Last year, China’s Xin Hua news agency introduced Qui Hao, the world’s first AI male news anchor. Just three months after, they unveiled Xin Xiaomeng, the world’s first AI female news presenter. While critics were quick to say that those anchors are not truly AI but just AI-powered, I leave that to the experts. AI has truly arrived and is now making its mark in the business of storytelling and presenting. What does this mean for us, trainers, facilitators, and presenters? Are we to lose our place as master storytellers in the fourth industrial revolution sooner than we think? Are human trainers and storytellers about to be replaced by AI bots? How do we continue to thrive and stay relevant in this fast-paced and ever-changing environment?
While an article by McKinsey and Co. doesn’t think so — or at least not just yet, their research with MIT’s Lab for Social Machines recognizes that a collaboration between humans and AI technology can be a very powerful tool to enhance the video storytelling process and help us continue to flourish in the world of AI.
The power of human touch
What makes a fun, engaging and highly interactive virtual training or webinar session? Is it the usage of the latest tools? Perhaps. Is it showing the most visually appealing slides and content? Maybe. Personally, the most significant element of a successful presentation is the humanity of the trainer or presenter. The connection between humans, like how we make conversations, relate with each other’s stories, show warmth, humor and empathy, is still beyond the capabilities of AI. The emotional human traits are what set us apart. But it doesn’t mean that we can and should rest on our laurels.
Let’s challenge ourselves
Developments in AI and technology don’t happen in trickles, but in leaps and bounds. Have you heard about the short film, Sunspring? It’s the first ever screenplay solely written by an AI bot. Can you imagine this being possible ten years ago? Let’s continue to challenge ourselves and strive to be better trainers, facilitators and presenters in the midst of all the technology advancements going on. Be updated with the latest trends and topics. Always consider what is relevant to the changing needs of your learners and participants. Find new and creative ways to engage and evoke their emotions.
AI technology is here to stay. Whether we see it as a threat or an opportunity is a matter of perspective. I continue to see it as a challenge to be better at what we do. Humans are innately emotional beings. Let’s use this to our advantage whenever we do our sessions. In this modern world we live in, it’s always in the best interest of us, as trainers, and our learners to learn to adapt to the rapidly changing technology. This will help cement our place as master trainers and storytellers. Share with me your thoughts. I’d love to read your comments below.
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Ray Jimenez, PhD
“Helping Learners Learn Their Way”