Democratization of Education by Voice AI Technology (2) - Corporate
Updated: Apr 14, 2021
Question: Who is the biggest fan of mandatory corporate classes? 1. The management 2. HR 3. Employees 4. The hired instructor getting paid by the hour 5. The owners of the venue, F&B catering, travel services, etc.
I admit, some were beneficial, but most of the times, I felt like I was sitting through an aggrandized HR stunt that on the surface provided value to the employees but mostly were a show to the management and fattened the purses of the outsourced vendors. This is not to berate the HR folks or belittle the corporate training events that actually proved to be incredibly valuable to my career or personal learning — it’s just the reality of how most of these sessions are.
By the Numbers
According to 2018 Training Industry Report by Training Mag, the total U.S. training expenditures amounted to a staggering $87.6 billion. (To put it into perspective, Dell’s 2019 revenue was $90.6 billion, and Facebook’s revenue was $70.7 billion).
More than half ($47 billion) of the expenditure was spent on training payroll, with about $30 billion spent on travel, facilities, equipment, etc. That only leaves about 11.4% to be spent on any product or service directly related to training. If you submit a marketing proposal to your CMO or CEO where only 11.4% of your budget had anything to do with the actual content production, distribution, and customer engagement, you would be out in the streets before that proposal hits the trash can.
Going more in detail, companies across the board spent on average $986 per learner. But note that this excludes the opportunity cost of the workers taking time away from their daily responsibilities, or the impossible reality of getting everyone’s schedule aligned, so the final cost soars even higher.
But wait, that’s not it — because most companies utilize a ‘spray and pray’ tactic and don’t follow-up to these workshops, the bulk of the investment into training gets washed down the drain. Kind of like the “Spaghetti Test” where you throw pasta against a wall to see if they are cooked. If they stick, they are ready to serve, but if they don’t, shucks, boil ’em some more!
Rich Dad vs. Poor Dad
What’s worse is that not every organization has the luxury: giant corporations can take the fees and the opportunity cost, and hope that something will stick with a portion of their large pool of employees. Furthermore, getting 1 speaker to speak to 100,000 workers dwindles down the cost/employee in comparison to when you have to hire for 100 or even 1,000. Smaller firms just don’t have the capacity to provide for their teams or the buffer to take the bet, even though they are usually more in need of training and learning than their bigger counterparts.
Rightfully so, online training courses are garnering more momentum across the industry, with even the prehistoric companies leveraging them for cost-saving and efficiency. According to LinkedIn Learning’s 2019 Report, the majority of Learning & Development personnels are increasing their budget for online learning, while the number for instructor-led training is on the decline.
So shouldn’t that level the playing field for everyone now?
The field is less uneven, but there is still a sizable gap. Big firms can shell out tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars on voiceover work to create as many new contents as they want, when they want. Heck, they could have voiceover artists on payroll. Or, they could have their own key employees create videos in a nice studio without their business coming to a screeching halt.
Startups and SMBs can’t afford the sheer cost of working with the voice actors, let alone the time and effort it takes to find, audition, hire, submit work, wait, and edit requests. Having voice talent on payroll is also unthinkable, and since every person is a crucial piece of the organization, taking someone out for hours and days on end to film new training materials in a fancy studio would be financially and operationally disastrous.
Ok, Then What?
What if you can create human-like voices in real-time from text that you write and edit whenever you want? Say, at 1% of the cost of securing a contract with an external voice over talent or agency? Not the typical robotic voices you hear from your Siri or Alexa, but authentic, emotional, natural human voices?
Imagine how efficiently you can create new training materials in sync with the new industry trend, without worrying about your budget or setting up buffers for backlogs. New employees can get a welcome message from your CEO without ever having to take the time out of the day from your CEO. Better yet, create customized sales and on-boarding videos for your clients without re-recording everything.
Human voice has the power to deliver a message that a written script just cannot. However, at the same time, it is neither scalable nor affordable (the good ones, at least) in most cases. LOVO is trying to break that barrier by making authentic human voices scalable and affordable for corporations and organizations to utilize in their content creation and business operations.
Try it for yourself at https://studio.lovo.ai