New AI-powered learning buddies are emerging

By the 4 March 2020

AI’s application to learning environments is being driven by the rise of “learning buddies” who will be capable of assuming a range of learner-facing roles in the near future.

Discover in this previous article use cases for AI in training.

Let’s imagine a discussion with a learning buddy of the future.

We meet Hal during an interview between a recruiter and a job applicant, as it might unfold in a few years’ time:

– Ms Grey, a Mr. Hal sent us your references for the position we’re offering. We were very impressed by how your experience seems to match our requirements.

– Well, Hal is always very smart when it comes to matching my references with a new position.

– Is that your agent? I mean, like a sporting agent?

– You could say that! Actually, Hal identifies my next learning opportunities by looking for positions or assignments to fill. Hal helps me tackle new career challenges that will build my skills.

– Right, so Hal’s sort of in charge of your career plan?

– Yes, and Hal also helps me learn on the job. He curates relevant content and identifies appropriate learning buddies to address my challenges as they arise. For example, I didn’t fully master the agile project management skills you requested for the position. So Hal suggested that, in addition to the microlearning programme he designed for me, I could meet Tom Miller, who already works in your team. Tom has already agreed to train me in agile project management and, in exchange, I’ll train him in user interface design. It’s a fair swap!

– Wow! You mean to say you haven’t even started working for us yet and you’re already in contact with Tom?

– Absolutely! You know, I feel like I’m already part of the team! And Hal is walking me through it to make sure I get the most out of these resources and learning buddies.

– Do you meet regularly? – Well, he gives me regular feedback. He also publishes social media posts about all the certifications I achieve, securely, via blockchain.

– That’s what we thought was so great about your CV. I mean, it’s not just the academic track record: we can see everything you’ve accomplished. That’s impressive. Obviously, we want you for the job, and we’d also love to meet Hal. I think he could be a great addition to our learning and development team.

– Um… You do know that Hal is an AI-powered assistant, right?

Does it sound like a Black Mirror episode to you? No, not really, in fact.

A peek at the learning buddy of the future.

Listen to Marco Bertolini from the Innovation Cluster by Cegos. In this video, he presents an example of a learning buddy of the future:

What sorts of tasks will be assigned to learning buddy in the future? This subject will be the theme of a future blog post. Subscribe to this blog to make sure you receive the article.

I wrote this blog post using the content of an article written in 2019 by Simon Vuillaume and myself, published in Training Industry magazine.

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