We tend to forget that online education started two decades ago and the confinement imposed by the pandemic has only accelerated its advancement and acceptance. The positive impact of digital learning tools is becoming measurable and mobile learning is expanding at a fast pace thanks to improved communications and 5G technology.

  • 63% of US high school students use digital learning tools daily
  • 81% of US college students agree that digital learning tools help them improve their grades
  • In 2017, approximately 77% of US corporations used online learning, but 98% planned to incorporate it in their program by 2020.

Despite the positive transformation that is underway, online and mobile education must continue evolving and offer 1:1 personalization to make sure that the success of the students is not undermined by a lack of empathy and attention. Institutions also need to build scalable platforms which can deliver high-quality programs to an unprecedented number of students while coping with the alarming shortage of educators exacerbated by the pandemic (early retirement, burnout, demotivation to onboard eLearning).

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is an essential enabler to solve this problem. It is already well deployed for Natural Language Processing (NLP), context awareness, and other capabilities enhancing human-machine communications. But, a unique emerging value of AI in education will be the personalization of interactions with students and employees in training so they can thrive with digital learning technologies.

Soul Machines, the leader in humanizing AI

Since 2016, Soul Machines has been humanizing AI through a visual platform that is able to contextualize human interactions and interpret difficult elements such as tone of voice, cadence, and facial expressions. Soul Machines’ patented Human OS Platform with Autonomous Animation is the basis for the creation of Digital PeopleTM who have the capacity to process complex information, take inputs, and respond accordingly.

Digital People can hear, see, understand, think and relate to customers autonomously in real-time and in as many as 12 languages. In education, their empathic human behavior transforms impersonal online interactions into meaningful visual connections making the students feel supported and mentored through their academic endeavors.

Reimagining education with the help of Digital People

Acquire and engage at scale

With the global outreach of digital learning, schools and institutions need new methods to engage large and international audiences. Campus visits and roadshows are no longer sufficient and sometimes not an option. Digital People can prove very attractive and engaging for new students. They can be ambassadors delivering interactive presentations at scale about academic programs, financial aids, lodging, and other information. Available 24/7 and speaking multiple languages, they can reach an unlimited number of students, point them to valuable resources and prevent misinformation. Adding to their empathy and cost-effectiveness, Digital People are also attractive to new generations driven by technological innovation and ideal to build a leading brand with a unique appearance and personality.

Representing Maryville University’s diverse student body, Mya and Emma guide both prospective and newly-enrolled students through their first months on campus and beyond. They help them fill their FAFSA application, share information about the school culture, and advise on academic and career planning. “The most important thing here is that every student, regardless of race, ethnicity, location or socioeconomic status anywhere, can realize their full potential”, said Mark Lombardi, President, Maryville University

Build a safe place supporting equity, inclusion, and diversity

Enrollment and class scheduling can be a stressful process for students. Academic advisors seasonally overwhelmed with demands for help may not deliver to the best of their abilities. With the increasing number of enrollment for digital learning, counseling each student with fairness and unbiased attention does not seem scalable without digital assistants.

From choosing a major, verifying compatibility with prerequisites and degrees, managing waiting lists, and time conflicts, Digital People can perform such authoritative tasks with efficiency and reliability. They are multi-modal and accessible via phone, tablet, PC, or kiosk. Beyond their availability 24/7 and ability to speak 12+ languages, they can build a personalized connection with each student lasting from onboarding through career planning. In corporate Learning and Development, Digital People can guide employees with the selection of classes to acquire new skills, complete compliance training, and earn certifications to move up the ladder. With such a digital workforce, institutions can support more students, without compromising on retention and success rate.

Deliver 1:1 personalized learning throughout student’s journey

Educators know very well that a lack of personalization and attention can undermine the achievement of students. The availability of online tools must not become a path to letting the students grow on their own. Surely, chatbots and avatars are used to stimulate interactions, but without perception and the expression of emotions, they can only bear the title of an assistant. The Digital People, powered by a Human OS, can perceive excitement, enthusiasm, or on the contrary anxiety or discouragement, and reply with an appropriate facial expression and tone of voice.

Like a human educator, Digital People can feel if a student is struggling to comprehend a concept and offer to re-explain differently without raising any fear of judgments. They also have an unfailing memory and will remember everything they discussed with each student, making learning very productive and adapted to the student’s knowledge and level of skills. Such personalized connection qualifies Digital People as coaches and mentors.

A leader in the transformation of energy has brought Will to the classroom. Will is an engaging Digital Teacher who can teach and quiz the kids playfully about sensible energy use such as solar and wind. “What was fascinating to me was the reaction of the children to Will. The way they look at the world is so creative and different, and Will really captured their attention,” said Nikhil Ravishankar, Chief Digital Officer at Vector.

Innovate new programs

Today Digital People can have many roles in the education industry from the administrative and counseling department to the classrooms and study rooms, but they can also pave the way to innovative specialty programs such as foreign language studies, tutoring of children with autism and cognitive disabilities, internship, and career transition.

Moving forward with the integration of Digital People in our everyday lives, Soul Machines has defined a framework of autonomous animations including AR/VR platforms and the Metaverse which are of high interest in Education and corporate L&D. So we can imagine 3D learning experiences in the future such as practicing with a new tooling machine or a surgical intervention.

Download eBook

Conclusion

Personalized online learning is the future of the education industry. Using Digital People helps to bridge the gap between the traditional classroom and online learning, providing visual communications based on emotion-driven, individualized interactions.

Academic and eLearning institutions can drive numerous innovations with Digital People:

  • Connect with students and employees in training where they are
  • Create highly personalized experiences, reduce drop-out rates
  • Build a brand supporting diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • Increase students’ success rate
  • Reduce costs, improve efficiency
  • Expand support services