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In 2020, we were talking about AI in education and business!

Hi, this is Francesco Rulli, I'm CEO of Querlo. I'm also the Forbes Insights AI Solutions Business Partner. I'm here today with Shermaine Perry-Knights who is a Chief Learning Officer. So, Shermaine, if you can tell us more about your profession and what does it mean to be a chief learning officer?

Hi, Francesco. So, let me tell you a little bit more about myself. So, I facilitate coaching sessions, team building workshops, career readiness programs to be a chief learning officer means that you are truly handling all things within learning and development and you're helping an organization and individuals grow, build that emotional intelligence, you know, they're helping people build leadership skills. So, it's truly well rounded. Very nice.

Thank you, Shermaine. So, we are going to, we're going through a very interesting time, the COVID era and if we were able to look at the future of what the post COVID era could be, where do you see the challenges but also the opportunities of this new era? I think COVID has changed just the nature of business as a whole and just what I see with learning and development and in many organizations is that COVID has changed the way in which we do business.

It's forcing everyone to learn a new skill. It's forcing you to step outside of a particular comfort zone. Let's say you only enjoy face-to-face combat, right? Or, or, of, just face-to-face, anything, interaction. You now have to become comfortable with the uncomfortable, which is the virtual world. And so, it is forcing everyone to learn a new skill, to be comfortable in a new learning environment, and to interact with individuals outside of the norm. So, you are interacting online in person, over the phone, through social media. And it has just changed the nature in a way we do business.

So, I would say, ask a whole with AI and COVID as a whole. This is really just changing who we are. We will never go back to the way things were. This is just given so many opportunities. What I will say just personally, the time in which I was driving to work to the office, it has given me an hour and a half each day, additional time. So, that I can read. I can learn a new skill. I can write. I can poetry. I can practice the instrument that I put down many years ago. And it has given me blocks of time that I did not have previously. And if many people take advantage of this extra time that we have at home, you can find a new creative method. You can create your own chatbot. You can learn a new skill. You can reach out to different individuals that you would not have access to if you were only relying on a face-to-face interaction.

Now, you may feel more comfortable reaching out on LinkedIn and say, you know what? I want to talk to that Fortune 500 executive. Do you have about 15 minutes for a virtual coffee break? And that may not be the means in which you would have reached out to them prior to. 3:07 But COVID is allowed for virtual conduct and interface to be more acceptable. Yeah, indeed, my personal experience is very interesting.

I am a big watcher of 60 Minutes. And recently, I have had an incredible success with people that participate in 60 Minutes to actually schedule those 15 minutes coffee breaks and the dimension. There is a propensity to talk and communicate even if digitally. Now, talking about digital interaction, all of your thoughts about the role of artificial intelligence in this new reality that we have entered. Artificial intelligence and my experience can be a great asset for a business. So the same way that we want to link learning and development to the strategic initiatives and the I would say it should be a part of every organization's strategic plan. They should have some elements that you can incorporate AI into. And in the wake of COVID, how much business was interrupted as a whole, the use of artificial intelligence will allow for clients to interact.

It will allow for you to continue to build the internal and external customer experience. And more importantly, it allows you to deliver services and to give those analytics that you may not have had previously, if you were just using the face to face interaction and you were documenting things, you know, just true data entry as you will. And so just in conversation with many executives, I've heard that it is saved them time, it's saved them energy, and it's given hard data to help improve services. So what I want to say, the role of artificial intelligence is really to just enhance productivity. It's going to help enhance employee and customer engagement. If used in the right way and if learning and development, my field truly takes advantage of it, this will help us to streamline processes. This will help us to further the bottom line and give you those that hard data that most organizations are looking for to reduce costs to, you know, to improve productivity. You're looking for hard data at the end of the day to say, what is this doing for the business? Is this absolutely necessary and how can we use this to achieve the goal 5, 10, 15 years That's where AI is.

You know, it's not just about creating chat bots, it's about reducing, errors, you know, reducing just that data entry. And it's really going to empower organizations if we take advantage of it. COVID has really created the perfect storm. It's unfortunate what's happening in terms of health and safety across the world. But for businesses, it's creating the perfect storm for them to upscale for them to learn new products, new services to offer more information out there.

And to say, hey, we're here on a digital platform. Just many individuals that I know are taking this opportunity to make their businesses digital, to learn a new skill to interact with learning management systems, to create a knowledge, to create knowledge management, to create succession plans using AI. Because that software is here for us. Why not use it in every industry, not just learning and development. You can use it in government.

You can use it in many areas, and just to take advantage of it, I personally want to create a chatbot and learn more about this. So, you know, clients could interact with me and learn more, and I can figure out what do people want to know? Because on LinkedIn, say, you interact with me. If you like a post, I see that, perhaps I may see the number of views, but I don't truly understand what element are you looking for. And AI gives you that specific analytic that you're looking for. So, you get to hone in on the data and in data mine, the way that many of us love data, you get to do that with incorporating AI into your business.

Definitely, thank you. Yeah, you're very inspiring from this perspective. And I really wish that everybody that we work with, that would have that app of experience and, you know, of future thinking. Now, if people want to learn more about your work, what's the best way to reach out to you and learn more about what you do? There are several ways to reach out to me. I'll say the two best platforms to reach out to me on LinkedIn. My name is Shermaine Perry-Knights. You can find me on LinkedIn very easily. And you can also reach out on my website.

And you'll be able to find me on both. I am excited to reach out to talk more about learning and development. I've also offered a few books. And I'm very passionate about science and math and what the future holds with the possibility of using AI and incorporating it into just in every area of our life, because there's so much opportunity right now.

And if we view COVID as an opportunity, not just a crisis, you'll start to see where you rise and what elements of creativity can bring and further your career and your business initiatives.

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