On 13th September 2023, CRF hosted a masterclass and online discussion on the impact of AI, particularly focusing on how AI can be leveraged in learning and development (L&D). CRF Managing Director Richard Hargreaves introduced the session, emphasising the huge potential of AI within L&D – including course design, skills gap analysis, career development assessments, D&I and evaluation of learning outcomes.
Peter Mulford, Global Partner and Chief Innovation Officer at BTS, then led the discussion, which focused on how AI works, how organisations can integrate the tool and use cases for L&D professionals. Download Peter’s presentation slides and the summary notes to get key insights from the discussion.
We have also outlined some Q&As which we weren’t able to cover in the live session below:
How do you deal with data protection considerations in the use case of the Airport?
To get this right you generally want to do four things in addition to following basic GDPR rules:
- Data Minimisation: Only collect the data that’s absolutely necessary.
- Anonymisation: If data doesn’t need to be linked to an individual, anonymize it. For example, passenger flow data can be anonymised to improve operations without identifying specific individuals. It’s worth making that extra effort.
- Data Retention: Have clear policies about how long data will be stored! This can catch up with you in lots of surprising (and unpleasant) ways if you don’t pay attention.
- Training: Staff should be trained on data protection principles and the importance of safeguarding passenger information. And don’t make it boring GDPR training (ugh!). From experience, we know this should be experiential learning, not just reading or retention.
When you are considering AI driven platforms to use…what are the most important questions to explore with the providers?
Key questions to ask providers include:
- Data Handling: How does your platform handle, store, and process data? Is data encrypted? Where is it stored? (Frown skeptically at their responses).
- Transparency: How transparent is your AI’s decision-making process? Oh yeah…Can your model provide explanations for its decisions? Tell me how.
- Bias and Fairness: How does your platform address potential biases in the AI? Oh yeah…what measures are you taking to fix that in the future?
- Customisation: Can your AI be tailored my specific needs? If yes, what’s that going to cost me!
- Security: What cybersecurity measures do you have in place to protect against breaches or unauthorised access? What’s your track record so far? Prove it!
- Support and Training: What kind of support and training are you offering me? Or are you going to just kiss and run?
How far off are we from tech companies creating Generative AI tools, that can be purchased off the shelf and taught to learn an organisation (E.g inputting policies procedures, organisation charts, project plans etc) so that it can be used by an employee to predict outputs within the context of the organisation?
As we discussed a bit at the CRF event, we are already seeing advancements in generative AI tools, with some available for specific tasks. But we still have a ways to go before we get to the kind of comprehensive tool you are asking about: one that can ingest an organisation’s entire set of policies, procedures, charts, and plans and predict outputs is a big lift. Why? The challenge lies in the diversity and complexity of organisational data. Remember! AI does X to Y mapping…so if the X is a mess, the Y won’t be worth much. But stay tuned, these things are evolving quickly.
I work for a charity – is cost a barrier for my kind of organisation? How can we harness the power of this technology without significant or prohibitive investment?
It’s true that a lot of these AI solutions can be pricey, but there are still ways for charities to harness AI without killing their budgets. In particular, there are many free, open-source AI tools and platforms your charity can use. (Note that even ChatGPT still has a free model). And I’d think that some tech companies offer grants or special programs for non-profits. You should look that up… depending on the charity, you might become part of a firm’s ESG strategy, especially if the firm is mapping to the UN SDGS.
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