Sanjeewaka Kulathunga explains how artificial intelligence benefits corporates

Throughout their evolution, humans have attempted to upgrade their knowledge, skills, competencies and attitudes, for their survival and growth, while confronting challenges posed by environmental contexts – for instance, nature, politics, economics, society, technology and law.

They have created a vast capacity for knowledge and skills in a history of less than 5,000 years. And with the advancement of IT, sharing knowledge is evolving at the speed of light.

Relative to the exponential growth of analysed data in this information age, the corporate world has to walk through a valley of risk to upgrade the knowledge, skills and attitudes of its human resources in order to gain a competitive edge.

Although robotic machines have begun replacing people in the workplace amid the rapid proliferation of AI in the business sector, the demand for developing employees’ knowledge and skills is also a top priority.

The concept of artificial intelligence was coined by John McCarthy in 1956. He described it as machines performing tasks comparable to the characteristics of human intelligence.

Accordingly, AI has the ability to process large volumes of data and information, with clear and simple interpretation, by offering a near human experience through robots and machines. In this context, AI could be applied to disrupt the traditional model of corporate learning and development, much like other industries such as manufacturing and IT.

Currently, the value of the global training market exceeds US$ 300 billion; and it is growing by leaps and bounds across industries. Learning insights enhanced by AI will provide a clear and greater understanding of trainee behaviour, in terms of predictive employee performance and competencies. With this profound insight, organisations are able to create electronically approachable knowledge content that is easily adaptable, intuitive and responsive to the individual learning needs of employees. Therefore, the way corporate learning contents are retained and delivered will be transformed by AI in alignment with business values in the future.

If a business wants to gain a competitive edge by means of effectively trained and developed human resources in the future, it would be proactive to retain the services of a corporate chatbot based on AI to inculcate knowledge and skills in employees, in addition to the role played by professional corporate trainers.

The chatbot is an AI computer application that’s enabled to conduct conversations by way of auditory and textual modes, which is similar to a conversational partner.

Chatbots could be used automatically to deliver a burst of necessary and impending information, possibly before a trainee employee even thinks about accessing learning materials. For instance, when a rookie sales executive is about to visit a client for the first time, the company’s learning bot sends a beep to his or her phone offering a micro-lesson on creating a positive first impression when dealing with the client. This is an effective personalised learning experience from a novice employee’s perspective.

Both the conscious and unconscious prejudices of employees against an idea or concept might be an impediment to learning initiatives, which are designed for training and development programmes.

In contrast, AI could accurately interpret ideas and concepts, recommending effective and pragmatic training initiatives according to the learning orientation of trainees. Furthermore, AI will be able to blend and fine-tune both machine and human learning to generate maximum business value growth in the future.

With the assistance of AI, the next generation of corporate trainers will be able to evaluate the progress of trained employee behaviours relative to the learning objectives set in training and development initiatives while assessing the psychological steps of learning.

They could also offer feedback and guidance to improve learning productivity with individually customised training sessions catering to different employee levels. AI based learning and development strategies would be cost-effective in implementing face-to-face mentoring efficiently.

Once learning and performance data have been collected and analysed, corporate trainers can discover the mutual connectedness between employee progress and cost structuring. Gaps and ambiguities in training programmes could be revalued to redesign prospective business strategies.

The emergence of AI and IoT will be the key trend in the next decade of corporate training. With the integration of AI learning technologies such as augmented reality and virtual reality, corporate training is being transformed to create multidimensionally simulated learning and development experiences, for employees in modern and sophisticated organisations.