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L&D by AI? Workers say no thanks

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Survey reveals strong inclination towards human-led approach

In a recent study conducted by Wiley Workplace Intelligence involving 3,000 participants across North America, findings indicate a strong inclination towards human-led learning and development (L&D) rather than AI-driven approaches. The survey highlights that 59% of respondents express a preference for an instructor—whether physically present or virtually—to guide their workforce development training, while merely seven percent favour AI.

Of those surveyed, a significant majority (87%) emphasize the importance of having subject matter experts curate L&D content rather than relying on AI (12%). Dr. Mark Scullard, Senior Director of Product Innovation at Wiley, underscores this preference, stating, “When it comes to learning and development, employees crave a human connection. They want a person to create and lead their instruction, even if it’s in an online setting.”

These revelations emerge at a time when L&D professionals are increasingly open to integrating AI into their practices. The survey reflects that 64% of respondents believe that AI could enhance efficiency by handling administrative tasks. AI’s potential as an automation tool is seen as a means for L&D professionals to redirect their efforts towards more value-added pursuits, such as curriculum design, instructional design, and learner support.

While the respondents from Wiley’s survey express reluctance towards AI-directed workforce development training, they do not discount the possibility of L&D practitioners enhancing their methodologies. This stance comes amidst the broader adoption of AI in various workplace functions. Approximately one-third of workplaces have actively integrated AI into their operations, with 29% incorporating it into at least one business facet.

Key Insights:

  • AI finds the highest adoption rate in service operations across various business functions.
  • Human resources and development show a seven percent AI adoption rate.
  • Additional areas where AI is utilised include marketing and sales (15%), product or service departments (15%), supply chain management (9%), manufacturing (8%), strategy and corporate finance (7%), and risk assessment (6%).
  • Despite its increasing popularity, 36% of respondents indicate that their organizations have yet to embrace AI.
  • Major barriers to AI implementation include budget constraints, integration uncertainty, a lack of strategic priority, time limitations, and insufficient buy-in.


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