FORT MILL, S.C. (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – The future of e-learning is now, even if it is a little creepy.

A Fort Mill couple has built a business around the potential of artificial intelligence, launching the first educational platform taught exclusively by A.I. teachers here in the U.S.

“Welcome to the future of e-learning and the advancement of education technology,” an avatar named Karl said in one of Skilldora’s clips.

“We’re just scratching the surface of what we can do with A.I.,” said Dawn Nicole McIlwain.

She and her husband, Demario McIlwain, are the faces behind a host of new faces in A.I. education. The African-American duo is proud to blaze a trail in that arena.

“This is the coolest part. We choose a digital human, so these people are not real,” Dawn showed us on a computer screen.

Skilldora is designed to appeal to the modern learner,” an A.I. teacher said in a video on the startup’s YouTube page.

The couple’s goal is to make learning online from A.I. instruction seamless and effective with 60-minute online courses in various subjects for working professionals. 

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Skilldora claims by taking their courses, participants “will get a lifetime earning potential of six and seven-figure skills from each course.”

Skilldora uses it to help folks learn all subjects through one-hour courses on their website.

“We’re always looking for the in-demand topics that people are searching for anyway,” Dawn Nicole told Queen City News. “We take those in-demand topics; we take the data on our website where people have already told us what they want to learn about, which is cool. From there, we use the A.I. feature.”

She creates the courses, and DeMario edits them. He shoots for a PBS vibe that makes viewers feel comfortable and engaged.

“The use of A.I. probably can make people a little nervous,” DeMario said. “And we’re slowly trying to get them used to this thing and saying, ‘It’s not a bad thing.'”

“These voices can be programmed in up to 50 languages,” said Dawn Nicole. “Which solves a big problem because you don’t have to wait on an expert; you don’t have to wait on a translator.”

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The exciting part is you can use anyone’s image to create an A.I. teacher. So we gave Skilldora a few sentences to transform our news crew into an instructor.

“I’m Queen City News photographer Mak… and this is what I’d look like as an A.I. instructor,” we heard an A.I. version of our photojournalist say.

Skilldora even added an accent for good measure. The owners say the e-learning market is projected to increase by 1.72 trillion dollars in the next four years.

“I’m your intrepid reporter John Le as an A.I. guy,” my avatar said. “This is the part of the story where I tell you about the surprising human element behind this tech startup company.

“How did you two meet?” the real me asked the couple.

“That’s a whole different lifestyle,” Dawn Nicole said, almost stunned by the question. “We met in the most unlikely way… it was not even business.”

Listen to them perform, and it’s easy to see how music brought them together. They perform in a family band with their children called SummerSoul Xperience.

“Don’t make me weak like this any longer, don’t make me weak when I’m trying to be stronger,” Dawn Nicole sang, belting out an original tune called “Distraction.”

The husband and wife team aren’t all business, but turns out they’re quite a power couple.

“And so in a whole nother life, we met musically and found out we do very well in business, and we’ve been working together ever since,” Dawn Nicole concluded.

The McIlwains are partners in every way. Behind the scenes, their A.I. education venture is powered by technology, passion, and — who knew? — a little soul.