Is Artificial Intelligence (AI) the future of learning design?

Artificial Intelligence in learning design: Level 1

A learning designer is required to perform a multitude of tasks and many of those revolve around content. I hadn’t paid much attention to it before, but even something as simple as having Smart Compose turned on in Google Docs when storyboarding and writing content is a form of Artificial Intelligence. That is probably the least complex example I can think of and it certainly doesn’t make my job significantly easier, but moving up the complexity chain and I certainly experience a lot more benefits when it comes to audio transcription. Gone are the days of meticulously transcribing video content, and whilst most AI transcription services only offer around 90% accuracy (who wants to start a blog with me called ‘When Artificial Intelligence transcription goes wrong’), it certainly cuts down on the time needed to perform such tasks.

Artificial Intelligence in learning design: Level 2

A learning designer is often required to become an instant expert. For me, the biggest perk of the job is that I get to contribute to courses from a wide range of subject areas, and in doing so, I am constantly learning myself.

Artificial Intelligence in learning design: Level 3

One of the more arduous tasks in learning design is the constant search for open-source photos. Whilst I personally tend to avoid those SCORMy storyline style animated characters that we have all experienced in corporate online training, there are occasions where ideally, we would like to use real human beings, in multiple poses and with varying facial expressions. I of course advocate for sticking to copyright and for financially compensating models, but that might be a thing of the past with new services such as Generated Photos. None of the humans on that site are real, and you can make the same face young or old, angry or happy, looking left or right, however you want! With deepfake technology becoming more accessible I personally cannot wait to be able to morph that instructor in the Accounting 101 video into a doppelganger of Kanye West!

Artificial intelligence in learning design: level 19999

So where to from here? There’s no doubt learning design as a profession is booming and is only expected to rise. But like many other occupations, are we at risk of being replaced by AI? Recently I spoke with Dan Sleeman, the creator of Biliti. Promoted as using “sophisticated data analytics and Artificial Intelligence to equip teachers, course designers, talent managers, and online education leaders with the intelligence and insight to best align learning to workplace demand”, Dan believes Biliti can support educators to move further up the value chain, and focus their time and energy on necessary complex and creative tasks, and less on administrative and analytical tasks, and processes. With AI technology increasingly being able to do the heavy lifting, educators and learning designers can continue to craft meaningful learning experiences in even more efficient ways.

Writer’s bio

Oppida Learning Designer Matthew Darch

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Oppida

We are digital education agency that designs, develops and enhances learning experiences