*Denise O’Brien.

This week’s article from Denise O’Brien delves into Artificial Intelligence in the world of learning and development.

I may be biased but this week I will discuss, in my opinion why A.I. in the world of learning and development, cannot replace the human element of the process.

Fresh in my mind is the wonderful group of mid-level management that I began working with last week. Together we are embarking on a three-month programme and we got off to an exceptional start during our first session. The atmosphere in the room, the participation, and the feedback afterwards all provide me with a strong sense of knowing that the entire learning experience is not yet ready to be replaced by robot intelligence!

When I am asked to partner with organisations like this, there is usually a strong reason behind the request. In this case, the senior leaders want to develop their management team, so that they can elevate key skills within this group. This will ultimately build the confidence of this group to make decisions which ultimately will help grow the bottom line now and into the future.

What is it that A.I. can do for me and my participants?

When considering the preparation of a programme such as this, A.I. or artificial intelligence as we all now know it, has the capacity to write my workshop content, if I so choose. It is a fantastic tool, and for me can act as a collaborator on my course content. If I ask the A.I. app of my choosing, the right questions, it will provide me with the right answers. Of course, we need to be sure to fact-check information that the A.I. tools present to us, but for the most part, it has provided me with the glad assurance that never again will I have to stare at a blank page when creating workshops for current and future clients.

Apps such as Chat GPT or Perplexity A.I. among many, act like a design assistant, bringing my creative ideas to life and adding ‘meat to the bones’ of ideas that otherwise may take much longer to explore.

A.I. can create video content, imagery and graphics to accompany the theory used within my presentations, and this is all hugely helpful for someone like me, running a small business.

What is it that A.I. cannot do for me, or my participants?

In the ‘classroom’ setting, I get to know the attendees and more importantly, they get to know each other, perhaps more than they thought already.

The relationships blossom among the group, particularly as we explore ‘personality styles’ in great detail on day one. Over the course of the next two modules, they will continue to deepen their insights into the ways in which the others go about their day, and they reason why some relationships will take more work than others.

You might say that this sounds a bit trite. I would say however, that the foundation upon which successful businesses are built are strong professional relationships where trust has to be present.

The requirement that we have for human connection, bonding and a need to feel valued come to life in a more amplified way within the workplace. An experienced facilitator who is skilled at generating rich discussion among team members that they wouldn’t otherwise have, adds a nuance that A.I. simply cannot do.

Part of the role of the facilitator is to understand the potential that each and every member of the group possesses. Seeing untapped potential is a trait of a good coach and mentor. Usually, I will spot different personality styles and encourage each individual to contribute and share their ideas in a way that aims to make them feel valued and respected.

Typically, what follows is healthy debate, facilitated by asking a series of open-ended questions. This has the effect of eliciting in opinions from other group members, who perhaps, may see the world differently to their peers. It is the richness of these discussions that creates the professional patchwork quilt of personality styles and creative thought, that in my experience, can only come from real-life, human conversations.

A.I. already has taken on an established role within my business, acting as co-creator, and collaborator on what has otherwise been a lonely and sometimes tiresome road of content design and creation. Thankfully, in my experience of the magic that happens when a group of strong and dynamic managers come together to expand their ways of working together, I can safely say that the role of the human facilitator lives on.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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