Demystifying AI in L&D.

AI: Artificial Intelligence. Sounds ominous, doesn’t it?

Visions of robots taking over classrooms and HAL9000 dispensing wisdom with a chilling monotone.

But hold on, before you hit the panic button, let’s reframe the conversation.

What if AI, instead of replacing human instructors, became their ultimate teaching assistant?

Well, in the world of learning and development, that’s not such a “sci-fi” idea you know.

Benefits for the learner.

Imagine a training programme that moulds itself to your needs. AI can analyse your strengths, weaknesses, and learning preference, then curate a personalised curriculum that keeps you engaged and challenged. No more one-size-fits-all lectures!

  • Craving interactive simulations? AI whips them up on demand.
  • Need a quick knowledge refresh? An AI chatbot is just a chat away, dispensing bite-sized learning nuggets 24/7.

And what about knowledge embedding and retention? Spaced-repetition tools like our very own BentoBot are already identifying individual knowledge gaps, and only serving up the content that users need to revise.

Continuous improvement.

But AI isn’t just about customisation. It’s a data-driven powerhouse, analysing every click, swipe, and quiz score to understand how well the training is actually working.

  • Are people getting stuck on a specific module? Or does everyone struggle to answer the same question? AI flags it, prompting an instructor to intervene.
  • Is a particular topic confusing? AI rewrites it in a clearer, more engaging way.
  • What about translation? AI has your back there too.

It’s like having a real-time feedback loop, continuously improving the learning experience for everyone.

I still don’t like it.

Now, hold your horses, the skeptics might cry…

Won’t AI turn us into mindless drones, reliant on machines for knowledge? Absolutely not!

AI is a tool, a powerful one, yes, but still a tool. The human touch remains indispensable.

AI can guide the way, personalise the journey, and analyse the results, but it’s the passionate instructors, the inspiring mentors, who ignite the spark of curiosity and fuel the fire of learning.

But, surely, using AI is just “cheating” isn’t it?

Well, the answer to that one has to be “sometimes”;

When AI skirts the line:

  • Passing off AI-generated work as your own: This is akin to plagiarism in an academic setting. If you use AI to write an essay or complete a training module without understanding the material or critically engaging with it, that’s unethical… and ultimately detrimental to your learning.
  • Using AI to gain an unfair advantage: Imagine using an AI-powered cheat sheet during a certification exam. That’s not learning, it’s shortcut-taking that undermines the purpose of the training and devalues the achievement.
  • Over reliance on AI: When you depend solely on AI to guide your learning journey, you miss out on the critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills that human interaction nurtures. Remember, AI should be a tool, not a crutch.

When AI becomes a valuable ally:

  • Personalised learning: As already mentioned, AI can personalise training content and pace to your individual needs, making the learning process more engaging and effective. This isn’t deception, it’s smart utilisation of technology to optimise individual learning.
  • Knowledge reinforcement and gap identification: AI can analyse your progress and pinpoint areas where you need more practice. This allows you to focus your efforts and ensure you truly grasp the material, not just cram for exams.
  • Skill development through simulations and feedback: AI-powered simulations can provide safe environments to practice skills and receive immediate feedback on your performance. This is a valuable tool for learning and improving without real-world consequences.

Ultimately, the key is intentionality and responsible use.

AI should be used to augment your learning, not replace it. You should actively engage with the material, critically analyse the AI’s suggestions, and ultimately own your learning journey.

Sure, there is a lot of domesday scenarios being banded about, but let’s ditch the fear and embrace the future of learning, where AI and humans work hand-in-hand, making the journey of development more personalised, more efficient, and most importantly, more exhilarating than ever before.

This isn’t a takeover, it’s a transformation.

AI isn’t the enemy of learning, it’s the ultimate study buddy. So, let’s learn from the machines, grow with them, and together, build a brighter future for our learners.

And the next time you hear “AI in training,” put down your pitchforks and pick up your curiosity.

It’s about embracing technology to create a smarter, more engaging, and ultimately more effective learning experience for everyone.

And isn’t that something we can all get behind?

P.S. Yes, the image at the top is AI generated, but only gave the result I was after using the prompt: “A hyper realistic render of a robot delivering training via a laptop”

If you want to discuss this topic in more depth then you can connect with me on LinkedIn or drop me an email.

The 4Ps of Candid Conversations


The “Four Ps” model can help us to plan for a difficult or candid conversation so that both parties find it beneficial.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn how to plan for a difficult or candid conversation so that both parties find it beneficial
  • Understand how to use the 4Ps to deliver a difficult message
  • Consider how this can help manage under-performance in a structured manner

Assertive Disagreement


When you disagree with someone, it is often best to be direct and clear, as it avoids an unfortunate misunderstanding. People can shy away from disagreement as it can sometimes feel confrontational. The assertive approach introduced in this module helps you to express your disagreement in a professional, constructive manner.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn what assertiveness is
  • Learn a process to put your case across without getting emotional
  • Provide context for how to use the model in a real-world environment

Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument


Because no two individuals have exactly the same expectations and desires, conflict is a natural part of our interactions with others. This self-test assessment will tell you more about your predominant style of handling conflict and what this means.

Learning Outcomes

  • Provide a starting point for your development
  • Identify your conflict handling style
  • Learn about the five conflict handling modes

AID Feedback Model


Providing feedback that encourages open dialogue and communication enhances your credibility as both a teammate and as a leader. AID is a simple feedback model that can be used for positive moments and those that need corrective action.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn a simple model for providing feedback
  • Identify your own role in each of the stages
  • Discover the benefits of creating a feedback culture

Action-Centred Leadership


Good managers and leaders should have full command of the three main areas of the Action-Centred Leadership model and should use each of the elements according to the situation.

Learning Outcomes

  • Discover John Adair’s action-centred leadership model
  • Learn how to adapt the model for your own work situation
  • Investigate the danger of becoming out of balance

Question Types


Asking the right question is at the heart of effective communication and information exchange. Using the right questions can improve a whole range of communication skills; the information we receive back (the answer) will depend very much on the type of question we ask.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn why asking the right question is at the heart of effective communication and information exchange
  • Discover why the right questions in a particular situation can improve a whole range of communication skills

Dr. Mehrabian’s Communication Model


We are always communicating, even when we are not speaking. Other factors communicate what we really think and feel, which can be explained by looking at Albert Mehrabian’s communication model.

Learning Outcomes

  • Learn the impact of mixed messages when communicating
  • Understand that communication is a blend of words, body language and tone

Situational Leadership


Leaders need to tailor their approach based on the person they are coaching, their experience at the task and their level of enthusiasm for completing it.

The ability to adapt your leadership style to cater to different tasks and your people’s needs is called situational leadership.

Learning Outcomes

  • Understand Hersey and Blanchard’s situational leadership model
  • Recognise directive and supportive behaviours
  • Understand the four leadership styles in line with situational leadership
  • Understand the development levels of team members, based on competence and commitment
  • Become confident with flexing your leadership style to the individual and the situation