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Under the Hood of the Learning Platform of the Future: A New Engine

Rhys Giles
Jun 04 2021

Part III of the Fuse Knowledge Intelligence Engine series

By Rhys Giles, Product Director, Fuse

The difference between Fuse and many platforms is while others think about content, courses and skills being the be-all and end-all, we think the prize is knowledge and expertise. Knowledge is that central piece, and our job has been to introduce any improvements we can in order to lower the barriers to accessing knowledge and speeding up the process as much as possible. 

We’re not doing this with a platform alone: there’s a new engine driving Fuse. Our Knowledge Intelligence Engine is working within Fuse to provide knowledge that builds expertise faster and even more efficiently than ever before, serving up personalised knowledge at the point of need.

In this post, we’re going to explain some of the key features of the Knowledge Intelligence Engine, exploring how it is building intelligence, how intelligent search works, and how it can be used to extract more value from third party content.

The Fuse Knowledge Intelligent Engine: Cracking Open Content for Contextual Understanding

One way to understand how the learning industry has changed over the years is to think about it in a series of ‘boxes.’ The course was the first box and in it, you had all the knowledge and content that is contained in a SCORM course. Of course, when we say contained, we actually mean ‘locked,’ as it’s nearly impossible to extract information from a SCORM course. 

In a SCORM course, search for ‘ diversity in leadership’ and all you get is a course on leadership, which may well contain knowledge on diversity and leadership. The problem is, from the search view level, you can’t see anything beyond ‘leadership,’ so you have to spend time going through the entire video to pick out the diversity relevant sections. 

Next was micro courses, where the big boxes got broken up into smaller boxes, but were ultimately still rather inaccessible boxes. Again, a search for ‘diversity in leadership’ would just give you the title ‘leadership,’ and no insight into anything about diversity contained within that video. The only way to access that knowledge surrounding diversity would be to watch the whole video, beginning to end. Think about the inefficiencies of spending 20 minutes to get an answer that may be contained within four minutes of viewing. 

What Fuse is doing is getting rid of the boxes so that users just have access to knowledge itself. It’s called the Fuse Knowledge Engine, and it’s lowering the barrier to entry for knowledge and accelerating the whole process. 

We’d forgive you for asking whether the Fuse Knowledge Intelligence Engine is real technology, or a genius campaign conjured up by a highly paid Shoreditch creative transformation agency (yes, that’s a thing.) 

We can assure you, the Fuse Knowledge Intelligence Engine is the real deal, and this blog isn’t an underhanded way of describing what is already a very cleverly run learning platform in just a different way. It’s based on real technology, and we’re not afraid to admit that we take the best of Google’s AI and Microsoft’s Cognitive services and make the most of Natural Language Processing and Search, and our own technology to drive the Fuse Knowledge Intelligence Engine. 

The best way to describe the Fuse Knowledge Intelligence Engine is via its five main features. In this blog, we’re going to hit you with the first three features, saving the other two for a later date.

Tag it Up: Building Intelligence 

The first part of the Fuse Knowledge Intelligence Engine is that it tags every piece of knowledge in the platform. So, not just the video titles, but every relevant inch of the video transcript Fuse produces, identifying pieces of knowledge that users may search for. The Knowledge Intelligence Engine builds out all the necessary metadata to construct accessible intelligence. 

The goal of all of this is to create what we like to call the corporate brain, a concept I talked about in part I of the series. The Knowledge Intelligence Engine is helping to create the corporate brain as that one central place for all knowledge relevant to the company. 

However, building intelligence is only one part of the equation. As we mentioned before, the learning industry has always struggled with instant access to knowledge and getting users to the answers they need at the exact point they need them. The second part in understanding the Knowledge Intelligence Engine is understanding how it enhances search.

Breaking Down the Boxes with Consumer Grade Search

The Fuse Intelligence Engine uses Natural Language Search. It’s Google-like and consumer grade, because if there are two things we can count on, it’s that nearly everyone uses Google and nearly everyone searches and buys products online.

Fuse, whose latest functionality is really awesome. I love the whole Google AI capability plus when you search for the content you can ask 'I want to be an X' as an example (there are others). The majority of systems with a search bar when it comes to finding content/courses is based on keywords - not questions, which would be natural when you surf the net."
– Craig Weiss, CEO and lead analyst for The Craig Weiss Group (Source: LinkedIn)

Intelligent search makes it easy to find knowledge within documents as well. If I type in ‘most popular videos by Josh Bersin, or Steven Dineen,’ the search results will not only feature videos where Josh or Steve are the only speakers - they will come back with videos where they may be a few of many speakers. Intelligent search will guide you to the exact sections of the video where each speaker features. This instant access to exactly what users need at this very granular level is what is breaking down the boxes and setting Fuse apart from SCORM and microlearning based LXPs. 

From launch, intelligent search includes faceting, which will enable users to augment traditional search techniques with a faceted navigation system and narrow down search results by applying multiple filters. In the near future, we will be adding to faceting functionality to deepen the Knowledge Intelligence Engine’s contextual understanding. This will help it to dynamically pull out things like skills, subjects and categories, creating discovery within knowledge. It’s a feature that supports one of the fundamental concepts that drives Fuse, which is called the ‘expert led’ approach. 

So, for example, if you filtered by ‘Steve Dineen,’ the platform would return all the knowledge Steve may have contributed. In a platform that is driven and based on getting tacit knowledge outside of the heads of company experts and into the flow of work, we definitely want it to be easy to follow and search against experts who contribute frequently. 

The ultimate benefit? In a business landscape where knowledge workers can spend 20% of their days searching for knowledge, think about how much time companies would save if people could just search for the answers intelligently and get them instantly. When time = money and you multiply that across the vast array of experts and end users any enterprise may have, the implications are pretty damned impressive.

Get Better Value on Your ¼ of a Million Quid LinkedIn Learning Spend

The third major feature of the Knowledge Intelligence Engine is dedicated to enhancing the value of the content that lives outside of the platform, which ultimately grows the value of the corporate brain. 

We are working to connect Linkedin Learning and other third party systems into the platform. Regardless of the brand, the Knowledge Intelligence Engine can run over third party content that sits on the Fuse platform, accessing all the knowledge that sits inside there. It means that it instantly expands all the available knowledge for an organisation, and that users are more likely to get the best possible answer to a query from the biggest pool of knowledge. 

From a learning content platform perspective, we can give more value to LinkedIn learning's content than LinkedIn can, because we are able to go deeper than their search engines at the moment, and get to the point within their content that actually gives the answer that people need.

It's also helpful from a knowledge base point of view. Rather than having to put all the time and effort into growing your own knowledge base, you can just plug the Fuse Intelligence Engine in. It's the dream: suddenly your knowledge is infinitely expanded. If you've got TED talks, LinkedInLearning, the Harvard Business Review, all of these things put together - it's like being able to ask the experts outside your company questions as well as the ones you work with. 

We hope you’ve enjoyed the series. If you’d like to learn more about powering up knowledge in the flow of work with our new Knowledge Intelligence Engine, download our ebook Knowledge in the Flow of Work: 5 Ways to Power Learning. 

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