How AI is Solving the #1 Skill Gap in the Global Economy

Companies and organizations are adopting artificial intelligence at a rapid rate. This is going to have a profound impact on a range of industries.
Education and training is one industry where AI is starting to play important roles. What impact will AI have on education and training in the future? Will teachers be replaced by algorithms? Or is AI going to empower both learners and teachers?

Alelo has launched a webinar series on the Future of AI in Education to investigate these questions. The first of these is examining how AI is addressing the global gap in communication skills. This is an illustration of the potential benefits of applying AI to important and persistent problems in education and training.

A recent analysis by LinkedIn revealed that the largest skill gap in the US economy today is in communication skills. Although there is a lot of emphasis these days on providing training in coding skills, the shortage of workers with communication skills is three times greater than the shortage of workers with software engineering skills.

Why is this? One reason is that communication skills are difficult to automate. Routine tasks and processes are being eliminated, but jobs that involve communication persist and are growing.

It is also due to the shortcomings of conventional education and training in communication skills. The best way to master communication skills is to practice in a realistic but safe environment, with someone who can give you feedback and pointers on how to improve. Coaches and tutors provide this sort of practice and feedback, but not everyone can afford to have their own personal coach. Good teachers provide it but with only one student at a time. Students in large classes don’t get enough opportunity to practice.

AI can now provide each student an immersive practice environment, perform formative assessments, and give feedback and personalized instruction in their areas where they need to improve. It can objectively measure learner performance and provide analytics to learners, teachers, and program administrators. It empowers learners and teachers to achieve better learning outcomes with less time and cost.

We are applying this systemic approach to learning spoken English skills. Users in two dozen countries are benefiting from this capability. And we have applied them to a wide range of other communication skills. To see examples of AI-based learning systems in action, visit and try one for yourself.

About The Author

Lewis Johnson

Dr. W. Lewis Johnson is President of Alelo and an internationally recognized expert in AI in education. He won DARPA’s Significant Technical Achievement Award and the I/ITSEC Serious Games Challenge, and was a finalist in XPRIZE Rapid Reskilling. He has been a past President of the International AI in Education Society, and was co-winner of the 2017 Autonomous Agents Influential Paper Award for his work in the field of pedagogical agents. He is regularly invited to speak at international conferences for distinguished organizations such as the National Science Foundation.

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