more comprehensible.

A similar application can be seen at Third Space Learning (TSL) who wanted to improve the involvement of the students during the one-to-one math classes that were given to 3,500 students a week. To achieve this, they applied AI to analyse the recorded classes to identify patterns in the behaviour of the teachers and students. Using AI you can for example identify if a pupil is showing signs that are similar to the pattern ‘losing interest’. Third Space Learning wants every teacher to receive real-time AI-feedback for every class in the future. When a tutor talks to quickly for instance, the AI-bot will advise them to slow down. 

duolingo online leren Hubper

And, at Duolingo they introduced an AI-driven placement test when plenty of users felt discouraged and quit the course, because they got offered learning material too easily. Because the computer is adaptive, a system with AI adapts the questions to the previously given answers. This results in an easier question being generated after an incorrect answer and a more complex question when a user answers correctly. Duolingo also uses AI to optimise and personalise courses. They developed a ‘half worth time regression model’ that analyses mistake patterns that millions of language-learners make while practicing the newly taught words. The model predicts how quickly a user will forget a word. It also takes the complexity of words into account. They determine the right moment when a user should practice a certain word again using these insights. 

To increase the involvement of the users, Duolingo uses bots to help pupils practicing a language. The advantage is that AI bots are available 24/7. They communicate easily with the users and share their feedback or a better version of the answer of the user. Moreover, the bots have a button ‘Help me to answer’ for the ones that experience trouble with finding the right word or applying the correct grammar rules.

Future applications

How will this look in the future? Imagine: your representer who just started has learned a lot about having good conversations via the online platform. Today the representer arrives at their first customer. Before they enter, they already automatically receive a video with tips for having a good conversation. Information that’s retrieved from the learning system and is adapted to their competences and their most effective way of learning. Notes that have been made earlier are quickly displayed and the representer is completely ready.  

 

End of humanity

At the start of this blog we told you that some people think that humanity will be destroyed by AI. This is possibly caused by films such as Ex-Machina, The Matrix and I, Robot. Do you recognise yourself in this thought? No worries… in comparison to people the AI-bots are quite dumb. It’s way too earlier for humanity to give up. AI is mainly good in matching familiar patterns, with emphasis on familiar. They recognise only the patterns they’ve already learned, in comparison to people. People can anticipate on situations they’ve never experienced before. This is something which involves millions of years of evolution. This will always be the aspect on which people differ from AI. So: embrace AI, make use of it and don’t be afraid, it will only make your work easier.