Artificial Intelligence (AI) has emerged as a promising tool for generating training content, yet the old saying that the road to hell is paved with the best of intentions applies here. For sure, the allure of efficiency and scalability is evident, but it is a helpful thought exercise to explore the potential negatives of relying on AI to craft training lessons in a business environment.
1. Lack of Contextual Understanding:
One of the inherent challenges of AI-generated training lessons lies in the machine’s limited ability to grasp the nuanced context of a business environment. AI may lack the real-world understanding and contextual relevance that human instructors and course builders bring, leading to a potential disconnect between theoretical lessons and practical application.
2. Absence of Emotional Intelligence:
Effective business training often requires an understanding of emotional intelligence – the ability to perceive, understand, and manage emotions. AI, being devoid of emotions, may struggle to incorporate this crucial aspect into training content and present the topic in a detached and clinical manner. Human course builders/instructors usually excel in gauging the emotional nuances of a workforce, adapting training accordingly to foster a more engaged and empathetic learning experience.
3. Rigidity in Adaptability:
AI operates within predefined algorithms, limiting its adaptability to unforeseen changes or specific organizational nuances. AI is limited to thinking within conventional boundaries. It draws from historical data and established norms. It knows what it knows, and doesn’t know what it doesn’t know. In the early days of PowerPoint to e-learning courses, non-technical people produced courses along the lines of 3 bullets and a question. It remains to be seen if AI courses do the same thing just updated to build courses against an AI model.
4. Risk of Biased Content:
The reliance on historical data to train AI models introduces the risk of biases present in the data. If historical business practices or training materials contain biases, AI-generated content may inadvertently perpetuate or amplify these biases. An intentional use of biases for the purposes of indoctrination raises ethical concerns and becomes a potent new horizon for litigation when those biases impact a marginalized group.
5. Impersonal Learning Experience:
Business training is not just about delivering information; it’s about fostering a collaborative and personalized learning experience. AI-generated lessons may adopt a one-size-fits-all approach, neglecting the diverse learning styles, experiences, and career paths within a workforce. This impersonal approach can hinder employee engagement and limit the effectiveness of the training program.
6. Security and Privacy Concerns:
Implementing AI in business environments raises legitimate concerns about data security and privacy. AI algorithms require access to sensitive business data, and the mishandling or misuse of this information poses a significant risk. Businesses must navigate the ethical and legal considerations surrounding the use of AI in generating training content.
7 Intellectual Property Risks
Your cloud-based AI products, like ChatGPT, can receive your content and apply models to transform that content into actionable knowledge to manage. In theory, your knowledge can be kept private based on your subscription, but your knowledge is still fed to the larger knowledge store for assessment for hate, terrorism, pornography, and other filtering services the AI does. Read the fine print. Your knowledge may be yours, but the logical underpinnings of that knowledge become part of the AI. You need to be very careful when using AI to develop courses based on your proprietary knowledge.
Let’s consider an Example
Imagine an AI tasked with creating a training lesson on workplace culture and diversity. While it may possess an extensive database of information and historical data, AI might struggle to comprehend the nuanced concept of microaggressions – subtle, often unintentional behaviors that marginalize individuals based on their characteristics such as race, gender, or ethnicity.
The human SME on the other hand, possesses emotional intelligence to delve into the sensitive nature of the topic, offering real-world examples, and addressing the emotional toll that microaggressions can have on employees.
The AI, lacking an inherent understanding of emotions and the subtleties surrounding workplace interactions, might present the topic in a clinical or detached manner. This risks diluting the significance of the lesson, as the emotional impact and interpersonal dynamics associated with microaggressions require a level of empathy and contextual understanding that AI struggles to replicate. In such instances, relying solely on AI for nuanced topics may result in a training lesson that fails to resonate authentically with the workforce, missing the mark on fostering a truly inclusive and understanding workplace culture.
This leads me to my last point. Truth be told, the same negatives listed here apply universally to human-producing training content. Instructors and course builders can produce wonderful content as well as the dreadful 3 bullets and a question, death by PowerPoint, and death by the next button. What you get with AI-assisted courseware production is efficiency, but one must proceed with caution and consider the risks. AI-generated courses may be just replacing one devil we know with one we do not know or fully understand.
Phil Baruch is a seasoned 25+ year veteran in the Learning Management Systems (LMS) industry and is a principal partner at MaxIT Corporation. As a thought leader and innovator, Phil has consistently demonstrated a deep understanding of the dynamic landscape of educational technology, steering organizations toward effective LMS solutions tailored to their unique needs with his wealth of experience and forward-thinking approach. His extensive expertise has not only solidified his reputation as a trusted authority in the field but has also positioned him as a driving force behind the continuous improvement and innovation within the LMS industry. Phil Baruch’s dedication to advancing learning technologies underscores his commitment to fostering enhanced educational experiences and workplace training methodologies. His company website is www.maxit.com where you can learn more about his work and services.