Virtual reality’s application at meetings and events so far has been mainly entertainment focused: sweeping views of a fabulous destination, a roller-coaster ride, a test drive in a new car, and similar experiences. But as developers incorporate artificial intelligence into VR apps, this technology is making inroads as a training tool that is likely to affect the way many in-person meetings are run in the near future.
This article details how role-playing exercises that are common across sales meetings and management retreats are now being conducted through “Virtual Human Technology,” a training tool from VR company Talespin. Donning a VR headset, a participant engages with a virtual individual that uses speech recognition, natural language processing, and artificial intelligence to have realistic conversations that can go in dozens of directions based on how the human participant guides the conversation. Sales presentations to reluctant prospects, employment terminations with emotionally fragile employees, and other scenarios that often use group role-playing sessions or outside actors can now be done through this VR product.
"The premise behind the software is to give employees a safe space to practice challenging interpersonal situations, while using AI to create emotionally realistic characters that stimulate and challenge them," says Kyle Jackson, CEO and co-founder of Talespin.