Recently, a few of us at Fredrickson Learning were talking about trends — who, in Learning and Development, seems to focus on them, and also when and why we do. This being the beginning of the year, there’s a lot of focus given to trends in many different areas. I recently encountered this little tidbit from one of my entrepreneurial business management newsletters. The article is a very quick read (less than 5 minutes), and it’s full of intriguing thoughts for the future: Microsoft: 2016 Will Be The Year of AI.

In particular, my thoughts went in several directions. First, I immediately related Artificial Intelligence (AI) to the idea of the personal assistant we often develop for online training. I’m fascinated by the idea that there could be a move to merge AI with this type of learning interaction concept to create more personalized learning applications.

Second, the assertion from Microsoft’s Lily Cheng that AI will not only help us get work done but keep us positive, gave me nightmare visions of the old “clippy” companion to Word, Excel, et. al. I’m certainly hoping we’ve all moved way beyond that type of overly helpful assistance.

Finally, though, I was very intrigued by the assertion at the end of this article the Microsoft is laying its cards on the table about the concept of moving to Zero UI. It made me think about how we strive to create clean, intuitive interfaces in our online training modules in order to minimize interference between the “thing” and the learning. Making Zero UI a reality is certainly a design challenge worth tackling.

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