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AI used as a training tool to help improve employee pitches

Artificial intelligence (AI) is being used by sales firm Bigtincan as a training tool to help employees improve presentation skills.

The technology judges how well employees are pitching to clients and means managers' time can be freed up for other tasks, sid Mike Minchew, head of HR at Bigtincan. 

Speaking to HR magazine, he said: "It's a time issue. Managers would love to help every person develop their skills, but do they have the time? They're more likely to want to focus on just the human interaction side on the most critical those elements.

"Allowing the AI to judge and score those presentations has freed up manager time and reduced that burden. It has allowed them to focus more on an individual basis to give those teammates that one on one time on something that may really matter to their career progression."

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Employees also benefit from having the personal bias eliminated from their training processes, Minchew added. 

Other companies have been slower to introduce AI on a large scale.

Minchew suggested this could be due to companies having bad experiences with inferior products in the past. 

He said: "A lot of people rushed to market capabilities that may not have been as mature. When you're working in these spaces, it's all about the dataset. Scale matters, especially in AI so that your training sets become better and better, and the results are more accurate."

The government's AI Activity in UK Business report, published in January 2022, found 15% of businesses had adopted at least one form of AI technology.

Just 2% (62,000) were piloting AI processes, with another 10% planning to use AI technology in the future.

The AI machine-driven nature of AI may also be holding other companies back, Minchew added. 

"When this space started to open up, a lot of people saw it as a black box," he said. "Humans are naturally a bit concerned about interactions with machines.

"The levers and dials are within human control - they're not just machine-driven. Taking the time to explain that helps to remove that anxiety."