The next workplace revolution: Training could be performed by virtual characters using Artificial Intelligence
Trenario launched an AI-based platform for corporate training, where all trainers are humanlike virtual characters. The platform can also identify knowledge gaps and offer the users additional and more focused talks with the characters
Corporate training is about to undergo a significant change. Virtual characters that look and talk like humans are going to take the lead and start training employees on policies, procedures and best practices. The startup Trenario launched the first platform that implements this vision.
"Our dream was to take what you usually see in science fiction movies and make it a reality," says Dina Shatner, founder of Trenario. "We can start with any training material and let the virtual characters do the rest. The users interact with characters that seem as part of their day to day work – clients, co-workers or managers – all virtual. Today's users expect everything to look real and 'human', and to run on their smartphones, and this is what they get from Trenario. In our first project users got emotionally involved and wanted to know 'what happened to the character after we left her?'. Others asked if this was a real woman. The answer was of course: no, that's just a virtual character".
Opening the black box of practical knowledge
Trenario's platform is based on a two-year research in the psychology of learning. "We studied every aspect," Says Shatner, "We know for example how many words a virtual character can say before users lose their attention (hint: very few…). Our characters can train for example call center employees or implement regulations in financial institutions. Following our studies, we developed a platform that can easily create dozens of scenarios, in which users interact with the characters in work-like situations. We discovered that in this way learning becomes much more fun and effective."
But this is just one side of the equation. Organizations devote a lot of resources to employee training – from onboarding to continuous training and compliance. Nevertheless, one question usually remains open: How much of the policies and procedures were actually implemented in the day-to-day work of their employees?
To answer this challenge, Trenario developed another module that uses machine-learning to map the level of active knowledge. "Many organizations regard practical-knowledge, the knowledge that serves the employees in their daily work, as black box," Explains Shatner, "We allow these organizations, for the first time, to open the box and discover what's inside. The organization can set a target level for the implementation of a certain policy and maintain it. The platform maps knowledge levels and identifies weak spots. This is where the virtual characters are active again. When a weak spot has been identified, the system offers the employee additional talks with a virtual manager or client, until the target-level is reached. From the organization's point of view this means a highly effective use of resources. For the employee it means saving time and entering the new world of corporate training."
Trenario was founded in late 2015 with a vision to create the infrastructure for an AI-based training. Its co-founders are Dina Shatner, an expert in the psychology of learning, and Moti Shatner, a serial entrepreneur, who previously co-founded Bluevine. Trenario's platform is being used by corporations, financial institutions and the government. The company got seed funding from private investors.
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