Bahrain, Dec 7: Three highly reputed Bahraini companies AISCO, AIC and CPT, run by well-known entrepreneurs Edward Noronha, Rajan Sharma and Benny Barboza, have for the first time in the Middle East for the SME sector explored the alternatives of higher employee productivity and empowerment by attending a demonstration of learning for soft skills through virtual reality, artificial intelligence and simulations vs traditional training methodologies through a power packed demonstration programme to popularize among others, the amazing modules of Virtualspeech, which has users in over 120 countries worldwide.
The VR & AI learning in employee empowerment was conducted by internationally acclaimed public speaker and corporate trainer, Ronald Olivera. The programme which had a number of training modules, also included a demonstration of Virtualspeech, a well-known UK company was rated by Forbes as one of the 10 best VR programmes in the world. It was also profiled in the BBC, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Huffington Post for its innovativeness and effectiveness. It also included other training in traditional mode to highlight the difference that VR makes to the training vs traditional training modules.
Learning through VR and AI is, according to E&Y, 75% more effective than traditional learning. However, it is not widely used in the Middle East and Asia yet, especially for the SME market. In Europe and North America, it is becoming the gold standard for learning and employee empowerment. In fact, Walmart has trained over 1 million distributors and sub-distributors using virtual reality and AI.
Meta (Facebook) in conjunction with multiple US and European companies has subsidized over 100 US universities to help students learn different skills through VR & AI as this provides the most effective learning medium today. In fact, there is also an initiative to offer this learning (though in a different spectrum of career and communication) to Indian colleges through their alumni. Even schools in the UAE and GCC region are looking at VR & AI training for their children, albeit for public speaking skills to develop a child's skillsets. The road to VR & AI learning is acknowledged as the future, and it has started with corporate engagement.
Incorporating this type of learning for core employees will, according to Benny Barboza from CPT, improve productivity and enhance business. An important learning demonstration was a discussion of the various pain points of the companies with artificial intelligence. According to Edward Noronha the chairman of AISCO, "Discussion with AI can be interesting as you really do not know what kind of solutions you will get.” The demonstration programme also resonated extremely well with the employees who attended, with many calling it 'incredible training'. Elton Noronha, business development manager of AISCO, who attended the programme stated, "Not only was it interactive and compelling in its narrative, but it was humorous, interesting, and the presenter Ronald Olivera was able to engage the participants for over 8 hours, something that is very difficult in normal run-of-the-mill programmes.”
Rajan Sharma of AIC whose employees were part of the demonstration programme felt that such innovative modules to train employees would benefit the company, and if it enhances productivity, then programs like these would be game changers. In fact, except for very large multinationals, very few companies have incorporated AI and VR learning programs and are behind the curve. After all, the effectiveness of artificial intelligence and virtual reality is a proven fact, and those with faster adoption rates will have greater advantages.
Virtualspeech which has over 400,000 users worldwide has a range of modules that help employees and people improve skill sets using VR. This includes public speaking, emotional intelligence, sales, and other soft skills that enhance a person’s skill sets tremendously. Many of the modules also connect to AI, and this make the effectiveness even more compelling. The SME market in the Middle East and South Asia which is the largest market in the world is still yet to take to VR and AI in a big way and convincing them to do so is critical to ensuring the growth of this market outside North America and Europe.
Although the adoptions are slow, such demonstration programmes which showcase VR while the main programme is in progress is important to popularise VR and AI among the SME market. According to Ronald Olivera, “I do corporate training programmes almost 20 days in a month across various SME clients. I always try to spend a small part of the time demonstrating the effectiveness of VR and AI during these programmes to convince SME clients to move from tradition training which is well entrenched to VR and AI training like Virtualspeech and others which is the future.”
As an AI Guru has said, "AI is going to change the world more than anything since the printing press. Early adopters will have tremendous benefits.”