Corvallis, OR – Eduworks Corporation (“Eduworks”) has received a second round of funding from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to lead an effort that will help meet skill demands created by digital transformation. This award is part of the NSF Convergence Accelerator “Future of Work at the Human-Technology Frontier” track and will provide up to $5 million to research, develop, and pilot an AI-enabled virtual assistant called Skillsync that connects employers and colleges for the purposes of defining and meeting reskilling needs.
Skillsync was designed and prototyped in a Phase I effort by a team that included Eduworks, the Georgia Institute of Technology (“Georgia Tech”), the Credential Engine, and industry partners. The Phase II team will expand to include the Business Higher Education Forum, the National Labor Exchange, the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning, the University Professional and Continuing Education Association, the Dxtera Institute, LibreTexts, and several other partners who will provide data and technology and participate in pilots. Skillsync is powered by a Competency Catalyst platform that leverages the Competency and Skills System (www.cassproject.org) developed by Eduworks and open data infrastructure developed by the Credential Engine.
“This work is made possible by advances in machine learning and computer understanding of natural language that allow us to represent millions of jobs and courses in terms of their underlying skills and knowledge and to measure how well portions of college courses align with industry skills requirements,” said Dr. Robby Robson, the project’s Principal Investigator, adding that “the skills data generated from these jobs and courses will be shared openly in the Cloud so that it can be used by national talent pipeline management initiatives and other products like Skillsync.”
Skillsync will include a new version of the Jill Watson virtual TA service developed by Dr. Ashok Goel’s team at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Using this, HR departments will be able to explore local college offerings and formulate requests for reskilling in terms that colleges can understand. The addition of Jill Watson to Skillsync typifies NSF Convergence Accelerator research in that it involves many disciplines and creates a partnership between human users and AI technologies must be explored and understood to achieve the desired impact.
A public website with information about Skillsync and the Competency Catalyst platform is scheduled to be launched in October, 2020 at the web address, http://skillsync.c2team.org. As stated by Dr. Myk Garn, Vice Chancellor for new learning models at the University System of Georgia, “New tools and new approaches are needed to enable industry to stay competitive, to enable colleges to serve their communities, and to tap into the full potential of America’s diverse workforce. We are thrilled to have been given the opportunity to be part of the solution and invite collaboration from all stakeholders as this project moves forward.”
About Eduworks Corporation: Eduworks Corporation applies advanced technologies to learning, education, training and workforce development with the goal of unlocking human potential. For more information please visit www.eduworks.com.