The emergence of AI in eLearning is inevitable. And with new technology, it is equally inevitable that old jobs must evolve.
This is hardly the first time that the eLearning industry is poised to undergo such a transformation. The industry and especially instructional designers have always been the first to embrace innovations and advances in technology. In fact, the very industry itself came into existence as advances in technology rendered instructor-led training moot. Learning and training professionals transitioned from instructor-led training to eLearning courses seamlessly. They adopted authoring tools into their practices with ease and started wielding them effectively to create better more engaging learning experiences.
Time has now come to do the same with artificial intelligence. It is not a threat, but an opportunity; to work better, to do more.
With AI taking care of the mundane, the role of an instructional designer can evolve into a new dimension—the AI creates the basics, the ID curates and enhances it. Let the AI do the initial work, structure the raw content, for example, or, say, create simple knowledge check questions based on the source. It won’t be perfect, for sure, but it’s a start, and undoubtedly simplifies the instructional designer’s work. Then, taking this partially-ready content, instructional designers simply do what they do best, refine and perfect it to create the best learning experience for their learners.
The technology, as it stands today, is hardly replacing the need for problem-solving, creativity, critical thinking and other higher-level cognitive processes. What it does do, however, is handling the basics, the tedium for us, so that we can do the more complex, creative, higher-level work, which we alone can do. This, then, must be the way forward; a collaboration where artificial and human intelligence complement each-other and work together, work better.
This the true value of AI.
In theory, with NLP technology, machines can create eLearning content. What does this mean for eLearning professionals? Will AI create eLearning courses on the click of a button? What do instructional designers do, then? Will they be out of a job? Such a fear is understandable but entirely unwarranted!
That Artificial Intelligence will replace humans in the workforce is a misconception that has been proven wrong time and time again. The proliferation of Chatbots in the customer service industry did not make humans redundant—quite the opposite. As bots began to handle a massive volume of mundane requests, humans could work more effectively and needed only step in to take care of the complexities and nuances.
Artificial Intelligence seems to be taking over all aspects of our lives. From Chatbots to Internet of Things, from virtual assistants to self-driving cars, Artificial Intelligence is everywhere. The domain of eLearning and education is no exception. Artificial Intelligence and specifically the potential of Natural Language Processing holds a very attractive proposition for the eLearning industry.