Our communication skills and lifestyles have significantly evolved over the past decade. The days of memos, telephone calls, and faxes are behind us and in their place, a more technologically connected digital world. This allows for constant and instant feedback and availability.
Technology for communication has been both lauded and tolerated; however, when used appropriately, it can become an integral part of improving communication and social lifestyle.
Personal development coaches and companies have tried to design products to improve communication skills as there is a continuous need to provide constant and instant feedback as more Millenials occupy more sensitive positions. However, most of the technologies (e-learning and blended learning) deployed have been deficient as it struggles to help people apply their new skills onto their lifestyles, jobs, and communities.
These struggles are a result of the insufficient consideration that every learner is unique, with differing skills, needs and challenges and the systems were not designed to help individual learners to transfer the skills learnt in a systematic and personalized way.
While not presenting an all-around solution, the advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) have substantially addressed challenges in communication technology by supporting learners in-between sessions with an AI-enabled coach. AI provides a safe environment to practice difficult or embarrassing skills. When combined with a real-life tutor or expert coach, there are two main types of AI that are being used today to help learners practice real-world communication skills as a new form of electronic performance support: deep learning “flight simulators” and expert systems.
This form of AI is based on calibrated coaching. Following a brief computer-adaptive assessment, each learner can select a goal and schedule short, tweet-sized suggestions/recommendations for how and what they should practice. Learners receive a push notification on the mornings and days they prefer, which they can use to suggest new ways to sharpen their emotional intelligence skills throughout the workday. Each e-coaching statement is written by an expert and calibrated like an assessment instrument to target each learner’s unique proficiency level. As a result, e-coaching is always in that person’s “Goldilocks Zone” – not too difficult, not too easy, but just right for their current skill level.
Learners can also set up a second push notification on their phone or tablet to remind them to keep a journal of the lessons they’ve learned from attempting to apply artificially intelligent coaching to their lifestyle. Most learners choose to record these private journal entries using their smartphone’s built-in voice-to-text feature, such as Siri, which is another type of AI that makes reflecting on focused practice more natural, especially when the individual is exhausted at the end of the day.
The objective of this mobile reminder is twofold. First, learners benefit from reflecting on what they’ve learned and refining their mental models. Second, the journal provides the coach or teacher a private, confidential view into how that specific learner is progressing and whether praise, nudging, or other sorts of help are needed. Teachers and coaches could only accomplish this in the past by nagging learners via phone, SMS, or email spam.
Deep Learning AI Systems
The second type of AI combines computer science advances with deep learning to provide users with a pocket coach that allows them to practice, receive immediate assessment and qualitative feedback, and improve. In this approach, the AI powered app and expert human coaches provide capabilities and content in a secure environment for customers to quickly develop soft skills..
Because AI is fast evolving, AI is anticipated to continue increasing the context and relationships needed for training and coaching in order to better personify the ability of individuals to transfer emotional intelligence and communication skills into their real work and life.
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