The world is in the middle of a digital revolution. Anything and everything that can go digital is going digital – at an exponential rate.

We are heading towards an algorithm-driven intelligent learning ear. Things required for this change to happen are just falling in place as we are discussing this topic. The next three to five years are going to be exciting and I believe the below highlighted technology trio will disrupt the learning industry like never before:

  1. Artificial Intelligence (AI):

Artificial Intelligence, as we see it, is a collection of multiple scientific disciplines supported by technologies, which enable machines to sense, comprehend, act and learn, either on their own or by augmenting human activities. Some of the disciplines are Natural Language Processing, Video Analytics, Ontology, Deep Learning, Robotic Process Automation, Sensor Processing, Mini Bots, Knowledge Representation, Expert Systems, Facial Recognition, Computer Vision, Machine Learning, Inference Engines, Neural Networks, Reinforcement Learning, and Gesture Recognition.

The Learning & Development industry has shown a keen interest in the usage of AI. Some of the use cases that we see are:

1: Hyper Personalization/Recommendation Engines

2: Career Coach/Virtual Mentors bots

  1. Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR):

In the recent article published by Google “Daydream Labs: Teaching Skills in VR” they have highlighted how people using VR could outperform others who do not use VR, but used YouTube to learn how to make a coffee. Please read the article (https://www.blog.google/products/google-vr/daydream-labs-teaching-skills-vr/) for more on this experiment. This experiment proves beyond doubt that VR/AR based learning would improve the performance as it reduces the knowing – doing gap.

With the cost of technology coming down and mobile devices becoming more adept at handling VR/AR, it is only a matter of time before Learning & Development is able to leverage the technology to improve employee productivity.

  1. Learning Record Stores (LRS)/xAPI:

The world of learning and development over the past two decades has been so obsessed with Learning Management Systems that L&D functions would seldom think of ways and means of developing a skill if it could not be accommodated in an LMS. Today’s learners have changed and they do not want to be constrained by what an LMS can provide.

The solution to this interesting problem is the Learning Record Stores (LRS). An LRS is a system of records that stores any kind of learning activity that is happening within a formal or informal context. Corporate Universities would establish an LRS to which LMS would be able to write records of learning taken up by learners, similarly, other systems could also write into an LRS when a learner learns something outside of an LMS. When a learner reads an e-book, watches a video, completes a coaching session, an LRS record could be created for each of them. By implementing an LRS, the L&D team is able to expand the way in which the learners are able to learn and get credits.

In summary, In order to be competitive in this exponential world, the employee need to learn more and more, faster and faster, than ever before! One of the ways to address this is by democratizing learning through digitization. This means delivering learning and capability building resources to employees at their demand, anytime, anywhere, and via the technology of their choosing.

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