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Fiona Leteney

Senior Analyst

Fosway Group

Alexa why is there no L&D?

It's been five years since the Experience API

(xAPI) specification 1.0 was published. Yet still

we are only talking about pilots and early

adopters. There are some great case studies

starting to emerge but is it too little too late?

'Has xAPI missed the boat?' was the topic of a

fascinating discussion within the xAPI

community on Twitter recently (March 2018).

One side of the argument was citing the big

players like IBM, Microsoft and Amazon

getting into the learning market, delivering

directly to the business at the point of need

using their own existing software platforms

with additional functionality. It's unlikely they

will be using SCORM or even xAPI for the

tracking; it's more likely to be their own

proprietary methods.

However, if the answer is that xAPI has

missed the boat because of these new

market entrants, then extrapolating that

thought brings us to a difficult conclusion; that

L&D has missed the boat too, along with all

the current learning technologies we know

and love! In this scenario, the big players will

be selling directly to the business, bypassing

L&D altogether.

For a moment, I imagined I was a time

traveller transported 10 years into an

apocalyptic future where there are no L&D

departments and no learning management

systems (LMS). How would I learn as an

individual? We know the disruptive

technology in 2018 is artificial intelligence (AI),

which will be a game changer - how will this

manifest itself in 2028?

In 2018, a Google search is often our first port

of call when we need to know something. In

the future it will be AI and a virtual personal

assistant. I have Alexa in my office now but

only really use it functionally and for

entertainment. For example, when my hands

are full and I'm dashing out to a gym class, I'll

ask her the time to see how fast my walk will

need to be. Entering the lounge, I'll ask her to

turn on the light. Sat in dark room looking out

over the Manchester night from my 15th floor

apartment I'll ask, "Alexa play Elbow", she'll

shuffle songs for me by Elbow. When I am

tidying up, I'll ask her to read me my current

book, she will pick up where I left off on my

Kindle.

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Image courtesy of amazon.com

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