The Artificial Intelligence industry is poised to grow to US$ 407 billion by the year 2027. As per the report published on the Markets & Markets website the A.I. industry is slated to grow with a CAGR of 36.2% in the period from 2022 to 2027. Tech-leaders like Google, Intel, Microsoft have all invested huge sums of money in research into Artificial Intelligence and coming up with products and solutions that can benefit industries as diverse as retail and healthcare and tourism and education.
In an earlier blog, we looked at GPT-3 and DALL-E from Open AI and how these tools can help create content and visuals. This blog looks at some popular A.I.-powered tools and websites that can help learning experience designers develop better eLearning solutions.
Content – Looking Beyond Scripts and Templates
Any good eLearning solution needs to have the following elements:
Properly written content appropriate for the audience
Aesthetic visuals and videos to complement the content
Thoughtfully-designed assessments and questions
A good user-experience for the learners
In this section, we will examine how A.I. can be used to create content for eLearning.
What is A.I. for Content Creation? How Does it Work?
To put it in simple words, Artificial Intelligence-powered algorithms will create content for users based on specific units. Compare it to something akin to writing an essay or short story in English class in school based on the prompts or ideas that your teacher provided. In this case, the user will have to provide specific inputs or requirements, which the algorithm powering the software / website will process and give the user an output in plain text.
The software would have pre-loaded information in it that the developers would have added to its library and help the tool generate content as required. It is important to remember that the developers will keep adding new content pieces and content labels or markers to the software to help it evolve as per the changing requirements of users.
Frase.io is a powerful A.I. powered content generation tool with attractive pricing plans. We tried to put Frase to test and gave it the topic – “eLearning Design Powered by Artificial Intelligence”. The output is quite interesting and screenshots are shared below:
An interesting observation based on the content generated by the tool is that the 7 initial paragraphs produced by Frase talk about A.I. and its sub-units or allied aspects. It does not specifically mention about eLearning or digital learning solutions.
Jasper is another highly celebrated content generation platform that is used by both organizations and individuals to meet their content requirements.
You can watch the following video to learn how Jasper works: click here
NeuralText is another simple and useful tool that seeks to offer clear titles and ideas for developing content. Here’s what we got as output when we repeated the same terms that we used on Frase.
Designed to give users better ideas for optimizing content as per SEO this tool can be extremely useful for marketers and website content managers. Learn more about NeuralText here.
Some other popular tools that can be used to generate content are listed below:
The key aspect to note here is that none of these tools are designed specifically for eLearning. These are at best tools that help writers generate content ideas or topic ideas that can be elaborated further. No tool is going to provide a screen-by-screen visual storyboard with instructions for graphic designers and separate entries for voice-over and on-screen text akin to a traditional eLearning storyboard.
Learning experience designers can play around with these tools to get some basic content ideas, which they can then develop further with research, and weave into a coherent eLearning storyboard.
Looking Beyond Stock Images
In the previous section we looked at different tools powered by A.I. that can be used for creating content. In this section, we will examine similar solutions that are available for image-creation. It is important to reiterate the solid work done by the Open AI Project in coming up with both GPT-3 and DALL-E-2. DALL-E-2 can create highly realistic images based on text prompts provided by the users and is continuously evolving as more information is being added into the system.
Watch this video to learn more about DALL-E-2:
Some popular AI-powered tools for creating websites are listed below:
Jasper Art – An AI-powered image generator from the same team behind Jasper’s content creation tool
AISEO Image Generator is another powerful tool that turns creative inputs into stunning pieces of visual art. Extremely user-friendly, the system requires users to sign up and register on the website. Once verified, they sign into their accounts, choose the image dimensions, and enter the text prompt or description of the image they want. On clicking “Generate” the tool creates a new image and shares it. The system claims that it only needs 5 seconds to generate new images. This is definitely remarkable and can help graphic designers save a lot of time
Dream by WOMBO is available on Android and iOS as an app and helps create high-quality artwork based on text prompts
Pixray text2image is another extremely interesting project that lets users create images from text inputs. Users can run it on their own computers or use the API to run it accordingly. Pricing is based on different models of hardware and is transparent. The options are limited but the output quality is steadily improving as the system evolves
It is important to note that the output produced by the AI-powered image generators is becoming increasingly difficult to differentiate from an image or piece of visual art produced by a human. By using the right keywords and text inputs, graphic designers should be able to save a fair bit of time using these AI-powered art and image generators.
Simplifying eLearning Design
The content can be used as a basic foundation to develop a detailed storyboard. The images and art-work produced by AI-art generators can help save the time of graphic designers. Using mind-map and flowchart tools, can help instructional designers plan out the layout and structure of the eLearning course. Thus, we observe that AI-powered tools can help learning experience designers save time and effort. The focus is to “work smarter rather than harder.”
Implications of Using Artificial Intelligence for eLearning Design
Looking at the current crop of tools available for content and image generation. It is safe to say that content for eLearning is still a fair bit away. The progress made in visual art and image generation is stupendous and it will be interesting to see how much of graphic design gets automated in the coming years.
The onus is on professionals be it instructional designers or graphic designers to stay updated with the latest technology trends. When course-authoring tools like Articulate Storyline, Storyline Rise, SoftChalk, Lectora, Epic Editor, etc.., began to gain prominence doomsayers began to say that regular content writers would have to lose out. They would have to learn these tools and also learn to add images and art in the content. Though the term “Instructional Designer” has now begun to resemble a “Jack / Jane of all trades” designation, the world still has a place for people who only write in Word documents or create PowerPoint presentations for their eLearning storyboards.
Perhaps in the next few years these “content writers” would also have to truly be attuned to the times and learn how to use different tools to remain relevant in their career roles. User-experience design is an integral part of the overall eLearning experience.
What Does the Future Hold?
With a focus on human-centered design, quality teams and design teams are now under immense pressure to design and deploy digital learning solutions that stand apart from the competition. As a learner or an end-user of the eLearning course or digital learning solution, this means that vendors are competing with each other to offer a top-quality learning experience. We are yet to reach a stage where an AI-powered tool will deliver a SCORM-compliant course at the click of a button on entering data about the target audience and the topic of the program. If that really happens, eLearning companies would fold, and it is unlikely that anyone would actually decide to build such a tool without substantial backing and investments.
To summarize Artificial Intelligence is evolving at breakneck speed and organizations like the Open AI Project, Google, IBM, and Microsoft are working overtime on coming up with powerful AI-powered solutions for different businesses. It will be interesting to observe how the eLearning industry adapts to the availability of such resources. The future looks adventurous for both learners and designers as eLearning evolves to keep up with the changes in technology prompted by the adoption of AI-powered tools.
At S4C, our R&D team has experimented with different AI-powered tools ranging from chatbots to learning recommendation engines. We will be happy to partner with you to develop a new eLearning program for your organization or re-purpose your existing training content for a new audience in a different format. Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn how we can help you deliver a better learning experience powered by A.I.