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How AI Reshapes Education, Streamlines Upskilling for Employees

employee training

Artificial intelligence (AI) is changing how companies train and upskill their employees, offering personalized learning experiences that can reduce costs and improve efficiency. 

The global AI-in-education market is expected to grow from $3.6 billion in 2023 to around $73.7 billion by 2033, according to a report from Market.US. Despite the impressive forecast, online education company Chegg, which has invested in AI tools, recently saw a drop in stock, something that highlights the volatility of the sector. 

“Generative AI can provide a level of personalization in learning that is nearly impossible to achieve without this advanced technology,” Ryan Lufkin, global vice president of strategy at the education technology company Instructure, told PYMNTS. “This means we can quickly assess what an employee knows and teach directly to their knowledge gaps, reducing the amount of time spent learning and improving time-to-productivity.”

AI Hits Education Market 

To enter the growing AI education market, Chegg launched CheggMate last year. This AI-enhanced learning service, developed in collaboration with OpenAI’s GPT-4, is designed to provide students with personalized learning pathways and support.

“We believe the combination of Chegg’s proven ability to improve student outcomes, with the breakthrough technology of OpenAI and Chat GPT, will create the most powerful study companion for students around the world,” Dan Rosensweig, CEO and president of Chegg, said in a news release at the time of the launch of the service. “CheggMate will enable students to have an instantaneous AI conversation personalized to their learning style and needs, supported by our substantial proven and reliable content library.” 

As businesses increasingly adopt AI-powered learning platforms, experts predict a shift in corporate education that could save companies millions of dollars annually while boosting employee performance and retention.

Lufkin shared a personal anecdote about how AI helped him improve his Spanish language skills for presentations in Latin America.

“I started experimenting with using some of the generative AI tools for translation, and I was surprised at how much better the outcomes were,” he said. “AI just understands the contexts and responds with more natural language that fits the situation.”

As the pace of change accelerates, Lufkin said he believes that companies must foster a mindset of lifelong learning among employees. However, he acknowledged that there is still fear surrounding AI due to popular cultural depictions. 

A whole generation was conditioned to fear AI through movies like War Games and Terminator,” Lufkin said. If we can get past that fear and understand the power and shortcomings of AI, we can harness that potential much more broadly.

Manufacturing is one example of an industry that is turning to AI for training, Rich Caplow, vice president of Product at L2L, a connected workforce solutions firm, told PYMNTS. 

“In the manufacturing industry, connected workforce platforms are embedding AI-powered technology into their product offerings to educate employees and better adapt to changes on the shop floor,” Caplow said. “Plant managers can utilize AI to pre-populate standard populations to make it easier to communicate instructions to their employees, allowing for greater efficiency and reduced downtime.”

AI is being used to support managers and frontline workers in manufacturing. Caplow said it can deliver timely data and guidance to help employees make informed decisions and complete tasks more effectively on the factory floor.

“AI has the ability to provide frontline workers visibility into what needs to be done while also giving them the instructions to do so,” he explained. “Technicians might receive an update on a machine that is in need of maintenance, highlighting the parts needed to fix it and estimating how much time it will take to complete.”

Experts: Make AI Training Relevant

While AI software for education like Chegg is readily available, experts say AI training is more complex than plunking employees in front of a keyboard. Michael Ojdana, chief learning officer of the educational software company Vector Solutions, told PYMNTS of the importance of providing real-world examples and immediate feedback to adult learners. 

“Adults need to know how information is relevant and applicable to them when learning; AI can help this by providing real-world examples to educate employees and give them immediate feedback,” he explained.

By incorporating AI-driven scenarios and instant recommendations, companies can improve employee skills without relying on on-site educators, saving time and resources.

Ojdana stressed the importance of expert oversight in AI-generated content.

“It must be stated, however, that all AI-created content should be vetted by subject matter experts. The benefits of AI are only made possible if it provides accurate information,” he cautioned.