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LinkedIn Provides New Insights into Key Learning and Development Trends

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linkedin provides new insights into key learning and development trends

LinkedIn has this week published its fifth Workplace Learning Report, which incorporates responses from over 1,200 learning and development professionals, and nearly 900 learners, to provide some fresh perspective and insight into key learning and upskilling trends, and how businesses should be planning for these developments.

You can download the full, 65-page report here (with email sign-up), but in this post, we’ll take a look at some of the key notes.

First off, in what will come as no surprise given the chaos that was 2020, LinkedIn found that ‘Resilience and Adaptability’ is now a key learning and development focus, with ‘Technology Skills/Digital Fluency’ coming in second.

LinkedIn Learning and Development report

We all needed to adapt, in some way, due to the impacts of the pandemic, and you can see, based on these other topics, the influence that the WFH shift has had on development trends.

The increased focus on digital connectivity has also made digital literacy a key focus.

Really, digital literacy should now be on the general education curriculum, as it already is in some nations. Considering the broader impacts of misinformation, and how digital platforms can be used to facilitate such, and our increasing reliance on connected tools in all aspects, it’s arguably now a critical life skill that all youngsters are learning themselves anyway.

The more information we can provide on this, the better.

LinkedIn also found that ‘Upskilling and reskilling’ is now the key focus area for learning and development programs, which also comes as little surprise.

LinkedIn Learning and Development report

Many people have had to find new roles, or change their focus, due to the impacts of COVID-19, so a lot of workers have had to, and will have to, reskill. 

LinkedIn also found that a growing number of employees who are shifting roles, are doing so from entirely different career paths, as opposed to related roles.

“An analysis by LinkedIn’s data science team conducted for the World Economic Forum showed that many employees who have moved into “emerging roles” over the past five years came from entirely different occupations. For example, half of the employees who moved into data science and artificial intelligence (AI) roles were coming from unrelated industries. That number jumps when we look at engineering roles (67%), content roles (72%), and sales (75%). What’s even more interesting is that the people who transitioned into data and AI had the largest variation in skill profiles, with half of them possessing skills with low similarity.” 

New sectors are opening up new opportunities, and as AR/VR and other technologies continue to evolve, this will continue to expand, re-directing people from a range of professional backgrounds into these new pathways – and it’s worth noting that experience is not so much a factor in some respects.

In many ways, it’s impossible to have experience in these emerging roles, which provides more opportunity for people to change their career path, if they choose.

As you can see from the chart, ‘Virtual Onboarding’ is also a key focus, again reflecting the rising WFH shift, which will likely be a lasting impact of the pandemic.

This is further underlined in the shift away from instructor-lead training (ILT) in favor of self-paced online courses.

LinkedIn Learning and Development report

Organizations are increasingly looking to cater for variable working arrangements, in order to provide more flexibility, which will not only enable them to attract more candidates through broader options, but will also ensure that they can get the best employees, regardless of location. And that may well become a key differentiator moving forward.

LinkedIn also found that younger employees are increasingly looking for career development opportunities

“Gen Z learners will spend time learning if it can help them perform well in their current jobs (69%), build the skills needed to work in a different function (47%), or find new roles internally (hello, internal mobility) — more than any other generation in the workforce. And, over three-quarters (76%) of Gen Z employees believe that learning is the key to a successful career.”

That could be a key note to help in motivating younger staff, while group learning has also seen a rise in popularity.

“For example, there’s been a 1,100% increase in people joining Learning Groups, with joins from younger generations much higher than their older colleagues. There was also a 225% increase in courses shared with a learner’s professional network, and a 121% increase in activity.”

There’s probably some level of external validation in this, in the capacity to show off your latest skills to peers and colleagues. But it also underlines a key value point – if you want to maximize employee learning, it should be available online, and it should be something they can do with other colleagues or students, helping to facilitate community, which many have sorely missed due to the lockdowns. 

There are some interesting insights here, and if you’re working in HR, it’s worth downloading the full report and taking a look at LinkedIn’s findings. It may help you develop a better approach to your own learning and development processes, and better position your company to capitalize on these key shifts.

You can download the full LinkedIn Learning 2021 Workplace Learning Report here.

Socialmediatoday.com

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Josh Brolin Summarizes Dune 2 in Greatest Instagram Caption of All Time

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Josh Brolin Summarizes Dune 2 in Greatest Instagram Caption of All Time

The Dune: Part Two star took a unique approach to marketing the movie. Dune: Part Two is so close to hitting theaters, and no one is more excited than …

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Reddit’s Exclusive Data Sharing Deal with an Unnamed AI Company Could Mark a Key Industry Shift

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Reddit’s Exclusive Data Sharing Deal with an Unnamed AI Company Could Mark a Key Industry Shift

Is Reddit’s actually data worth $60 million per year?

That’s reportedly how much an as-yet-unnamed AI development company has paid to gain exclusive access to Reddit’s full data set, which will see said AI company incorporate Reddit user responses into its large language model (LLM), with a view to the system providing more human-like answers and insight, and becoming a bigger challenger in online search.

As reported by Bloomberg, after working to restrict access to its data over the last year, in order to stop AI companies from profiting off its content, Reddit has now signed an exclusive contract with “an unnamed large AI company”, which will see that company integrate Reddit insights into its models.

Which is a high price tag, considering that the top tier of X’s API access (200 million posts per month) costs around $2.5 million per year.

So could Reddit’s data be worth significantly more than that, and if it is, does it then make sense for Reddit to provide such on an exclusive basis?

The value of Reddit data is that it provides actual, human usage insight, which can often be of more value than online reviews that can be gamed and skewed by paid responses. That’s getting even worse in the age of generative AI, with some companies now employing AI tools to create human-sounding reviews online, in order to boost their product ratings.

As a result, more and more people have been turning to Reddit to get honest product reviews and performance insight. They’re still using Google, but more people are using the “site:reddit.com” qualifier to glean more specific insights from Reddit communities.

For example, if you were looking for a new hair dryer, you can look up “best hair dryer” on Google to get this:

Or you can add “best hair dryer site:reddit.com” for this:

Google example

The Reddit forum links connect through to actual people’s experiences, and include solid, functional insight from those who’ve used each device. The Reddit responses are also up and downvoted, making it easier to find the best response to guide your search process.

The more specific, personal insight can add significant value to the answers provided, and many people have found that this is now a better, more valuable discovery process than trusting Google results within themselves.

And now, one AI company will get all of this insight exclusively to itself.

That could be a big boost to its business ambitions, with a view to making AI chatbots more of a rival for traditional search behavior. Already, more people are turning to conversational chatbots for online discovery, and with this, whichever LLM can access Reddit data will have an exclusive trove of valuable consumer insights, which it can repackage within its responses.

For example, using the same hair dryer prompt in ChatGPT, the system currently gives me a listing of technical considerations and recommendations based on top sellers. But with added Reddit commentary, it could also provide a more personalized addendum:

“According to users, the best hair dryer for curly hair is the Ella Bella Ionic hair dryer, while those with straight hair tend to prefer the Dyson Supersonic.”

The system could then provide more specific answers based on your requirements, by sourcing that info from subreddit communities.

It’s a significant value-add, which will make whichever company gets this info a far more viable option as a search consideration, though the $60 million per year ongoing price tag is high, and is also at least somewhat reliant on Reddit continuing to grow, in order to maximize its value and utility.

And Reddit is growing. Reddit’s added 20 million more users over the past three years, and it continues to see strong engagement in over 100,000 active communities. The company’s been working to highlight its business value, ahead of a planned IPO, which could come next month, and this deal will now be factored into the valuation of the platform moving forward.

In some ways, it’s possible that Reddit could be limiting its opportunities by signing an exclusive data contract. But that’s why the price tag is so high, and it’ll be interesting to see which chatbot comes out with “Reddit exclusive insights” as a value add sometime soon.

I mean, it seems likely that it’ll be OpenAI, with the backing of Microsoft, as it looks to take on Google’s Search dominance. With the rise of conversational searches, that does seem like a logical investment, and with another data source taken out of the mix, that could also lead to more differentiation in the market.

It could also point to similar exclusivity deals in future, as each company tries to differentiate and dominate with their chatbot tools. Current AI chatbots have been able to scrape vast amounts of data from across the web, which means that their initial models will all be relatively similar as a result, but in future, as information evolves, and new data is required to match search intent, fresh sources will also be required to maintain relevance, and audience interest.

Meta claims to have an advantage in this respect, because it has all of the insights published to Facebook and Instagram to work with, while Elon Musk will view xAI as holding a lead, due to his platform being the leading real-time news discussion app.

But maybe, considering broader trends, Reddit insight is actually the real leader in terms of refining search queries.

And maybe, that will prove to be more important than most think.  



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EU launches probe into TikTok over child protection

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The European Commission said it launched formal infringement proceedings against TikTok over the protection of minors online

The European Commission said it launched formal infringement proceedings against TikTok over the protection of minors online – Copyright AFP KARIM JAAFAR

Raziye Akkoc

The EU on Monday announced a formal investigation into TikTok over alleged breaches of its obligations to protect minors online, under a landmark new law on policing digital content.

It is the second probe into a major online platform since Brussels introduced the Digital Services Act (DSA), after targeting tech billionaire Elon Musk’s X in December.

Brussels is particularly concerned that the video-sharing app owned by China’s ByteDance may not be doing enough to address negative impacts on young people.

A key worry is the so-called “rabbit hole” effect — which occurs when users are fed related content based on an algorithm, in some cases leading to more dangerous content.

The European Commission’s concerns also include TikTok’s age verification tools, which it said “may not be reasonable, proportionate and effective”.

The commission opened “formal proceedings to assess whether TikTok may have breached” the DSA in other areas including “advertising transparency” and “data access for researchers”.

The action comes after analysing a risk assessment report by TikTok and its replies to Brussels’ requests for more information about what measures the video-sharing platform has taken against illegal content, the protection of minors and access to data.

– ‘Spare no effort’ –

Regulators will continue to gather evidence, the commission said, adding that the move empowered it to take further enforcement steps if necessary.

“As a platform that reaches millions of children and teenagers, TikTok must fully comply with the DSA and has a particular role to play in the protection of minors online,” said the EU’s internal market commissioner, Thierry Breton.

“We are launching this formal infringement proceeding today to ensure that proportionate action is taken to protect the physical and emotional well-being of young Europeans. We must spare no effort to protect our children,” Breton added.

TikTok has over 142 million monthly users across the EU, up from 125 million last year.

“TikTok needs to take a close look at the services they offer and carefully consider the risks that they pose to their users — young as well as old,” commission executive vice president Margrethe Vestager said.

The formal probe will focus on four areas: how TikTok assesses and mitigates systemic risks; how the company is complying with protecting minors’ privacy and safety; TikTok’s measures on providing a “reliable” advertisement repository and the steps taken to increase transparency.

TikTok said it was working to protect minors online.

“TikTok has pioneered features and settings to protect teens and keep under 13s off the platform, issues the whole industry is grappling with,” a TikTok spokesperson said.

“We’ll continue to work with experts and industry to keep young people on TikTok safe, and look forward to now having the opportunity to explain this work in detail to the Commission.”

– Risk of fines –

There is no deadline for the completion of the proceedings.

The DSA gives Brussels the power to levy heavy fines, with penalties for violations that can include fines going up to six percent of a digital firm’s global revenues.

The commission can even block platforms in the 27-nation bloc for serious and repeated violations.

The EU law came into effect last year for the world’s biggest online platforms including TikTok and X as well as Facebook and Instagram.

The new rules demand companies do more to police content online, but also expect digital retailers to act swiftly and effectively to protect shoppers online.

The DSA law has applied to all platforms since February 17.

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