The rise of conversational learning

By the Feathercap team
6 minute read

According to Forrester, Chatbots for IT Operations are on the rise. This has spread to Finance, HR and even learning. Companies like ServiceNow have connectors to LMSs so that their personalized chatbot can remind employees its time to take specific training. AI Chatbots combined with advanced RPU (Robotic Process Automation) capabilities from companies like Moveworks or Socrates have taken this further by enabling personalized chatbots that are able to hold multiple back and forth conversations combining advanced natural language understanding to determine the context of questions by employees. Knowing employee location and status they can answer questions, pull out snippets of text or engage in HR tasks and operations employees would have to otherwise conduct with an HR staff member. 

In the past, employees could more easily “tap the shoulder” of a colleague, manager or friend if they had a job or training question. That’s changing and along with having to deal with Covid employees stationed at home prefer getting answers without having to directly engage with someone by phone or in-person. Chat interactions are preferred which lets them instantly get answers to their questions.


Existing and emerging Learning Systems – LMSs, LXPs and the AI powered chatbots.

Traditional learning systems are great at delivering a crafted curriculum of on-demand content and vILT/ ILT (Instructor Led Training) at the beginning of an employee’s job tenure, for up-skilling and setting a cultural mindset for employees anytime. All content is crafted regardless of size to be consumed as a whole; varying from 5 minute micro learning to multi-hour on-demand courses or vILT sessions. Examples of these are Docebo and others like Cornerstone-On-Demand.

LXPs which have of late focused on delivering the right learning and other content to employees are great at letting employees get credit and earn credentials for learning any number of skills. The most advanced also help companies develop a talent marketplace to know who based on newly acquired training credentials is ready to move to another role. Great examples are Degreed and LinkedIn Learning.


Enter the AI driven chatbots – the beginning of conversational learning.

Since 2017, Google and many other natural language understanding (NLU) vendors have achieved a 95% rate of understanding for spoken and written language compared to a human. This gave rise to text and voice enabled chatbots to understand what you say or write. This is matched to their capabilities for understanding and indexing any text, document or video, comprehending every second of video and every sentence of text. Paired together, asking a chatbot a question will give employees not only the right answer pulled from existing documents, videos or courses the chatbot can start to hold a conversation to further refine the answer provided. Though certainly not a replacement to LMSs or LXPs, companies like ServiceNow, Microsoft and many others will undoubtedly use these as a great interface for employees in realtime to get the answers and content they need to do their jobs better all through a chat or voice interface. 

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