How AI can solve the corporate knowledge problem

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Written by Nikolas Kairinos on 22 September 2020 in Opinion
Opinion

The influx of digital technology has undoubtedly transformed the way that we live and work. Nikolas Kairinos says L&D needs to embrace change - and AI.

Now, in the new era of remote working, our reliance on technology is greater than ever. Although many businesses have adapted their working practices successfully to accommodate this shift, it poses significant issues for L&D.

Even without changes to working practices, for some time now, L&D has been in need of an overhaul. Delivering valuable employee training is no easy task at the best of times, and the transition to remote working has only amplified pre-existing challenges: how is it possible to provide personalised, effective, and up-to-date training when all of your employees are working in different places?

Furthermore, businesses must keep up with ever-changing policies, procedures, and regulations – particularly now, as working from home has forced many corporations to adapt their protocols to suit the change in work environment.

Inundated with vast amounts of new information every day, this requires employees to constantly be re-trained, and relying exclusively on peer-to-peer training simply isn’t an option anymore.

If employers are to facilitate training that actually results in sustained productivity, rather than box-ticking, more traditional methods of L&D just won’t be sufficient.

So, with employees requiring succinct and accurate corporate knowledge, businesses should look towards smarter solutions to keep up with L&D, so that they can allow their employees to learn in a more continuous and time-effective manner, while mitigating the impact that training has on their finances and business as usual.

The problem with traditional L&D

If employers are to facilitate training that actually results in sustained productivity, rather than box-ticking, more traditional methods of L&D just won’t be sufficient.

For training to have a real impact, it must be learned and retained by an employee. This underpins the importance of keeping training materials interesting and tailored to the particular individual if businesses are to bridge this knowledge gap – but when trying to deliver L&D en masse, providing personalised learning is no easy task.

Furthermore, to save on time, training is often provided in a fragmented, sporadic manner, with sessions only available to staff at set times throughout the year. As a result, this can be inconvenient for employees, and staff won’t necessarily have the access to knowledge that they require at all times. On-demand training is rarely available, despite the need for extant knowledge ‘on tap’.

Clearly, businesses need to look to new and innovative methods of L&D, and deliver on corporate learning strategies that enables staff to truly prosper in their roles.

Solving the corporate knowledge problem with AI

While a more occasional, one-size-fits-all approach might well be the easiest way of delivering training, it is seldom the most effective. Relying on outdated methods of training – providing generic training, regardless of the medium – just won’t deliver the results that most businesses require in these information saturated times.

 

This is where new developments in artificial intelligence (AI) come in. If businesses leverage these new advances in technology to their advantage, managers and L&D professionals will no longer have to manually compile and organise the information that employees require as part of their training package.

Instead, AI will do all of the hard work. It can step in to effortlessly harness all of the latest data, and create customised learning plans for employees based on their individual needs and requirements.

A more personalised learning experience

No two employees are the same, and AI algorithms can adapt training to the unique learning style of each individual, by observing how members of staff respond to information presented to them and analyzing their learning behaviour.

These granular insights provide businesses with a made-to-measure training package for each member of staff, adapting from their current level of understanding and allowing them to learn in a way that suits them best, resulting in an improved retention of new information.

What’s more, AI can also help deliver training in a more continuous manner, so that staff will always have up-to-date knowledge at their fingertips. There are many cases in which a member of staff will need to ask a particular question, or look up specific information to accommodate their development, but won’t necessarily have the time to sit through an entire session or sift through reams of documents.

In these situations, AI is the perfect solution to deliver precise information on-demand, enabling employees to have immediate access to the knowledge they require.

For example, having AI with the ability to conduct a spoken Q&A with busy employees could quicky identify gaps in knowledge and actively present important information to remedy this, allowing staff to learn quickly, with tailored learning materials on-tap.

Let’s say, for example, that an employee is rushing to a meeting with a prospective client – and has run out of time to conduct the appropriate due diligence. AI can step in to deliver the information they are looking for, enabling them to quickly get an overview of the client at extremely short notice. 

Ultimately, the market potential for L&D is huge, with growth in EdTech forecasted to $342bn or above by 2025. With the world experiencing a knowledge explosion, it is crucial that employers recognise the importance of investing in disruptive tech so that they can keep up with such overwhelming amounts of information and legislature.

 

About the author

Nikolas Kairinos is the chief executive officer and founder of Soffos.

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