Can artificial intelligence solve the corporate knowledge problem?

Nikolas Kairinos, Founder and CEO, Soffos, discusses how artificial intelligence (AI) will transform learning and development (L&D) in the corporate world

In this new era of remote working, our reliance on technology is greater than ever, with many businesses having migrated processes from offline to online to accommodate the transition.

But amongst the success stories of companies adapting to this change, working in the current climate has raised a pertinent issue for employers: how can they deliver effective learning and development (L&D) to employees when they are scattered across different workplaces?

Irrespective of the shift to working from home, providing personalised and efficient L&D has been an issue for quite some time. We are in an age where we are more informed than ever, and while this is no bad thing, one of the drawbacks of this knowledge explosion is that employers are now faced with the prospect of ever-changing policies, procedures and regulations. It is vital that staff are kept up-to-date with industry developments, but this is becoming an increasingly unattainable goal.

The usual state of affairs with L&D is that sessions are delivered peer-to-peer, with most members of staff receiving their training all at once in sporadic bursts throughout the year. It is rare that knowledge is delivered in a smooth, continuous manner.

Although some companies might have their own online learning tools to provide some sense of continuity, staff are still commonly left with gaps in their understanding, generally as a result of unsuitable and irrelevant learning materials. Clearly, it is time that businesses step into the future and look to more intelligent solutions to facilitate their training.

Looking to the future for more efficient L&D

Even with the best intentions, firms might struggle to stay on top of the latest corporate knowledge. The financial burden on companies relying on more traditional methods of L&D can be vast; indeed, research from Statista has shown that the average employer spends 1,300 U.S dollars per employee on this endeavour.

With considerable time and resource spent on peer-to peer-learning, the reality is that this sort of training often serves as nothing more than a box-ticking exercise which delivers little concrete value. A study from Elephants Don’t Forget suggests that on average, employees know just 52% of what their employer needs them to know to perform optimally in their job.

To deliver training that has a real impact, and for members of staff to retain the information they learn in L&D sessions, it is imperative therefore that employers look to smarter, more efficient solutions.

Personalising the learning process with AI

Particularly in this changing landscape, we need to elevate the ability of businesses to meet the evolving needs of the workforce and ensure that their well-intentioned efforts are not inconvenient for staff, costly or disorganised.

Successful businesses must prioritise continuous training, and the best leaders are those that stay abreast of the newest approaches, training modules and methodologies. They also recognise that a one-size-fits-all model might be the easiest way to deliver training – but it is rarely the most effective. 

In order to oversee constructive L&D, it is important that employers have sufficient insight as to how and when their staff learn best. This is where artificial intelligence (AI) comes in: algorithms can learn from observing behaviours, including how staff respond to different information presented to them, in order to adapt training to their unique learning style. Rather than relying on a standardised and generic approach, AI can produce an experience that is more made to measure, which will ultimately enable an improved learning retention.

Intelligent AI solutions can also do much of the heavy lifting when it comes to finding and delivering the right information. Instead of managers manually compiling and organising all of the necessary materials, AI can automatically accumulate the latest data to ensure that workers are presented with the most relevant information available.

Beyond just automation, AI can also be a valuable tool to assist with L&D on demand; indeed, professionals need to be able to question their understanding on a regular basis in order to hone their skills and excel in their careers – and yet, learning materials are often only available during specified periods.

There are many scenarios in which an employee will require fast access to information but just won’t have the time to filter through endless pages of documents to find it. For example, an employee might be rushing to a meeting with a prospective client, having run out of time to conduct the appropriate due diligence. By utilising AI, the employee would be able to ask specific questions and receive knowledge instantly to get a quick and accurate overview of the client.

Indeed, the benefits of investing in AI with the capability for spoken Q&A are enormous: with knowledge at their fingertips, staff will always be up to speed, without any significant strain to their day-to-day. With the market potential for EdTech booming – growth is forecasted to reach $342 billion or above by 2025 – investing in AI to facilitate training should be a no-brainer for companies. With the capacity to boost productivity, cut costs, and improve staff retention, AI will be a game-changer for L&D, and companies would do well to bear this in mind so that their staff can truly flourish in their roles.


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