New AI tool looks to tackle communication skills gap

Digitalisation of human interaction sees new AI-powered tool create to help people improve their verbal and non-verbal communications

Lengthy lockdowns have left many of us feeling our social communication skills may have atrophied. But social communication has always been a difficult task for some, especially those coming from non-English speaking backgrounds.

Now one entrepreneur has found a way to use the digitalisation of human interaction to create an AI-powered tool that’s helping people improve their verbal and non-verbal communication skills.

Entrepreneur and technologist, Balendran (Bala) Thavarajah, came up with the idea for GetMee when he found himself with extra time on his hands during the 2020 lockdown. It led him to consider his own personal history of fleeing civil war and emigrating to Australia.

“I couldn’t speak English at all, because I couldn’t go to school because of civil war,” Thavarajah tells CMO. “I ended up in Sydney without any language or any skills to offer, but because of sheer willpower and determination I learned the language and to communicate a little bit. I then did a computer science degree through a pathway program at Western Sydney University.”

Thavarajah began to consider how he might use his technical skills to help people in similar situations who wanted to improve how they expressed themselves

“I decided to train some machine learning models to understand patterns, including things like word choices and energy and sentiment in my daily conversations,” he explains. “The AI can listen to a phone call, tell me how I am performing as a communicator and give me objective feedback.”

GetMee is an AI-based communication skills training application backed by human coaches that can help people understand the strengths and weaknesses in their communication and provide tips on how they might improve. The application is built around 16 different sets of rules relating to communication concepts such as emotion, sentiment, word and sentence structure, energy, positivity and negativity.

“We then have 20 human coaches who are experts in their field teaching our customers the concepts,” Thavarajah says. “AI can’t teach what empathy is, for example, so the coaches will come on to the dashboard and teach people through bit-sized videos.”

Thavarajah says the use of AI has proven essential both in training the system to understand patterns of communication and for adapting to the individual needs of the trainee.

“As you use the tool, the AI understands where you need help, then it customises the program,” Thavarajah says. “So if you for example are a low energy communicator and you need to work on maintaining your energy through a conversation, the AI would point you to a particular video from a coach who specialises in energy.”

One key training area is encouraging positivity. The app will listen for the use of negative words in speech.

Thavarajah says the key market for GetMee has been language schools and organisations that help people find work. But over time, he sees potential for a much broader application in any area of human communication, including customer-facing environments such as contact centres.

“We are wanting to make it available to anyone wanting to improve their communication skills,” Thavarajah says. “Because everyone needs help. At the moment we all think we can communicate brilliantly, but until you sit down with the coach and get that objective feedback you really don’t know what you need to work on.”

 Don’t miss out on the wealth of insight and content provided by CMO A/NZ and sign up to our weekly CMO Digest newsletters and information services here.  

You can also follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO conversation on LinkedIn: CMO ANZ, follow our regular updates via CMO Australia's Linkedin company page

 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Show Comments
cmo-xs-promo

Latest Videos

More Videos

Beautiful article.

Hodlbaba

15 brands jumping into NFTs

Read more

"Blue" is really gorgeous and perfectly imitates a human customer support operator. Personally, I won't order a chatbot development for m...

Nate Ginsburg

Why the newest member of BT’s contact centre is a chatbot

Read more

As today’s market changes rapidly, the tools we use change, and it is important to adapt to those changes to continue to succeed in busin...

Anna Duda

Report: 10 digital commerce trends here to stay

Read more

MAN! this is really a well-written article. Anything regarding app development is well addressed in this article. Especially, the way you...

AIA Developers

Mini marketing leader takes group marketing reins at BMW

Read more

Lyre’s and Dohler will not be sued by Arkay Beverages for stealing Arkay’s trade secretshttps://www.openpr.com/news...

Reynald Grattagliano

Lyre's Spirit Co follow up investment injection with global media partnership

Read more

Blog Posts

How the pandemic revealed the antidote to marketing’s image problem

What does marketing truly ‘own’ in most organisations? Brand and campaigns, definitely. Customer experience? That remains contested ground.

Murray Howe

Founder, The Markitects

Still pursuing a 360-degree view of the customer?

On the Internet, nobody knows you’re a dog.” It may have been true in 1993 when this caption to a Peter Steiner cartoon appeared in the New Yorker. But after 30 years online, it’s no longer the case.

Agility in 2022

Only the agile will survive and thrive in this environment and that’s why in 2022, agility will need to be a whole-business priority.

Sam McConnell

Melbourne bureau chief, Alpha Digital

Sign in