In an interview with Insights Success, the Co-founder and CEO of Alelo, Lewis Johnson shares the key insights over his organization’s journey and its specialized solutions and services. He has broadly discussed about his company’s core competencies and how the company is establishing its foothold in the global market. Considering these influential and inspirational aspects, Insights Success recognizes Alelo as one of the most trusted simulation solution provider of 2018.
Below are the highlights of the interview conducted between Lewis and Insights Success:
Give a brief overview of your company, its uniqueness and its vision.
Alelo started as a commercial spinout of the University of Southern California. We are a leader in the use of artificial intelligence to transform training and education. Our goal is to help people and organizations around the world succeed, by overcoming skill gaps that stand in the way.
What are the cutting-edge products/solutions offered by Alelo?
We create AI-driven decision simulations, in which learners are immersed in simulations of realistic situations and must decide what actions to take. Learners typically practice their skills in encounters with artificially intelligent animated characters. The system automatically assesses learner performance, provides feedback, and delivers personalized instruction in the areas where learners need to improve. Learners develop new skills quickly, while relieving teachers of the burden of grading student performance and providing feedback.
Alelo has used this approach to create cultural awareness training courses for over 90 countries, in which people learn cultural skills in simulated cross-cultural encounters. We developed a cloud-based platform named Enskill that people around the world are using to improve their communication skills and other soft skills. Hundreds of thousands of people in dozens of countries have learned new skills using our products.
Give a detailed description of your influence over the company and the simulation solutions industry.
I founded Alelo to provide AI-driven learning solutions to large numbers of learners. We focused initially on foreign-language communication skills because there were major skill gaps that were not being adequately addressed by conventional instruction. Under my direction, Alelo has continued to develop its AI-driven simulation technology and is applying it to an ever-wider range of learning problems.
Describe the experiences, achievements or lessons learnt that have shaped the journey of your company.
Alelo solutions have saved lives. Military units that used Alelo’s language and culture training products before deploying to Iraq and Afghanistan have been able to establish strong relationships with the local people, and encountered greatly reduced levels of violence as a result. We have learned how to replicate this success with other critical skills. Learners report that when they experience situations for real it feels like they have already done it before, even though they have only done it in simulation. This gives them an added measure of self-confidence.
What are the challenges faced while providing simulation solutions and how is Alelo serving to tackle them?
Our simulation solutions rely on AI, and AI requires training data. To gain better access to training data and to make our technology available at scale we moved it into the cloud. Whenever learners access our Enskill platform we collect learner data and measure the performance of both the learners and the simulations. This helps to ensure that Alelo products address learner problems, and accelerates innovation. We think it will also have an impact on teaching, by making it more data-driven.
What according to you could be the potential future of simulation solutions and how does Alelo envision sustaining its competency?
We see the potential for offering simulations as subscription-based services, not as custom-developed solutions. Platforms such as Enskill will become part of innovation ecosystems. Customers will develop their own simulation solutions on the platform, which will integrate with other digital learning products.
Our data-driven development approach gives us continuous access to learner data, which we use to continually improve the performance of our simulations and drive innovation in our technology platform. Expertise in AI provided us a first-mover advantage, and big data helps us sustain that advantage.
Testimonials from Alelo’s Clients
“What makes Alelo products so powerful is that you practice in realistic situations. When you experience it for real you feel like you have already done it before.” – COL (Ret.) Dan Wilson, US Army
“Enskill simulation is a great education tool that helps students practice speaking in real-life situations.” – Vesna Bulatovic, English program manager, University of Novi Sad, Serbia
“I am very pleased that Alelo will continue to support the development of VCATs [Virtual Cultural Awareness Trainers]. VCATs provide highly effective customized culture training that is used across the Department of Defense. I believe Alelo’s work on the VCATs has always been of the highest quality.” – Cathleen Moran, former program manager at Joint Knowledge Online