Technically HR: LinkedIn Learning releases new pilot offering expert advice to learners

The new pilot will feature chat with an AI tool whose responses are based on expert content.
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Francis Scialabba

4 min read

LinkedIn will begin offering AI-powered learning opportunities based on the courses of some of its top business and professional experts in career development, business strategy, and well-being in a new pilot for its learning platform.

One of the instructors featured in this new program, Anil Gupta, a business strategist who teaches courses on LinkedIn Learning, said in a blog post about the pilot that this feature “will make it easier for instructors to scale their teaching and connect with even more learners.”

Learners will be able to directly chat with an AI tool whose answers are based on the experts’ LinkedIn Learning courses, as well as other published materials that the platform has access to to inform its responses.

“Sometimes a learner comes in and they have a more general question, and what they want to do is ask…and understand what content they can get, where to [get] help, etcetera,” said LinkedIn’s VP of Product Hari Srinivasan. “Sometimes they actually find that one of the instructors—just like you might [have] at work…a mentor out there who has a little bit more understanding of you—and they want to go deeper with that person…This idea of getting expertise from a particular person is going to solve that pain point and let you go deeper with them.”

Learners will be able to pose questions to the AI tool and get instant advice from the “instructor.” The platform will also take into account the learner’s background and job information based on their LinkedIn profile. Advice for an entry-level employee and C-suite executive may look different.

“There’s not one right answer for many things…especially post secondary education,” he said. “When we’re talking about how to prioritize tasks or how to show up in a meeting or what might have [gone] wrong, we learned pretty quickly that there’s not always [one] right answer to it.”

More than 16,000 enterprise organizations use learning solutions offered by Linkedin Learning for employee upskilling and development.

Srinivasan suggested that L&D pros can market this sort of bespoke, AI-informed learning to individuals higher up the corporate ladder. A senior executive might not need an entire course on corporate communication, but could benefit from chatting with an “expert” on communicating a tough decision with subordinates, for example.

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Srinivasan also said AI answers will look different depending on which expert a learner might question. The experts who the company worked with in the initial release come from different areas of the work and business worlds, so their answers might look different depending on which expert a learner queries. Srinivasan said this better reflects the real world.

LinkedIn is also designing a royalty program for its instructors when AI is consulted for help, so when the AI-powered guidance delivers answers or best practices, the instructors that informed those answers are paid for it. Navigating the IP used by AI applications has been the fodder for debates on how people and businesses should be compensated for fueling the massive knowledge base that trains AI models—even leading to a number of lawsuits by news organizations against ChatGPT’s parent OpenAI, whereas other companies have inked deals with the AI giant.

“A valuable teacher is invaluable. I believe in the power of instruction. I believe in the power of instructors,” Srinivasan said of the royalty program.

Zoom out. AI is poised to transform learning and development and post-secondary education, Srinivasan said. Tools like the AI chatbots, informed by an expert’s vast knowledge of a specific subject, have “opened up a new style of learning.”

L&D pros already know their LMS or library of courses must address different ways to learn. AI-powered learning can distill large courses into the exact bit of info a learner may need to level-up.

“There’s so many different learning styles out there. There are moments where people come in and they want to understand a piece of information or a framework, and certainly there’s a place for video and a place for text and a place for understanding it, but there’s other things…where you need to interact with the person or with the content or with the information in a different way.”

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.