At Wilco, several unshakeable beliefs inform every product decision we make. Chief among them is the notion that today’s educational platforms aren’t engaging enough. Engagement isn’t just about being fun; your core experience must be perceived as something the user wants — rather than needs — to engage with. It’s not enough to desire the result; the process must also be valuable. Awards, XP, and challenges push engagement, but without that core, they’re almost meaningless.
To prove it, we’ve built a platform with industry engagement and completion rates unheard of. Over 20% of people who begin a quest (that’s what our hands-on developer challenges are called) finish it. Software engineers love our conversation-based user experience, messenger-like interface, intelligent bots, and real challenges. So even though sometimes, it takes them days or weeks to finish quest, they keep returning.
But we’re a start-up with limited resources, and quite early on, we realized that content will be our main bottleneck. Others in this space might be less engaging, but they have far more content. Thousands of courses, often with a lot to choose from for any given topic. How could we ever dream of competing with their variety?
December 2022 was the month we started to think differently about our content bottleneck. OpenAI’s preview of ChatGPT showed how a Large Language Model could reimagine mountains of existing content from the internet into something decidedly new. It’s not rephrasing; LLMs can create content that they never saw.
The era of pre-made content is coming to an end. LLMs are already beyond the threshold of being able to create, in seconds, personalized educational content. It’s the delivery that will matter. The new frontier is the real-time transformation of a lean content framework into an experience the users want to engage with.
Existing content catalogs will not be able to compete with this kind of personalization. MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) platforms will have to rethink their value driver, as it will no longer be their catalog. Influencers will no longer be judged by content above everything else, but by their delivery and other differentiators.
As for us, Wilco is well-positioned to thrive in this new environment. Using LLMs, we have already started to transform into an intelligent learning platform that helps users build content journeys around learning a specific topic. We now aim to create the benchmark of what a genuinely engaging and personalized AI learning experience should look like.
Simply put, we think the industry is moving from saying “Look at our catalog, which is what makes us unique” to “We can teach you whatever you need, in our own unique way”.
Imagine a platform where you can explain what you want to learn and receive a personalized, engaging way of learning it. From practicing engineering skills to step-by-step tutorials on integrating a new service, you only need to set your limitations. Want to invest the entire day? Looking for a short learning session? The choice is yours. Whatever you pick, you know that the experience will be consistently engaging.
And it’s not just the curriculum that’s personalized. A limitless amount of learning requires an equally limitless number of interaction scripts and hints. To achieve that, we’ve revamped our scripting engine, responsible for the characters users interact with. Their job is to provide instructions and hints in a humanlike manner, which is something they can now do much more easily. These enhanced, AI-powered bots make the interaction with our simulation feel more human and friendly while expanding ad infinitum the number of hints they can provide.
Want to see the first phase of this transformation? While we’re working on realizing this vision, we already have something to show you today. Sierra is our first AI-driven experience that lets anyone create a personalized quiz or a step-by-step tutorial. And trust us, this is just the beginning.