What kind of kid were you back in the day? One who handed out candy or one who went with toilet paper in hand, a few eggs and a list of neighbors who should experience this type of joy? As an adult, are you someone who hands out candy? Wearing a costume? Or the person who hides in the back, refuses to answer the doorbell, and maybe turns off the light, hoping they will leave you alone? Perhaps you are an individual who buys candy, just sticks it out there in a large pot in your front yard and allows the masses to enjoy whatever they want. I can see each of you, in one of these areas – assuming you celebrate Halloween. There was a day where I would have my house decked out in 7-foot skeletons, scary noises, and gravestones, and then hide in the back, allowing my partner, who I think she loved doing this, handing out candy. Come to think of it, she always wanted me to, but hey, the dogs come first!
It’s time for this year’s special Halloween edition, a treat that generates a lot of interest and excitement. I’ve pulled out the stops this year, by using Dall-E-3 (AI image generator using GPT Plus – formally known as GPT-4) to generate the images I created using the right lingo for the prompts.
Whenever you see a topic or category, which may or may not include a specific vendor, and it is deserving of a “TREAT” you will see this:
Aww, isn’t it cute? And Friendly!!
The Trick is this one:
Nobody will see this as friendly.
Generative-AI latest pricing with vendors. It’s quite early as you know (and I want to state that, we are at tiny flea stage here, with AI capabilities in learning tech/systems), but in chatting with numerous vendors who have rolled it out, only one vendor so far, doesn’t’ charge extra for it. That vendor is D2L – both for their Business edition (which I love) and their EdTech version.
D2L lands a super TREAT. Their generative AI (ChatGPT 3.5 turbo) is in the following and used as:
Content Creator – Beyond creating the content, you can create practice questions on a selected item of text OR on the content itself
Video Skills – Generate Learning Objectives from the learning content (Brilliant – a lot of vendors do not do this, especially with video skills, in fact, it is rare)
Video Skills – Using an AI coach, it can use the content for the submission to identify delivery, tone, suggestions and much more. (SWEET)
I love that there is no extra cost here, because as noted, a lot of vendors that are jumping into Gen-AI are using it create courses/content and/or assessments. Honestly, while it is fine, and a quick start, I want to see more, and you can do it today, well a vendor can – but they are missing it. It’s so obvious. Actually, one vendor I spoke with on my trip to Copenhagen – Eurekos – identified it immediately, and plan to do it, along with some others coming in 2024. They focus only on customer training.
The number of learning systems pushing out all types of marketing spin around Generative-AI, often listing it as AI, and some say Co-pilot, which uh, isn’t fully accurate. If you are using your AI to create content, say as such, not something like AI zippy for incredible content.
The bigger trick here is the number of people who will just think this is the “wow,” without recognizing that it isn’t interactive, nor engaging. Sure it’s text. And for some vendors they have a WYSWYG window where you can add additional assets, but we are not talking full-blown engagement here.
That to me, as it exists now, is the minus that vendors are ignoring. Not that a built-in authoring tool, now referred to as a content creator tool, or content creation, was designed to deliver engagement and interactive content.
Speaking of ignorance – are the number of vendors who are using Generative-AI in their systems and are forgetting this one little window next to the response – the window that asks if this information is correct or not, and if not, what is the correct information. Now you may ask, why is this important?
The AI trains itself on the data over and over again. That is how it learns. If the information presented it wrong, what do you think it will do? Figure that out on its own? Not a chance. That’s where that human element comes in.
When I use GPT-4 for the text and file angle it will present me with a “thumbs up, thumbs down, and a check board like thing. If I select thumbs down, it will ask me what was incorrect and I will write it in, and then submit it. If you are using other Gen-AI solution whereas text plays into it, or files, they will provide something for correction options.
It is that important. Let’s go into the real world here – and think of all those learners, regardless if there are employees, customers, members, whatever – and they are using prompts to do XYZ (which at some point, will happen on the learner side); and in the meantime, the admins are doing the content creation, the assessment piece, but are still using a context window (that is where folks enter their prompts). How many, of those folks do you think will actually check to see if the information is correct? How many will review it? Unless they know these things can produce fake and/or false information and that you must re-check it, minimal. A context window option to agree or disagree and provide the correct info – on the admin side is crucial. And if a vendor thinks that folks can figure this out on their own, I can tell you, I’ve met folks who are running L&D, that are unaware.
Even when I created my images, it asked me if it was exactly what I wanted, and if not, it would regenerate it. It was not – here you go, see ya.
The nearly official listing of the Top 50 Learning System for 2023-24. I say nearly official because there are a few I will be looking out in November. However, plenty are already in what will be the 50.
In no particular order, and I should add, that I did not provide a link under them. Rather if they are in the FindAnLMS platform, you can locate them there – under FAL and compare them, check out their details, and do so much more. Those that aren’t – you can find via the web. I did this because there have been cases, where the link I gets changed by the vendor, and thus, people can’t locate the system.
I want to stipulate that being in FAL was not a requirement for the Top 50, or even my Top 100 or Vendors to watch or Vendors with the Best Gen-AI (that is published in Dec) in their system. FindAnLMS though prides itself on getting the best vendors in the industry on one platform – to maintain 100% independence and allow you, to drive the experience. (okay, promo offer).
360 Learning (FAL)
Absorb LMS with Engage (FAL)
Acorn LMS (FAL)
Adobe Learning Manager
Archipel Academy (FAL)
Biz skills with Biz Academy (FAL)
Cornerstone LMS (FAL)
Cypher Learning (FAL) – Update to listing coming soon – just an fyi.
D2L for Business (FAL)
Docebo Learn with DCS (FAL)
IMC Learning Suite (FAL)
Juno Journey (FAL)
Knowledge Anywhere (FAL)
Learn Amp (FAL)
Learn Upon (FAL)
Learning Cart (FAL)
Learning Pool (FAL)
LearnOps Platform (FAL)
LMS 365 (FAL)
Talent LMS (FAL)
Thought Industries (FAL)
Of this list, the vendors that surprised me the most – as in they came out of nowhere are
If the Final Official Rankings, I will identify those vendors who are using Gen-AI, and what LLM they are using. Although here comes a trick
Vendors who do not want to identify what LLM they are using. This first and foremost makes no sense. If you need to know specific information around that LLM they are using for their learning system, that goes far beyond what they expect you to ask, then they are going to provide it. If you are BIG huge company with 200,000 users, I bet they provide it – if they want the deal. An NDA is likely. However, I am getting really good at figuring out what LLM folks are using as a whole. You see enough of them; you start to see patterns.
There are few vendors who are using Google Cloud, and what I am seeing across the board is the hidden sauce secret here. Google first off, has a lot of LLMs. Secondly, the way Google Cloud works is to give you a variety of options, albeit the one you will want to go with is called Vertex, which is an LLM, of which you can bounce into the model garden and select from 100s of LLMs. Or stay with it. Personally, I would do the latter and pick one of those other LLMs. Anthropic you will see is coming, which is the same company, that Google just invested 2 billion dollars into – with 550 million upfront, on top of the 4 billion Anthropic received from Amazon. Clearly, eyeing Claude2 (and the pro version at that).
When a vendor says they are using Google Cloud for AI, congratulations! Now, tell me which LLM you are using, and if you are using Vertex, did you choose one of the models, and if yes, which one. I have yet to find a vendor who is using OpenAI to keep it a secret on whether or not they are using 3.5 Turbo or 4 or at some point, 5 or whatever they call it, when it rolls out.
If a vendor says Amazon (no one has yet), then is it Titan or Bedrock? If Bedrock, which one of the LLMs? And I suspect they will tell.
I do hope that these vendors who are using Google Cloud and those exploring it – do not try to play the trade secret game, when it comes to an LLM. Especially those vendors who announce it via a press release. And they do.
More and more L&D and Training executives asking the right questions, the in-depth questions around the functionality and capabilities of the learning system they are considering AND what I hear more and more, to my delight, are those folks asking – not just right now, but looking down the road, as forward thinking, especially with Gen-AI.
I honestly believe there are quite a few vendors out there, who enjoy privately, the limited knowledge many folks present. They are not expecting people to go in, and know what to ask, what to seek around pricing, what to no longer be fooled by, or tricked into, or know what to seek in a demo, and lastly pointed detailed questions. Specific.
When you go the above route, watch out – because the system you will buy will answer all those things yo want, b) no more cookie-cutter sales pitch, and c) no more spin and spin.
Way too many vendors continue to believe that L&D is the only department in town. I’ve seen this with vendors focusing only on customer training or associations. It’s bonkers. If you are pitching your system for customer training and employees, you might be talking to someone who is running training. Association folks tend not to have a background in L&D. What is the impact of just ignorance on these vendors who pull this approach? People walking by your booth, ignoring you for consideration because your messaging and marketing says something else. It happens a lot.
Affordable systems with robust features/capabilities for all audiences. I love it! The days of trying to get an affordable system regardless of if you have 250 learners or 500 just seemed out of reach. Even today, where more vendors are focusing on 1,000 or 2,500 and above and trying to limit or decline under 1,000; the idea that there are not enough affordable top tier systems isn’t accurate. I am seeing those 1,000 and under, even 500 learner systems, include Gen-AI. Whereas vendors who target 25,000 or higher, lack it.
There are vendors where everything is included, no add-ons that are forward driving vs those where it is all about add-ons, with some items forward driven, others not so much. And when I refer to affordable systems that are in the wow angle, I’m talking globally. There are quite a few in the Top 50 list, including a few I am looking at to finalize it.
This is the best treat for everyone. Because you are no longer limited to buying a cheap lousy learning system – LMS, LXP, Learning Platform or whatever. Rather you can find that slick, modern UI/UX feature rich system as well.
Somewhere out in the netherworld are a group of CLOs, senior L&D executives, hobgoblins, and folks who still believe, getting together and laughing about selling the idea around MOOCs being great.
They aren’t. Their completion rates have always been awful. They are nothing more than sticking a synchronous-based learning method – tossing in that syllabus to boot, taught usually by someone from some impressive university or implied to be better than your university you went to (in most cases), and thus, by having all these components – you will learn and complete!! Especially since it is free.
Boring is boring. And MOOCs are boring. Their days of being the halcyon for what ails e-learning (something I never bought into – read here and here) especially for adult learners, never achieved its results, unless those results were lots of people leaving. Still, there are corporate folks out there, who still believe.
They can’t ignore it. They believe! They believe!
The problem is a lot of people don’t. Look if MOOCs make you happy and you see lots of them out there, and you complete them all – congrats! But find a good book that focuses on the same subject matter OR find an asynchronous course that focuses on the same subject matter but allows you to focus on what you want to know, when you want to know it, without following the instructor’s lead AND that syllabus.
I had that experience in grad school and college; no need to relive it, thank you very much.
Thanks for reading the latest installment of the Halloween Edition.
Until next year….
uh, for the Halloween edition.
You get to see me – uh, posting on Nov. 14th – as I am off on holiday! So, no blog post next week.