Will AI Take your Instructional Design Job?

If you don't get on board with artificial
intelligence, then you are going to get left behind, and that's why in this
video I'll share what you can do and what I'm doing to make sure that we
still have jobs in the years to come. Since recording my last video
about artificial intelligence tools for instructional
designers, a lot has changed. There are new AI apps
popping up every single day. ChatGPT has exploded in popularity
and a lot of instructional designers are already using it. The Adobe suite is incorporating AI
into its tools, like, Photoshop has generative AI now, for example,
and it seems every month there's new groundbreaking research about
some AI advancements, and pretty soon that's going to be coming down
the pipeline to commercial tools. So it's changing, it's advancing rapidly,
and it's pretty clear at this point that there's no turning back because
it's already saving instructional designers, and companies overall,
a lot of time and a lot of money. We're going in that direction and it
is going to impact the labor market.

It already is impacting the labor market
because with such productivity gains and changes like this, how could it not? So that's why in this video, I want to
share my perspective on how this will impact things in the short term and the
long term for instructional designers. And I'll also share some actionable
suggestions about what you can do to make sure that your job is safe, so to speak. All right, so let's start
with the short term impacts. So I think it's pretty safe to
say that instructional designers will be five to 10 times more
productive with generative AI tools. Now, if you think about a lot of the
rote tasks that you complete as an instructional designer, like writing
storyboards or reading large documents and turning that into learning objectives, or
developing eLearning, or even developing assets for eLearning, all of those
things you'll be able to do in a fraction of the time with generative AI tools.

It can help, especially storyboarding. I imagine that's what's
taking up a lot of your time. That is going to, that is going to be
greatly reduced, actually generating the content you need for the learning
experiences that you're creating or coming up with ideas for activities… AI is going to help with that. And because of that, instructional
designers who use AI tools will be positioned to make a massive
impact in much less time. Think about it. I know some corporate instructional
designers who need to create like a course per week. With these AI tools, you're going
to be able to do a course in a day. And I'll talk a little bit more
about what that looks like. But if you're essentially the the
instructional designer who's being valued for your expertise and you're guiding
this tool through creating the learning experiences, your productivity is going
to be much different than it is now.

So that's changing things and it's
going to impact the job market. Yeah, teams and companies
will start to adapt. And this is already happening, so the
instructional designers workload may start looking different as companies
are getting on board with AI and as these tools are becoming more popular. So instead of doing so much of the
hands-on work, like the writing and the developing, you might spend
more time interviewing people, managing projects or strategizing. So you might be doing more things that
the AI tool can't do, like talking to people, essentially, and maybe making
some of those strategic decisions that you might not want to rely on a robot making. But again, these robots, these artificial
intelligence models, if you feed them a lot of data, they might be able to make
some pretty good strategic decisions. We're just going to have
to see how that develops. Also, like I mentioned earlier, your
expertise becomes more valuable if you're working with a tool that, say you feed it
a ton of information, maybe transcripts from your interviews with subject
matter experts, maybe PDF documents, maybe prior training PowerPoints…

You can feed it all of that, and then
maybe it will generate some learning objectives when you tell it what your
goal is for the learning experience. You're going to need to use your expertise
to evaluate those learning objectives and maybe fine tune them to make sure
that it's something that you would, yeah, you would put your own expertise behind. And then you can imagine from there,
maybe it generates like a storyboard that that it thinks is production-ready. You will want to use your expertise to
evaluate that storyboard and make changes. So you're still going to need an
instructional designer who knows what they're talking about and who has
that expertise, because if you just give it all over to the computer,
you might not get very high quality output and you don't want to just
rely on the computer alone, especially with how things are looking now. You still need a person who
knows what they're talking about, knows what they're doing before
just relying on AI completely. So I think what you can do in this like
short term where companies and teams are starting to use these AI tools is to make
sure that you are on top of the AI tools.

Like you need to start incorporating
AI into your process and leveraging it. And I know this can be difficult
if you're working at a corporation when they have a lot of restrictions
on what data you can feed into ai. But there are some huge companies
and consulting firms who are incorporating it and they're setting
guidelines around, here's what you can and can't use JT PT for example. So keep an eye on that.

Use these AI tools where you can and
start finding ways where they can save you time and making more productive. Because there is going to be a period
where, if you do figure out these AI tools and you do find these productivity
improvements, especially if you're a freelancer or consultant, you're going
to be able to get a lot more work done in a lot less time, and there is a
lot of opportunity for you there as a designer or as a creative professional. All right, so moving into the long-term
impacts, and this is where it's a bit hazier, I think, we don't really
know exactly what this will look like, so I'll give that disclaimer. This might be 10 years from now.

It might be 30 years from now. Maybe it'll be sooner, but with how
things move, I would be surprised if it was much sooner than that. But this is already starting. AI will get built into the systems we use
for work, and we will have these AI guides for the work tasks that we're completing. And AI may give people what
they need when they need it. So if you're about to get on an important
call, your AI assistant, so to speak, may give you the information or the insights
you need based off of all the data it has available to it to help you on that call. If you are, yeah, working on a floor
somewhere, if you're looking at a product, you're looking at a machine,
you may get that information that you need to fix that machine or sell that
product like on-demand, so to speak. Again, maybe it will come,
maybe it will come in glasses. Apple is committed to the mixed reality
development now, and right now it's a big clunky headset, but eventually, we
can imagine it being glasses like this maybe even 10 years or so, maybe sooner.

Or maybe, Elon Musk
working on Neuralink… maybe it's going to be a chip in the
brain like in these sci-fi novels. So I think we can all say we're in a
world where that doesn't seem impossible. And it seems like that's a
likely progression of where the technology is moving. And if we're using that when we
work and it's powered by artificial intelligence, we're going to have
this, yeah, AI powered brain that helps, that's like constant performance
support for what it is that we're doing. And when we do get to that future,
the role of instructional designers is going to look very different. That's what I ask myself. If we're in a future where we get, if
I'm talking to someone in a different language and I can have what they're
saying translated to me in real time in glasses or a brain chip,
do I need an instructional designer designing me a learning experience
on how to speak another language? Or any other job task, for example.

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