Many adults are entering the workforce without crucial communication skills. According to Salesforce, 86% of employees and executives believe this is the root cause of current workplace failures. In the UK, 90% of talent professionals recognise soft skills, particularly communication, to be as or more important than hard skills (LinkedIn Global Talent Trends 2019). The Sutton Trust reports that just one in five pupils feel the school curriculum helps them develop these crucial skills in the classroom. Current provisions are often inaccessible and can widen existing educational inequalities.
This project will test the hypothesis that AI can identify communication skills gaps and signpost learners to targeted content to improve those skills, for example active listening, persuasion, or empathy. An AI-powered web-based communication diagnostic tool will be developed to analyse a learner’s communication ability. On completion, the learner will receive a personalised report and be directed to personalised communication training provided by Debate Mate’s adaptive online courses.
The platform will focus on verbal and non-verbal communication skills and will develop a dataset to support development of the AI. If successful, the solution will enable Debate Mate to provide the same high-quality skills training achieved through live facilitation in a more accessible format.