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Can Artificial Intelligence be used to teach foreign employees the English language?

Artificial Intelligence

As companies continue to expand into the global marketplace, many face a host of novel challenges. One common concern involves the ways in which foreign staff members can be integrated into a predominantly English-speaking organisation. After all, clear and streamlined communications are vital to success within an increasingly competitive landscape.

There is no doubt that one of the most effective techniques involves outsourcing learning requirements to trained online tutors such as those who are capable of providing advanced English courses. Users can learn at their own pace, it is often possible to schedule one-on-one sessions and naturally, conversing with a native speaker is crucial in order to appreciate nuances such as unique dialects.

However, artificial intelligence (AI) may also be able to play a role. Let us look at some potential benefits and drawbacks associated with this approach. Might AI represent the future of the global business community? This is an interesting question which warrants close examination.

The benefits of Artificial Intelligence when learning a foreign language

Most experts will argue that the main advantage of artificial intelligence in relation to learning English involves the flexibility of the programs themselves. For example, the student can tailor his or her sessions to focus upon a specific subject. In relation to the business community, topics such as sales, marketing and industry-specific terms may be relevant.

AI can also be accessed 24 hours a day and seven days a week. These programs are always standing by, so they can address issues such as time differences and hectic schedules. On a final note, it may sometimes be cheaper to purchase an AI bundle when compared to outsourcing such services to a human counterpart. The only possible issue here is that the aforementioned benefits are nonetheless hampered by some well-known drawbacks.

A handful of drawbacks to address

There is no doubt that the intuitive nature of artificial intelligence has grown in leaps and bounds over the past few years. This is largely due to advancements made in machine learning. Still, the primary (and undeniable) pitfall of these systems involves the simple fact that they are not a replacement for real-time human interactions. The lack of an organic experience will lead to impersonal undertones and in some cases, it can cause students to lose interest. Here are some other disadvantages of AI-based linguistic tools:

  • Some systems can be quite expensive.
  • They might not be suited for niche industries.
  • Software compatibility issues can arise on occasion.
  • Employees themselves might become confused with overly technical interfaces.

So, what conclusions can we draw from the factors pointed out above? Although artificial intelligence is indeed able to provide countless advantages to the business community, it has not yet evolved to the point where it can be used as an effective tool to teach English as a second language to employees. While the future will undoubtedly unlock more possibilities, it is best to encourage real-time interactions with human tutors in order to obtain the most amenable (and cost-effective) results.

Read Next: Wire19’s global listing of top 50 IT/ITeS CIOs, CTOs, and technology leaders

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