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Julija Veljkovic
“AI will complement – not replace us”
Jun 25, 2024
6 Minutes

For anyone who’s been paying attention for the last year has been seeing headlines like “ChatGPT and the death of learning”, “the chatbot that transformed my life”, and “Can AI help solve company shortages?” 


The AI era is here. Over 65% of companies are already using AI in learning and development, while 74% are actively testing and exploring its applications in the workplace. What’s more, four in five people want to learn about how to use AI in their profession. As AI reshapes how people learn, work, collaborate, and grow in their careers, organisations must rise to their full potential with speed and impact. 


But will AI energize and retain talent? To answer this question, we spoke to Senior Instructional Designer at Personio, Roberto Aiello, picking his brains on AI in the workplace, how to practically use AI-powered solutions in learning experience and course creation, and its seat in learning and development.


Let’s dive in!

AI in learning and development: An instructional designer’s new best friend?

Roberto Aiello is an Italian designer with over two decades of experience in the design industry. But it’s his passion for instructional design that’s taken him far, from managing the Instructional Design team at Zendesk to holding the Senior Learning Experience Designer role on the Customer Training and Credentialing team at Personio, a HR software company. 


Roberto is no stranger to designing learning paths for HR teams and has firsthand seen how AI can improve learning outcomes, cut costs and time, and improve processes.

During the discovery phase, AI serves as a powerful research tool, enabling Roberto to gather information quickly and brainstorm ideas more effectively. 


“For instance, in a recent project where I had to design a course on an unfamiliar topic, AI enabled me to optimize time with the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) by providing substantial insights,” he explains.


In the content creation phase, Roberto uses AI as a co-pilot, drafting and tweaking course content before seeking feedback from SMEs. “I recently used AI to draft a course script that was finalized in just a couple of hours after minimal feedback from the SME,” he shares.


It’s no secret that AI helps instructional designers win back time, with AI tools typically slashing the time it takes to produce L&D training content from 12.9 days to just 4.9 days.

But it’s not just about course creation. Roberto relies on AI to generate assessments that evaluate learning objectives. 

"I also use AI to create assessments that effectively evaluate the learning objectives by generating multiple-choice questions"
Roberto Aiello
Senior Instructional Designer

AI is already causing a storm in the E-learning world, helping trainers assess knowledge retention and gaps, and in turn, measure the effectiveness of their learning programs. Some go so far as to suggest thatAI is going to eat assessments for lunch”, underscoring the quick strides AI has taken in assessments. 


More so, Roberto has found AI to be a powerful ally in the iteration phase, leveraging it to refine drafts and ensure he’s sticking to frameworks and style guides. “This iterative process helps improve the overall quality of the content before the final review,” he notes. Rather than viewing AI as a friend or foe, more and more L&D consultants are collaborating with AI tools to improve the learning experience.

AI will never replace human insight - it will complement it

Ever find yourself wondering if AI is going to take over your job – or worse, take over every job?


As the L&D industry increases its AI applications, we’re seeing AI function not as a replacement to human expertise but as an assistant that helps L&D teams work faster and more productively. In fact, organizations that have adopted AI for their learning programs have seen roughly a 57% increase in efficiency. 


This means that human insight, judgement and critical thinking skills are not going anywhere. Rather, they will become ever-more important as trainers adapt to AI-powered solutions. 


Roberto acknowledges this, noting how AI can help in analyzing huge amounts of data to identify patterns and trends—while human expertise is critical when providing contextual understanding and ensuring the quality of the insights shared.

"We can use AI to automate routine tasks so that we can focus on strategic and creative aspects. But we still need humans to provide context and ensure the generated insights remain relevant and accurate.”
Roberto Aiello
Senior Instructional Designer
Fighting training bias

The million-dollar question that is on everybody’s minds: Does AI perpetuate training bias? It can, if applied incorrectly. The potential for bias in algorithms is a real threat, and one every L&D consultant needs to keep in mind. 


 “Ensuring fairness in AI-generated content is something we need to be aware of,” Roberto cautions. “Data privacy is also crucial. To put it mildly, human oversight is important because it balances AI automation with human judgment. It’s all about AI complementing, rather than replacing us.”


Indeed, over-reliance, or taking AI’s suggestions at face value can increase the risk of low-quality material with incorrect information being fed to learners. This is especially the case if AI-generated content isn’t supervised and reviewed by humans.


Every L&D consultant’s worst nightmare is ineffective learning experiences- so how to mitigate this darker side of AI?

“We instructional designers have strong backgrounds and critical thinking skills developed after years of study. If future designers rely solely on AI tools without developing foundational skills, they might struggle to critically evaluate AI-generated content and ensure its relevance and accuracy…if, for any reason, they can't use an AI tool, will they still be able to produce quality content with just pen and paper?"
Roberto Aiello
Senior Instructional Designer
Final verdict: It’s all about balance

The greatest events in history come from disruption. AI is no exception. What we’ve seen in the last year, is an opportunity to be more strategic, creative, and innovative. The successful integration of gen AI requires experimentation and iteration. Invest deliberately. Get your hands dirty. Start now. And never lose your human insight and judgement when using AI. Do these three things, and watch your learning and development initiatives flourish.

Want to brush up your L&D AI skills? Join Teaching Humans

As a HR professional, you know the importance of using AI to make your job easier. But how to use AI responsibly and effectively? Teaching Humans is the #1 community for AI-powered education.


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