CareCredit - Women's Health April 2024

$1 Billion AI Education Platform Aims to Upgrade Employee Skills

Accenture’s new $1 billion investment in artificial intelligence (AI)-powered tech education shows how the fast-growing field could help employees learn new skills.

Accenture unveiled LearnVantage, an AI-driven learning platform that provides tech training to help clients reskill/upskill employees in technology, data and AI. The firm will invest $1 billion in LearnVantage over three years. Accenture acquired EdTech company Udacity to boost its learning capabilities and meet the rising demand for tech skills like generative AI.

Experts say AI is transforming how companies approach education. 

“Large language models like ChatGPT have been trained on the entirety of human knowledge,” Karl Knapp, dean of the UIndy School of Business at the University of Indianapolis, told PYMNTS in an interview. “It can be a great first step to understanding the basics of a particular subject. It’s a step forward from a simple Google search, because instead of requiring a second step, AI systems simply provide the answer to the question posed.”

AI Powers Personalized Teaching

Using an AI recommendation engine, Accenture’s LearnVantage curates learning content from the company and third parties. It offers personalized learning paths aligned with priority skill areas. Accenture said the Udacity acquisition would add proprietary content, expert services, and scalable learning technology to LearnVantage.

“The rapid rise of generative AI has grown our clients’ need for training and upskilling their people in cloud, data and AI as they build their digital core, which is essential for reinvention,” Kishore Durg, global lead of Accenture LearnVantage, said in a statement. “Accenture LearnVantage will help our clients not only advance their business goals but also help their people build the skills they will need for the next waves of technology change.”

Generative AI makes it easy for anyone to create effective learning materials like online courses, slideshows and quizzes, even without special training, James Micklethwait, vice president of Kahoot! at work, an online education company, told PYMNTS in an interview.

“These tools can make it quick and easy for anyone to get started creating engaging learning content or converting existing content into more engaging formats,” he added. “This encourages more peer learning and knowledge sharing among employees.”

AI simplifies the labor-intensive process of creating content and presentations in the education sector, allowing educators to devote more time to engaging with their team members or audience, Micklethwait said. This shift fosters deeper connections and enhances collaboration. When used effectively, AI complements rather than replaces the human touch.

“Rather, it is enabling professionals to devote more time and energy to creating more personal experiences and sharing what they are uniquely able to offer,” he added. 

Learning About AI

As AI technology rapidly transforms the business world, many companies are updating their employees’ skills to stay current with the latest technological advancements. Accenture said it spends over $1 billion annually on training its more than 700,000 people, offering around 40 million hours of learning.

The goal is enormous: to double their data and AI experts to 80,000 and train 250,000 tech experts by the end of fiscal 2024. Already, over 600,000 Accenture employees have learned the basics of AI.

In the realm of technology, AI systems are revolutionizing efficiency by generating initial drafts for computer programs. According to Knapp, in the customer service sector, AI models are enhancing the capabilities of human agents, paving the way for the autonomous resolution of numerous basic inquiries without human involvement. Meanwhile, AI is transforming instructional methods in education, enabling educators to engage students through a series of thought-provoking questions.

“It is critical that students and users of AI understand its basic functions and limitations,” he added. “The most effective way to utilize AI is through being able to craft highly specific prompts that guide the AI to provide the needed output.

“For this to be successful, a level of knowledge of the subject must be gained. To prompt an AI to create usable computer code, an understanding of computer programming is required. AI won’t do away with the need for such knowledge; it requires it.”

One high school in India is taking the idea of AI in the classroom to a new level. The school in Kerala has appointed an AI teacher who uses generative AI to provide personalized education to the students. The AI teacher, capable of speaking three languages, can tackle intricate queries.

The teacher’s manufacturer, Makerlabs, said that this humanoid was specifically designed to cater to the individual learning requirements of each student.

“IRIS is revolutionizing education by tailoring lessons to fit the unique needs and preferences of every student, thereby enabling teachers to offer more captivating and impactful learning experiences,” stated the company.