The latest technologies entering the L&D space are generating attention for their potential to change how learning is delivered to best meet individual needs. The two major types of technology that have emerged are Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning and Augmented/Virtual Reality. While requiring expertise to design and implement them is typically outside of traditional L&D capabilities, vendors currently offer these capabilities for use in L&D applications:
- Artificial intelligence (AI) “leverages computers and machines to mimic the problem-solving and decision-making capabilities of the human mind”. Machine Learning (ML) is a branch of artificial intelligence that is defined as “a method of data analysis that automates analytical model building. It is based on the idea that systems can learn from data, identify patterns, and make decisions with minimal human intervention.”
- Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) - constitute "virtual technologies that either enhance or replace a real-life environment with a simulated one". AR applications augment the user surroundings by adding digital elements to a live view such as images or data that would provide complementary information related to the real world. With VR, the learner is completely immersed in an experience that replaces a real-life environment with a fully simulated virtual world.
Numerous applications of these technologies are showing great potential.