If you’re wondering whether your company should incorporate artificial intelligence into its technology strategy, you’re significantly behind the curve.
It should be clear at this point that AI is transforming businesses around the world. It’s now a necessary tool for almost any company, in any industry, that wants to thrive and grow. The question now isn’t whether to use AI. It’s how to use AI to get — and maintain — a competitive advantage.
We can personalize almost everything in our lives now. Amazon and Netflix demonstrate how technology can steer us down incredibly detailed and accurate commercial and entertainment pathways. The same thing is quickly becoming a reality in career/professional training and education.
The emergence of artificial intelligence, 3D simulations, augmented reality and virtual reality will help deliver hyper-personalized training experiences, leading students and trainees to rewarding, fulfilling careers and opportunities that align with their personalities and goals.
AI-based training assistants, in particular, are poised to have a transformative impact across industries. Unlike previous generations of programmed online training and support, today’s AI assistants can help sharpen critical thinking, augment users’ foundational skills and hone their expertise instead of just helping them solve an immediate problem.
As they penetrate the workplace and continue to evolve in the coming months and years, AI training assistants are expected to unlock access to increasingly deep and wide knowledge bases so students and trainees can always find the right information when they need it.
Their impact is already being felt among the skilled trades industries. Manufacturers and contractors are facing an ongoing long-term labor crisis marked by unprecedented employee turnover and unfilled positions for skilled workers.
The chronic, systemic labor challenges these employers are experiencing won’t be solved overnight. But AI is helping them build sophisticated career and development support systems that will power new generations of workers in essential fields.
We know that one-on-one mentorship is the most effective training available. It’s been an important component of skilled trades training for decades. Spending two years watching an expert work gives trainees the opportunity to practice in a safe environment, ask questions and benefit from deep acquired knowledge of the subject matter.
However intensive one-on-one training is simply not scalable. It doesn’t support the kind of growth that many executives, business owners and stakeholders regard as a minimum standard of success.
AI has demonstrated enormous potential to provide the same advantages of long-term individualized mentor training that is scalable. Solutions that are already available are powering unmatched opportunities in workforce development with features that fast-track learning and sharpen critical thinking so skilled trades workers can save time, boost productivity, and tap into one of their most valuable resources: shared institutional knowledge.
These applications give instant, personalized guidance for employees at any level so new hires can be work-ready sooner and current employees can continually upskill. This new class of on-demand mentorship and training solutions provides all the key elements of one-on-one learning:
- Trainees build foundational knowledge by learning specific job-relevant skills, not a generalized introduction to the subject matter.
- Procedural instruction to ensure trainees learn the skills they need when they need them, in the right order.
- The opportunity for hands-on, supervised practice in a safe, secure virtual environment.
- Immediate corrective feedback in real-time to guide them to the right solution instead of providing easy answers, helping them develop real-world problem-solving skills.
- Accurate assessment of current skill levels so training can meet employees where they are and address their specific needs.
- Access to deep-earned knowledge. Companies accumulate vast banks of institutional knowledge and insights. Until now, they haven’t had efficient, convenient, reliable access to those knowledge bases. Now new employees can immediately leverage the full collected experience of the company, and veteran employees and managers are free from answering time-consuming foundational questions, allowing them to focus more on work that drives revenue and growth.
AI has already had a seismic impact on business. The nature of the technology ensures that as AI models continue to collect data, their insights and intuition will expand into new frontiers. This revolutionary technology will inspire previously unimaginable opportunities. Organizations that fully leverage AI as a tool and continue to engage with it throughout its evolution will remain a step ahead of competitors who ignore it or only implement it tentatively.
It’s essential to remember that AI is still just a tool. The fundamental principles that are the foundation of success remain the same. AI won’t replace those. But strategic engagement is critical for any business that expects to be competitive in the future that is already here.
Written by Doug Donovan.
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