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Communications of the ACM

ACM TechNews

The Robots That Manage the Managers


The platforms are based on research showing periodic repetition and reminders are good ways to learn new material.

A new wave of artificial intelligence-driven coaching apps and platforms aim to provide new managers with training in traditional supervisory skills.

Credit: Brett Ryder

As millennials move into management positions, many find they lack even introductory training in traditional supervisory skills such as delivering feedback and delegating work.

A new wave of artificial intelligence (AI)-driven coaching apps and platforms aim to fill the gap, including Butterfly, Qstream, and LEADx.

The platforms are based on research showing periodic repetition and reminders are good ways to learn new material; they suit a generation of digital natives that prefer checking an app over sitting through a PowerPoint tutorial.

However, the apps' text and email reminders are easy to ignore, and it can be strange when a bot gets too personal.

The coaching programs use AI in various ways, typically by factoring a user's responses over time into the selection and timing of coaching tips.

For example, a user who has almost mastered material might be nudged to recall it less often than one who is being exposed to it for the first time.

From The Wall Street Journal
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Abstracts Copyright © 2019 SmithBucklin, Washington, DC, USA


 

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