How this bot simplifies learning at Kohler India

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KOHLER India’s Sales Training Academy, recently launched KOBOT on the Facebook Messenger platform to help people learn at their own pace, based on their needs.

Right from hiring to talent development and engagement, and also predicting retention, artificial intelligence (AI) has introduced a plethora of opportunities for HR. In that, learning and development is one space that has been disrupted a lot by the intervention of smart technologies, as the newer generations seek more focussed and relevant learning methodologies.

With that in mind, KOHLER India’s Sales Training Academy (STA), which is a new-age learning function, recently launched the newest kid in the block— KOBOT— on the Facebook Messenger platform. The inspiration came from Mark Zuckerberg’s unveiling of bots for business on the Messenger platform in 2016. Today, there are more than a million bots available on Messenger, mostly used for customer connect. STA has tried to use the same platform for learning & development.

Indraneel Das & Pankaj Rai

With the idea that chat-bots can serve as the virtual trainers/advisers, that will adapt work and curricula to the learners’ abilities and preferences via an AI skeleton, Kobot becomes one of the first ones of its kind.

Pankaj K Rai, director-HR, India & Sub-Saharan Africa, Kohler says, “We at Kohler have always believed in making training and development a new-age function, where traditional learning initiatives exist but make way for more and more digital initiatives suited to satisfy millennial needs.”

KOBOT is an integrated AI-based chat-bot, which pushes training inputs to learners through a non-human intelligent conversation providing them valuable content (product/ competencies/ behavioural) via rich media (gifs, videos, images, texts, etc.).

Indraneel Das, head-sales capability development at Kohler, shares that the chat-bot is a social media-based learning platform that helps understand the learning pattern of the users in the backend. Once the learning pattern of different kinds of learners has been established, KOBOT will share content, based on the learning preference of the learners through advanced Machine Learning & NLP technologies.

Das, who is the brainchild behind Kobot, shares that while researching about Facebook Messenger, that offers bots for businesses and customer engagement, he felt that it could also be probably used for making learning choice based and more engaging. “I felt that something that is meant to engage with customers should certainly help engage with the internal customer —employees —as well,” he says.

This is how Kobot was born and launched as another stepping stone towards driving learning through AI. Rai shares, “Kobot plans to involve deep machine learning in times to come and would artificially engineer solutions tailored to the individual needs of the learners. I envisage Kobot to not only administer and assess training needs but also supplement the development needs with deployment of the right fit for the right associate.”

“Our plans are to make Kobot the new virtual training buddy for our associates! That too at half the cost of a brick and mortar workshop!” he exclaims. According to Das, the costing involved in it is 1/10th as compared to the conventional methods.

With the idea that chat-bots can serve as the virtual trainers/advisers, that will adapt work and curricula to the learners’ abilities and preferences via an AI skeleton, Kobot becomes one of the first ones of its kind.

Now, no more ‘One Learning for All’. With Kobot as a learning tool, it’s time for ‘My Learning-My Way’ at Kohler!

2 COMMENTS

  1. This is an excellent move by Kohler. Our own research at Skills Alpha indicates that the machine-human intimacy will lead to better outcomes. Our AI-powered Alpha BoT in addition to learning enables social outcomes and building of knowledge assets. Happy learning!

  2. This is a wonderful initiative. AI would make a great companion and brings personalized learning to the users. However, I wish they’ve spent a little more time in the design of the mascot as well as the posters for this. While the mascot looks more like a Wi-Fi router, the posters have been lifted from the movie “The Dark Knight Rises”. For a company that spends so much on designing a AI-based chatbot, graphic design shouldn’t be a costly affair. Good luck with the initiative. I hope people will make good use of the chatbot.

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