How will AI impact L&D in 2024?

We linked up with HR and L&D pros to get their take on what’s to come in the new year.
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· 5 min read

Generative AI was this year’s Kool-Aid man, busting through the news cycle with countless stories about how the new tech will transform every aspect of life, including the workplace.

To quench your thirst for more knowledge on AI in 2024, HR Brew caught up with four HR and learning and development pros, some via email, to ask for their thoughts on what changes we might expect to see in the L&D landscape when it comes to more prolific use of AI, and especially generative AI.

Deborah Johnson, chief learning officer at Deloitte Tech Academy

In 2024, L&D teams will have lots of opportunities to experiment with generative AI and take advantage of its rapid advances to improve their agility. We’ll see leading L&D organizations use gen AI to do rapid course prototyping, create assessment questions, and generate video and image assets that can make course content more engaging at a lower cost. We will also see increased demands on L&D teams to provide training on the uses of gen AI for the learners they support. As more organizations adopt and incorporate gen AI into their operations, the need to upskill their workforces will accelerate dramatically.

Jim Hemgen, principal and director of talent development at Booz Allen

In 2024, AI adoption in the L&D landscape is set to undergo significant shifts…In the year ahead, a notable transformation will unfold as organizations move beyond catering solely to technical roles. The focus will be AI awareness training for all employees, ensuring that even non-technical staff are adept at engaging with generative AI. Core areas of coursework will span ethical and responsible AI use, data science fundamentals, AI decision-making processes, and more.

Recognizing the diverse skill sets within their workforces, organizations will further refine their courses based on individual knowledge levels. For technical roles, such as AI engineers, specialized content on machine learning operations (MLOps), coding languages like Python, and equitable AI practices will be integrated. Non-technical courses will concentrate on foundational knowledge, emphasizing how to interact with AI and fostering effective communication with the technology.

With the continuous evolution of regulations in 2024, learning and development practitioners must remain agile. The dynamic nature of compliance and safety requirements necessitates the ability to pivot swiftly, ensuring that courses stay aligned with the latest standards. This adaptability extends beyond AI-centric programs, as the integration of generative AI tools for routine tasks like assessing skills and recommending additional coursework becomes commonplace.

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Ravin Jesuthasan, senior partner and global leader for transformation services at Mercer

From my perspective, in 2024, L&D will be significantly impacted by AI. Firstly, the function will need to play a crucial role in enabling companies and employees to comprehend and master the use of AI. Specifically, L&D will need to support business leaders in creating “safe zones” where employees can experiment with generative AI and learn to use it without incurring the risks associated with it…This approach is ideal for mitigating the fear associated with AI, demystifying its usage, and seamlessly integrating it into the workflow naturally.

Secondly, generative AI will transform the work of L&D. Specifically by generating personalized development plans for employees based on their performance and strengths [and] weaknesses but also creating engaging and interactive learning activities, such as games and simulations, to help employees understand complex concepts and reskill at speed. Generative AI will also be able to generate real-time feedback and assessments, allowing the L&D function and leaders to quickly identify areas where employees need additional support. Additionally, the use of AI will allow the creation of customized learning content (eg, text, images, audio, video) at speed and scale to enable large scale talent transitions from sunset to sunrise work more seamlessly.

Christopher Duchesne, general manager at Springboard

What was initially sort of reluctance and uncertainty transitioned into organizations realizing and appreciating that AI was actually something that they needed to enable their folks to have skills around, and also safeguards in how they use it. So, what we’ve tended to see is that employers are looking at L&D programming and upskilling that is, in fact, part of almost a change management activity and organizational transformation activity that helps people appreciate and understand what [AI is] a way that demystifies it and makes people not only more confident in using it, but also less scared and concerned about it in terms of their roles and their jobs…It’s more about how folks are leveraging AI and are being upskilled through the learning and talent development programs to actually be able to apply it in their job to be more effective, to be more productive and more efficient in what they’re doing.

Quick-to-read HR news & insights

From recruiting and retention to company culture and the latest in HR tech, HR Brew delivers up-to-date industry news and tips to help HR pros stay nimble in today’s fast-changing business environment.