How Will AI Impact the Life Sciences Training Community?

By February 5, 2024LTEN Focus On Training


TECHNOLOGY – By Steven Just, Ed.D.

With artificial intelligence growing, what’s next for training?

When I first started working in life sciences training in the early1990s, the supplier community was dominated by companies that produced big, thick training binders.

I was part of a new, more computer-savvy generation that said, “Wait a minute! Why are you destroying entire forests in Oregon to produce those binders when we can do the same, or even better, with computers?” There was skepticism at first, but over just a few years, training binders were history, replaced by elearning.

And what happened to legacy suppliers and their training binders? Some adapted by hiring innovative professionals and made the switch from binders to elearning. Others didn’t adapt and quietly faded away.

Enter AI

I believe that we are now at a similar inflection point with generative artificial intelligence (AI). In the past few weeks, I have had two conversations with clients, one at a small, successful biotech company, the other at a large pharma company, both of whom told me that their companies were beginning to use ChatGPT to create medical content.

One of them wasn’t quite sure what to make of this, but the other, someone I’ve known for a long time and whose opinion I respect, told me, “You know what? The output wasn’t perfect, but it wasn’t bad.”

My first thought was: Where does this leave medical writers? Will the profession even exist in a few years?

The Future of Work?

In a recent study, which was not peer-reviewed, two professors from Washington University and one from NYU demonstrated that, in just one year’s time, the introduction of ChatGPT has had a negative impact on the volume of work and earnings of two creative professions: graphic designers and copywriters. Some of the work they do can now be done by generative AI.

Recently, Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, the creators of ChatGPT, addressed an AI developers conference to announce the next generation of ChatGPT.

What caught my attention were not the new features of ChatGPT per se, but his announcement that OpenAI plans to create an AI “agent” store, analogous to Apple’s app store. Developers will be free to use ChatGPT to create new AI agents(called GPTs) for any and all tasks AI is capable of and sell them to the public. You don’t even need to be a coder: ChatGPT will do the coding for you.

It seems to me it’s only a matter of time, probably sooner rather than later, that some enterprising supplier will create an agent that can take ChatGPT-generated content and auto-create elearning. Initially, the courses might be crude by today’s standards, but they will no doubt improve over time.

Where Do We Go From Here?

So, what does our current inflection point mean for life sciences training? When life sciences companies can create their own medical content and elearning with a few clicks of a mouse button, where will this leave today’s suppliers?

Some, no doubt, will adapt by offering products and services that cannot easily be done by AI. Others will create and market their own AI agents. Some learning product suppliers will add AI features to their existing products (this is already happening).

And others, like some of the binder sellers of the 1990s, will just quietly fade away.


As life sciences training professionals, we’re at a critical juncture. How we respond to this emerging technology will have consequences for all of us.

Steven Just Ed.D. is CEO and principal consultant at Princeton Metrics. Email Steven at or connect through LinkedIn at


About LTEN

The Life Sciences Trainers & Educators Network ( is the only global 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization specializing in meeting the needs of life sciences learning professionals. LTEN shares the knowledge of industry leaders, provides insight into new technologies, offers innovative solutions and communities of practice that grow careers and organizational capabilities. Founded in 1971, LTEN has grown to more than 3,200 individual members who work in pharmaceutical, biotech, medical device and diagnostic companies, and industry partners who support the life sciences training departments.

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