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EP 03: Cultivating Empathy: The Art of AI Storytelling in Learning
Episode 316th April 2024 • Learning Matters • ttcInnovations
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Join Eric Berget, our Creative Solutions Lead at Dashe, as we chat about how to make learning more fun and engaging using storytelling techniques and AI tools. If you want to grab your learners' attention and keep them interested, this episode is for you! Eric explains the difference between making learning experiences and instructional design, stressing the importance of thinking about what your learners really need and like. He also talks about using AI tools like Midjourney to make captivating images and graphics for your learning content. Tune in for the tradeoffs and a word of caution not to get carried away and balance the human element. Be sure to check out the video version of this episode to see real-life examples, a step-by-step walk through and more!


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Learning Matters Podcast (:

Welcome back to Learning Matters. I'm Doug Wooldridge, your host, and today we've got a very exciting episode for you. We're going to be talking about AI and L &D. Our guest, Eric Burgett, is Dash's Creative Solutions Lead, and he's going to walk us through some of the cutting edge uses of AI for developing courses that are focused on storytelling and learner experience. Eric has spent the last 12 plus years cultivating his skills and passion as a creative director and learning experience designer.

He's won top level industry awards like best in show at Devlearn pushing the boundaries and definitions of what a digital learning experience can be. He's fluent in generative AI and is rooted in the value of storytelling. Let's get to the interview. Okay. I want to welcome Eric for get to our podcast here. He's a part of our dash team and is a learning experience designer. And ultimately we.

I kind of want to get into a little bit of the discussion about AI tools that he's using today to make training more storytelling as opposed to kind of that standard style of training. So without further ado, let's get into it. Just to start things off a little bit, Eric, I'd love to hear how you kind of found your way into the learning and development space. Yeah.

Yeah, and hey, it's great to be here. So I'm looking forward to getting into it. Actually, yeah, my story, I guess my origin story for L &D really begins on a plane to South Korea is how I would say it. I graduated Bethel College in Minnesota here with a history degree, with a social studies education. That's I think a lot of...

instructional designers have that Ed background. I actually originally was going to be a history teacher and subbed for a while and realized, I don't know about this. My wife and I, we decided to do a year in South Korea teaching English at a private school, one of those English teaching academies there. Sure. That was going to be a year to kind of examine, do I really want to do this? Am I really supposed to be a teacher?

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Right. And so anyway, it went there and and then working with my wife who's had a teaching background as well, you know, we worked at the same school and I watched her in this environment and I thought, oh, that's what it looks like to be a good teacher. And I called into this, you know, like teaching is a calling. And I just realized, oh, that's right. Like, this is exhausting for me.

And I conceptually liked history. And I like working with kids, but just it wasn't adding up. Like something's not right. So came back and just started leaning into, I have these ambiguous ideas about something creative, something in that right brain world. Wasn't sure what. So it was kind of an abstract idea to pursue. I went to community college and just started taking some basic intro to Photoshop.

kinds of courses and web design 101, HTML kind of stuff. And then quickly realized that feeling of affirmation of, oh, I'm in the right general space now. I'm moving in the right direction. And then how it goes where you sort of clarify over time and you kind of bring into focus some actual careers within that. So I kind of got marketing a little bit as an intern somewhere.

and did that was great, a great experience, but got laid off there, which turned into a little side project gig for a company that did L &D stuff, which happens to be Dash. And then that was like 12, 13 years ago. And so, yeah, having the graphic design skill shifted away from the web design and really kind of found my, and just my own.

you know, it's all that tied up in like skills, but also your passion of what you want to keep. And so for me, it was, you know, I really found my, my own instincts for visual communication. You know, I really, that was something that I thought, Oh, this comes naturally to me, you know, not just skills in Photoshop, but I have an instinct and a desire to become better and better at visual communication. And so, you know, that, that sort of took the form of.

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Storyline development and and graphic design and things like that. So Yeah, well that is a heck of a way to start your career off is Being in a different country and then realizing maybe I'm not in the right field here. So wild way to just Jump right into a brand new career path and I think that that's incredible. So I'd like to hear

maybe just a little bit about how you view learning experience design as opposed to, let's say, senior instructional designer or just training and development in general. Yeah, yeah, it's a good question because I don't remember, at least when I started at Dash, that wasn't a term that we used right away. And I think that maybe that existed in some places, but it wasn't the term primarily that was out there. And I think...

Um, I do really like it. I do feel like it is a more accurate description of, of at least what I'm really pursuing to be and what I'm pursuing to create. And the distinction, I think, you know, there is an overlap, but I think the distinction is in kind of the emphasis where, especially if you contrast it with training, we have, I think when we think in terms of the word training, it really,

tends to center around the skills and knowledge that needs to be disseminated. And so it kind of sliders around that core of, you know, this is the thing that needs to be trained and we need to figure out a way to train it. Whereas learning experience design tends to just focus its emphasis and just that way of thinking around the learner. Gotcha.

What is their motivation? What is the reason for being here? What is that? What are their barriers and what will kind of inspire or equip or empower that person? And so it takes a little different posture. You know, they're not contradictory terms necessarily. Sure. But it's almost like a frame of reference for how you approach that that that communication problem or that that kind of that movement from, you know, one place of experience into another.

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And so I think what we've found is just to be more effective. We want to be more focused on that empathetic seeing of where the learner is in trying to find that way to motivate them or equip them to keep moving. Thank you for that. And as much as I'd like to get into kind of like the philosophy and the ethics of utilizing AI for L and D or for that matter for anything, I think.

That might be another podcast that we do is kind of like a after hours type of thing. Maybe with a couple of beverages, but I want to spend today's time just kind of talking about the tools that you use and the impacts of those tools and what that allows you to do from your end to build that better story. So two questions for you. What specific tools or tool are you really utilizing these days?

And when did you start utilizing AI in your workflow? Right, right. Yeah, it does seem like whenever you're talking about AI, that it's such a broad concept in terms of like what's there, even within L &D. The question of like what are we even talking about that even the term AI.

like artificial intelligence, it's almost like we don't have a well -developed vocabulary for this yet. You know what I mean? Like there aren't words that accurately describe what are we, you know, what is this? And, you know, what change is this gonna make? Or what, you know, what impact does AI have on L &D? And it's so broad that I think I agree. It's helpful to say like, well, the scope of this conversation,

Let's put within this boundary just so we can have some clarity. And then we'll say that. Just as a starting point. Yeah. So with AI, as far as we typically it's talked about like chat GPT. That was kind of the big moment. That was sort of the Gutenberg moment, I think, of this is a game changer. When we saw that, I don't know, a couple of years ago.

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that the first one that was widely used or open to the public, that was that first moment to say, there's significant things happening. And so I've certainly been kind of using that for ideation for a year or two or whenever that came out. And then specifically being on the visual communication end of just the instructional design process,

I, you know, when Mid Journey came out, that was something that really got my attention to say, OK, this isn't just, you know, there aren't just leaps forward in the large language model world. This is, there's things happening pretty quickly in this image generation. And so I guess I've been using that for.

st mid -journey prompt was in:

My first prompt was like, film noir, robot invasion, Minneapolis. I wanted to try something specific. And I heard that it can do stylistic things. So I wanted to see how it handled that. And I remember looking at that thinking, I don't really understand how this is working. It's sort of working. It didn't necessarily feel like, oh, let me use this in a project.

But it was kind of a, what am I looking at right now? This is kind of amazing, but what is, like it's surprising how, like what it got right, you know? And I think early on that was interesting and still is actually. But even in this early phase of this technology, it had the long shadows, the graininess and the, just the mood.

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I mean, right? Just looking at this is it is striking. It is something that immediately puts you into that actual place and time and you can see it. Although it does look like a very beautiful Christmas time in Minneapolis. It's got, yeah, whisper some snow or something, but it was interesting. Yeah, some of the things that they chose to grab onto. And so,

Anyway, during version 3, I sort of, OK, this is interesting, not useful at all really on any kind of project level. But then came an updated version. And so when version 4 came out, that was actually the moment that I realized, oh, this is how fast we're moving. So V3 to V4 is this.

r... We're talking like early:

oject related, but I think in:

And I think a lot of people were using it to just be fascinated with just the stylistic variety of what was doable just by a text prompt. But what I found was a lot of, and just even myself, my own playfulness, it's a lot of like kind of combination stuff. And so this on the left is my daughter was saying, you know, she really likes corgis. And so.

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I asked her like, well, what image I create. This is like an image generator. And so she said corgi princess or something like that. And so, yes, love it. Of course. Right. It's perfect start. But, you know, I think early, maybe it's just me, but like, I think a lot of people when they're first experimenting with image creation and you're trying to say like, well, what can't I get from my own camera or stock photography? And you think in terms of weird combinations or maybe some stylistic

element that feels really custom. Which, I mean, it's not to say that isn't usable in some cases, but at that stage, I was still just kind of in that playing with what does this do and what does it mean to kind of go with the grain of these image generators. And then here we are now at six, I think, and it's still kind of improving.

each iteration.

I mean, just looking at this is incredible. And for folks who are just listening, we will have a link to these resources in the show notes and description so that you can take a look at kind of Eric's journey from just kind of playing around to ultimately actually utilizing things in a project setting. And with that in mind, when was that time where you were like, actually, I can utilize this in the project world as opposed to just,

having some fun on my off time? Yeah, yeah, right. That's a good question. And I think what I've, and I think it's helpful to say too, you know, as far as where I'm at in this, I'm still, I am still kind of learning that question of where does this make sense? And what are the, you know, what's by the bow, you know, where it just, just stay away from this cause it's not helping. Um,

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or doing it from a image generation standpoint takes away from the communication, or it's distracting in some way. I am still learning that. I'm still trying to sense that. But down the path that I am, I have dabbled on using it in some projects. And I think the kind of key insight for me, or the key kind of

moment of realization was trying to let go of the effort to create an image out of mid -journey or this image generation that was just ready to use. And it's like, OK, it's completely ready to go where I can kind of copy and paste this as it is. But using it with Photoshop allowed me to kind of have that freedom.

where you can generate something. And if it's like 90 % there, or there's like a part of the image that you really like, you could just sort of crop out or select the, in this case, a character. And so if I have a character in my mind and say, OK, you're learning, right? We're using that a lot, where there's a.

maybe just a basic scenario. And this is not a giant dialogue with general expressions where we need a re -faring character, but just kind of a basic scenario. You can use the Articulate Storyline built -in characters, which are great or have been great, but they've just existed there for several years now. And so you're kind of visually communicating something different now that you've used that before.

or you've used that character before, it just sort of lands different. And so being able to generate a character with a really unique visual style, or maybe I have something really in my mind of what they look like or the age or ethnicity, or it's just something that I have in your imagination, being able to go to Mid Journey and generate that.

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or a series of characters in that style just gives it that feeling of customization or just, I don't know, visual uniqueness that's just a little bit more attention -getting or a little bit more elegant. There's just an opportunity there, I found. How do you balance the freedom that you're getting on this creative side of things with ultimately...

having to do quick turnarounds for clients and truly live in that project -based life where you got to get things done, but you want to utilize a tool and really spend the time to develop these characters and have them be unique, have them be interesting. Where does that balance point come in? Are you sitting there being like, you know, at times being like, I think I might've spent a little too long on this and maybe we're too in the weeds. Yeah. Yeah. Right.

Um, I think the primary focus should be on like what, you know, first of all, what tells this story? Uh, what tells the story best? But to your point, like, how do you, you know, how do you not just get lost in, Hey, I got, you know, I can't use a hundred hours on just module one here. I got, I've got four modules on this thing.

I think some of that just comes with experience and extrapolating and realizing, oh, this is a dead end and trying to realize that early. But also, I think not being tied to any particular solution early on in that prototyping phase, it's a very much improvisational sandbox play state. And so I'm trying things, especially.

especially in projects that are more creative. So I think it is helpful to kind of distinguish between, you know, some projects are very much going to be more text heavy and less creative, and they just don't want or need, you know, a lot of kind of visual flair. And it almost can be distracting if you're trying to be fancy or be elegant or I want to use mid -jurney because I've heard it's good.

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If the content itself just needs to be pragmatic and kind of cut to the chase kind of environment, I think it's helpful contextually with Dash and some of the projects that we've been on, we do have some projects that lend themselves to a more kind of storied space. And so they lend themselves to a little bit more of a like, let's spend a week or two prototyping this field.

and just see what's so really it's about getting that at that starting point being like, what does this project need? Where can we go with this? And and where can we spend the time? So that we're not getting lost in the weeds and knowing that while these tools exist, maybe it's not the right tool for this specific project. And then, yeah, does it fit within the brand in general, too? Because exactly. Yeah. So some, for example, like we've done projects where.

You know, a lot of projects where it's very much on brand. And so there you might be able to have a character that in a scenario that's that's, you know, like something like the this the business character, articulate storyline type, safe kind of business professional. And that's sort of the extent of creativity. Whereas we've also done projects that are kind of more metaphorical in their teaching. So like, you know, create a game.

an escape room environment that had a Da Vinci mansion context. And so it was a very playful environment where it was built for an annual event for like chest physician conference. And so it was meant to be kind of a creative sort of experiential piece of learning, but very much like a metaphor kind of a situation. And so.

I also, for some of those backgrounds, like within this Da Vinci mansion, and some of those materials of the look and feel of that course, I used mid -journey to kind of create that environment. And so it had kind of an old Renaissance sort of vintagey, antique look on it. So I think another one.

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that we did was a disaster, kind of a disaster course. It was called Disaster in Franklin County. And again, I think the point is not to say, OK, I'm going to use generative AI on this. It's really thinking of it in terms of ingredients. And so maybe the majority of the ingredients that I'm using are from Shutterstock library. But.

there's some limitations within that where you just can't find something that has the mood or the tone. And so I've found, I used a lot of stock imagery within this, but for occasional, kind of the shot of the small town after a thunderstorm, it's hard to find that in a stock photo library. And so, and then some of these characters are stock photos and some of them are,

generated stock photos, or generated images. So Mid Journey allows you to take like a reference photo and just have a true starting point and then go from there? It's not like you can build a library of images. It's like ChatGPT where you can kind of have a conversation. It doesn't really work like that in long form yet.

But it does, but you can have a style reference. Gotcha. And to some degree that's helpful, you know, from just the best practices or kind of tips that work, that can be helpful if you have kind of a, like if I said, yeah, like a storage shot and I want it to look like this, you can make a style reference, but with text prompts. And so, you know, with this screen, the key is like you have sort of a, like a low light.

big window in the text prompt to say, okay, I want an interior with a big window overlooking the city. And then I essentially took that kind of moody interior. So it kind of looks like a cinema still, right? Very much so. And it does that really well. Mid Journey does like moody, emotive imagery really well.

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compared to stock photography, which tends to have things that are like really fully lit and low on drama, but like very kind of safe visually. I love that. It is very safe. Funny. You're incentivized to do that so that it's like, you know, just something that's widely usable that just doesn't have too much, you know, emotional communication. It's just kind of like, here's the thing that you asked for.

Yep. And so, so majority does the opposite really well, I would say. I mean, it does a lot of things, but it fills in that space of, you know, I need something with like long shadows and like high contrast, moody cinematic still, and then fill in the blank of what the thing is. And it's, it can do that really well. And then in this case, and almost almost everything I use, I have to go into Photoshop and just kind of either simplify or tweak.

Sometimes there's just a little weirdness. And actually what I did, if you rewind a little bit before the cell phone comes up. Sure. And actually what I did in that earlier, if you pause there, you can see flashes of lightning. And so what I did was I had a foreground of the image, and then I made it transparent where the windows are.

And so in Storyline, there's a video of a lightning storm in the back. And in the foreground is like a PNG, like a transparent image. So that you have it. So it feels like a video, but it's really just sort of a video in the background and an image in the foreground. And then those little clickable elements like, OK, you could pick up the keys to kind of initiate the action. Or I think you click on the phone first to kind of say, like, oh, I got to check my messages.

there's this big storm and in the story of this learning, it's like, okay, disaster preparedness. And then, you know, about we each have to play our role and the course kind of goes through the different vantage points of being a disaster response. And so, you know, again, it's a back to that point of, you know, we can tell better stories. And so it just kind of draws you in, create that story in a way that's a little bit more.

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a little bit more drama, or at least that's the idea, is that you can have that opportunity to do that.

I mean, I think the most exciting part to me about this is that it's not mid journey is not an end all be all tool here. So you're still utilizing a massive amount of other resources to make the final product here. And it's just about combining those ingredients to make a better story. I think a lot of our audience is going to have plenty of experience with storyline and things like that. And it's just kind of.

taking these new tools and utilizing them as a way to ultimately make that better story and have a little bit more fun if you have the ability to and the client is into it. So when you started utilizing mid -journey and building these courses out, what were your clients saying to the actual results of these? Were they blown away? Were they taken aback by kind of the difference in how maybe they have used?

storytelling in the past or maybe just how they use training in the past. Yeah, I think. Well, I think for me, success is with these tools is if they're invisible and that goes for any tool like. I don't I don't want well, my initial desire wouldn't be for a client to say like I really. Love how you used Photoshop here and here.

I just think, like, if you see Photoshop, then that's getting in the way. It's like one step removed from the story itself. So I feel that sense of gratification or like a job well done if somebody just really feels like, oh, I just really enjoyed that, the way you kind of told that story or showed that. And so I think in terms of Mid Journey, I'm.

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I don't even want to say what is or isn't mid -journey. Do you know what I mean? I want that to be... Sometimes it's hard to even say. I took a piece of it here, but then I combined it. And I mean, honestly, I should really emphasize the power of Photoshop right now is very significant. And it's hard because I don't want to discourage... If there's an instructional designer that doesn't have a skill set in Photoshop,

I don't say, well, shoot, I can't really take advantage of this new creative era. I think there is certainly, I think there's something to be played with there to figure out, OK, where does this work into my workflow as a, maybe you're more on the front end of like instructional design and not so much on the image creation end. I think there's still opportunities there. But.

I think understanding Photoshop to the degree that you can cut out what just basic Photoshop, not like all of the things with all of the options, but just enough. And not even to say there might be other like Canva or like other more accessible programs that can do this functionality, but the ability to cut something out and take pieces of something.

that you generate in mid journey is something to pursue. I think that will allow you to use these technologies like more immediately. Whereas there might be kind of softwares that are built out the next few years that allow kind of, you know, non Photoshop users to do that in a way that's, that's, you know, efficient as well. Yeah. I mean, ultimately a part of what makes this industry.

so exciting to folks getting into it is that instructional designers or learning experience design, it's not, you're not really a subject matter expert for one thing. You are an expert on building something that is going to be impactful for whoever the learner is going to be. And so you are constantly

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Given the opportunity to learn about new things every single day. So whether that's new technologies just to make it a better learning experience for folks or whether that's just about you know in these instances learning what it is like for folks who are dealing with potential tornado in in a small town and and how to effectively do their job when those Disasters and those type of things happen. So I

Just as an aside, what do you think these type of tools are going to do to the getties and the Shutterstocks of the world? It's, I mean, it's really interesting. I've noticed that Adobe stock has now sort of parked, well, not partnered, they've incorporated Firefly into their product suite. And so I think there is a realization that this is kind of the new stock.

for a lot of things. It'll be interesting. I mean, I think, I don't necessarily think it's bad news for them. I think they're trying to understand like where do they fit in terms of curating and creating a place where this is easily accessible up for stock where you can grab. Because all of a sudden now, in even with Adobe specifically, the quality of stock.

their libraries are probably just going, as people are submitting generated images. And so the quality of their stock content is going up. And so I just think that, I mean, when I first started 12 years ago, even comparing that to now, the quality of stock photography has gone up so much, which has just made for better.

like less robotic training visuals in general, where you are there with personality that you can find that doesn't just sort of scream like, oh, this is a stock photo of a business and I'm doing business. It's still there, right? But oh yeah, whenever you find that you go to Unsplash and you're like, oh, finally, like real.

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Photography, you know, right? You can find that if you spend enough time searching within Shutterstock or Adobe and things, but you know, I think combining mid -journey into these tools, if they're able to curate that well, you know, I think it's just gonna just lead to better products in L &D down the road in general. So. Let's hope so. I mean, ultimately, yeah.

It seems a little kind of Wild West out there with AI being introduced truly into the world. Mid Journey is still in beta, is that right? I don't even know. But that is the right word for it. It's moving quickly, it's Wild West. And honestly, the ethical conversation of where are these data sets coming from, it's not a small question. How do we philosophically think about this? So I, you know,

Again, let's dig into that another time because it's a big broad conversation, but it's not to minimize, you know, there's, we're figuring this out and it's moving quickly. And it's, you know, those are, those are real questions. And, and we, you know, if, if that is something that makes you hesitate, I have no problem with that. Like that's legit. And so I certainly think that at a minimum that, you know, we should hesitate at.

certain prompts saying, I want this to be like that artist. And that in a prompt, I think, at a minimum, that's maybe a boundary that you say, OK, if I'm within this realm, this is probably a safe place to be in terms of image generation. But those are questions. Wild West is kind of the right term, I think, in terms of that.

Let's be responsible here, folks, with your prompts. I want to talk just a little bit about the learners. So from your experience and most likely also your clients' experience, how do learners typically respond to these type of AI -driven content and maybe in comparison to kind of that traditional learning realm that they've certainly been used to? Yeah, well, I guess I would...

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I would reframe it to say I don't think there is necessarily a response to anything that is from an AI generation standpoint. I think the key would be when we've been able to just do something creative or outside of the box in storyline. And that's mainly the software we use for e -learning creation.

some of the escape rooms and some of these more kind of gamified experiences that have that visual element. Why do we fit able to do something that has that surprise factor or that visual delight kind of a moment where like, oh, this is different or this is really custom. I mean, it makes a difference and learners appreciate it. I mean, I take enjoyment when an

usually I'm not working directly with the Lerner, I'm working with that L &D kind of leader person and then she'll come to me and say, like, hey, everyone loved the such and such game. And I sort of get it indirectly of like, this is really working well, this is really working well. But yeah, I think it's not that we weren't doing that before Mid Journey in that you unlock the door.

It's just a way of like production value in terms of, you know, and just sort of the time it takes to create some of those games goes down a little bit so that the production quality can be that much better, you know, for a given project that has that kind of environment. So I'm going to be honest, that's surprising to me that the production time can go down from this with.

the amount of customization that you can do for images. So is it just a skill set of knowing the tool enough and knowing how best to prompt it that is allowing that time to go down? Or is it just the fact that the tool is so good at pushing out the content that you request that ultimately you don't have to spend an extra 45 minutes looking for the best?

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image of someone with a headset talking at a call center or something like that. Yeah, I think it depends. It really depends. And I wouldn't say, just to be clear, I wouldn't say that the thesis would be that the production time for e -learning goes down now that we have mid -journey. It really depends, depending on certain contexts. But I'm thinking in terms of one project that we've done,

was the metaphor of an island escape room. By escape room, I mean like a click and reveal puzzle. You advance, you click this. So you're with four different players, and it's a collaborative click and reveal game. And one player's on this part of the island, the other player's on this part of the island. And then you're discovering clues that you need to communicate to the other person on the island.

the little key for their progress basically. So it's kind of a culture of communication objective. Yeah, yeah, very cool. So that little island, I did a lot of mashup and Photoshop work. This is before Midjrny a couple of years ago. I did a lot of photo mashing, I think they call it or bashing, photo bashing, photo mashing. We'll fix that in post production.

Like you take a foreground of, say, a piece of one stock photo, and then you layer on the distant background a little bit differently, depending on what you want the space to look like. Or you put a giant carousel with the horses on an island. Where are you going to find that stock photo?

In Photoshop, sort of add things together that sort of, or, you know, I start with a room, like an empty room in that it's some empty cabin that's on this island. And I have to start with an empty image or an empty space and then kind of drop in little objects within it. And so just a lot of kind of Photoshop bits and pieces. And I still did that with Mid Journey. It's just that you could,

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you could kind of take get a lot further along in that process and to like literally ask for I want to carousel at the you know on the edge of an island overlooking the ocean or you know something right and like kind of and I'd imagine that the detail you still and I'd imagine that the details of it are potentially way way more drastic and more striking and something that is less pieced together and more um

strung together and really put into a tapestry of imagery as opposed to just like, man, I got to find all these pieces, toss this in here because that's the request. Yeah, right, right. Yep. And I guess to kind of piggyback on that, how has this changed your ability to tell the story that you want to tell when you're, when you have the opportunity to really dig into that storyteller mindset? Well, I'm, I'm still learning.

I'm still in a stage of discovery of what that means and what makes sense. Where is this helpful? Where is it just kind of the same as just going to a stock photo library and pulling from there? Where does it make sense? There's things to watch out for. We don't want to just go to the

mid -journey and grab an image and then you have this like something that looks 95 % like a human being. And then what do you have? Do you know what I mean? You don't want that. And so, you know, I feel like that's those are kind of the things I'm I'm feeling out of like where, yeah, where where does this help in the production and the storytelling? Like, for instance, I think one like easy win.

concept that I found is, especially if you're just starting out, is thinking in terms of the background of the story, that's a safer place to use a generative image. If it's sort of a, you're setting the tone or the mood or the sense of play. And so if you're in a logistics or a shipping environment, you.

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You could have like an image that sets the tone. Is this at sunset and there's kind of low light or light streaming through the windows and there's a little bit more drama in the situation. Is this an illustration and there's just kind of crates and shipping in the background? But like the idea that you can kind of set a tone and a sense of place without focusing on the detail, because that's where you're liable to get...

frustrated is if you say, OK, I want to train on this. And this is how you do it. And so I'm going to do like forklift operation. Then you're trying to generate a forklift. And it looks like 80 % like a regular forklift and mostly like a generated forklift. That's not well at all. And probably you're going to get distracted. Yeah. And so anything that requires something to be detailed and accurate,

is kind of gets more and more into that dangerous territory. Or not dangerous, but just like unhelpful and like frustrating because I keep having to redo the props and it's not, you know, that how it looks like the thing, but that's not the thing. Where it works well is just like mood and vibe and tone or style. And it's like shockingly amazing at just kind of creating a setting in a tone. And the key - That's right, folks. It's all about the vibes.

It's all about the vibes. And that's the head of our podcast is all about. Yes. That's it. Yeah. That's the that's the sub subtitle of this. AI. It's all about the vibes. Yeah. That's very funny. I just have a couple of questions here for you before we kind of wrap today. I mean, this is obviously a topic that we could spend endless amount of time on. There's never going to be.

a lacking of new tools that are out there or ultimately just updates to the current tools that you're utilizing. So this has been a very fun conversation. Let's maybe let's talk just a little bit about the future of AI in the realm of learning and development. Where are we going? What is on the near horizon? Is anything hitting your inbox and you're just like, ooh, this is something new.

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Right, right. I mean, that's what's wild, right? Is how, you know, how quickly this is moving. And I think we're still grasping that. Like, this is moving quickly. And what does that mean? Have you seen Sora yet? Have you seen that? I have seen some very funny use cases of it, but I've also seen some just breathtaking use cases of it.

And the ability for it to, I don't know, the prompt could be like walking down the streets of Tokyo at night and I've never been to Tokyo, but it's exactly what I would think of in my mind. So, uh, it's got the vibes. Um, and I, I, I think that, um,

that is a very cool tool. Is it something that you've been able to play around with a little bit? Is it something that you might think of utilizing for future projects? I think I have not. I don't have access to it yet. But I've seen the sample videos and just kind of read a little bit about where we're going. And it seems like capability wise, that's going to be a pretty accessible technology soon. And so.

I think right out of the box, something like that, I think could have a few general use cases in terms of generic B -roll. Yeah, yep. If you have just some real kind of five -second little drop -ins instead of using an image, I may as well use this kind of movement of a stream instead of a B -roll. Exactly, yeah.

You know, like they'd be very easy for a program like that to generate a system like solid movement of, well, I want just lightly blowing leaves in my stress management course in the background as opposed to just the still image. You know, why not? That does sound nice. Yeah, right. So I think, I think so, you know, early, like right out of the box when that becomes accessible, just for a B roll, you know, dropping that in, I think, I think,

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would work in a way that's not distracting. This is sort of a disclaimer warning. Let's all agree not to just put a bunch of Frankensteins in our training when this comes. Yes, please. When this becomes, you can hold me to that. Yes. We got to be careful because new technology, oh, well, I'm doing a training on.

conflict management, I need B roll of two people having an argument that I could just type into Sora and then they have, I'll take the first or second. And you know, we're just going to have, it's going to be very much, it'll look like a Sora video when it's right out of the box. Maybe not five years from now, two years from now, but like say with mid journey, right? So disclaimer aside though, that's where we're going is it's storytelling.

And it's a question of how can you use this movement to create emotion that will help you communicate what you're trying to communicate? How are you going to use this video to create emotion and motivation and convey information? So that's my encouragement to myself.

and to others is to seek that, seek that connection or that illumination of what you're trying to communicate, not trying to seek the illumination of a tool. If we're doing it well, it should create better human connection and not this kind of Frankenstein distance or kind of something that's askew.

but it should create something that emotes and kind of clarifies an authentic human idea or emotion if it's used well.

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And I think with that very beautifully said and poignant note, we're going to stop this podcast for now. When this podcast drops, we will be, I believe a week, maybe a week and a half away from when you have a webinar kind of discussing all things AI there too. So for folks listening, for folks here with us on the video side of things, we'll have a link in the description to sign up for that webinar.

And Eric, I just want to thank you so much for bringing your insight and your experience to the podcast here. And I honestly cannot wait for the next discussion that we have on all things AI. So thank you so much. Thanks for having me. Thanks a lot. Let us know in the comments what you thought of Eric's use of Mid Journey and building a better story. And if you'd be interested in having him back on the show to discuss more AI tools in the future.

If you want to hear more about how we use this mid journey and the impact of AI and adult learning, they'll be doing a live webinar for the training industry on April 23rd. A link for that will be in the description. And as always, remember to sign up for our newsletter, the buzz to keep up with all things L and D and TTC, as well as like and subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you next time.




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