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Gen AI and VR – Changing the Way we Learn Soft Skills

July 28, 2023 - Sophie Thompson

From interviewing for jobs, negotiating sales terms, fielding audience questions, and conducting disciplinary meetings – difficult and nerve-wracking situations arise all the time in our working lives.

Yet are we well prepared for them? Very often, no, not really.

No matter how many useful tips you read, when it comes to it, in order to be as well-prepared as possible, what you really need is practice and experience.

And this is where ChatGPT and virtual reality come together to help us out.

Practicing in VR with Generative AI

Through immersive VR simulations, we are able to practice for an upcoming event in a way that mirrors the inevitable nerves and anxiety of the real thing – making our practice far more stimulating and effective.

By adding the capabilities of ChatGPT roleplay in VR, VirtualSpeech has taken soft skills training to another level of interactivity! Not only can we practice in immersive 3D environments, we can now engage in two-way conversations with a simulated version of our interviewer, employee, or client.

The list is ever-expanding, but here are some notable examples of VirtualSpeech’s AI-enhanced VR soft skills training simulations:

Example of a debate roleplay in VR with ChatGPT

Benefits of practicing with ChatGPT in VR

When it comes to practicing soft skills (interview technique, presentation skills, handling difficult conversations, etc), the immersive environment of VR is an invaluable tool. VR allows for the next best thing to experiencing a live audience – yet it’s a safe space that allows for experimentation without fear of failure.

When we add the ability to conduct meaningful two-way conversations, interviews, and interactions (with ChatGPT) to this virtual platform, this training format becomes even more valuable as a tool for gaining real-world skills.

Below are some of the benefits of combining ChatGPT in a VR training platform:

  • Enhanced engagement and immersion: ChatGPT functionality can provide users with a more engaging and immersive experience, as they interact with virtual characters that can respond in a human-like way.
  • Personalized feedback and coaching: ChatGPT can be used to provide users with personalized feedback and coaching, as it can generate responses based on their actions and decisions.
  • Scalability: VR and ChatGPT can be used to train large groups of people in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner, from anywhere in the world
  • Accessibility: VR and ChatGPT can be used to provide soft skills training to people with disabilities or those who have difficulty accessing traditional training methods.
  • Cost-effective: Using VR with ChatGPT can be less costly than traditional training methods, as it eliminates the need for travel, lodging, and other expenses.
  • Access to realistic scenarios: VR and ChatGPT can provide access to realistic scenarios and interactions, which can help users to better understand and prepare for real-life situations by evoking an emotional response to their learning.
  • Multiple languages: Roleplay conversations are available in multiple languages including Spanish, French, German, Italian, and Portuguese. This enables users to practice soft skills in various cultural contexts, enhancing their adaptability and global communication skills.
  • Custom prompts for personalized experiences: Companies can create custom prompts and scenarios tailored to their specific workforce needs. This personalized approach ensures that employees practice skills relevant to their roles and challenges, maximizing the training’s effectiveness.
  • Track progress at scale: Users can save transcripts of their practice sessions, allowing them to review and reflect on previous roleplay conversations. Users can also share their roleplay transcripts with administrators or supervisors for feedback and further guidance. This fosters a collaborative learning environment and helps track individual progress.

Examples of Gen AI training use cases

VirtualSpeech has identified a number of our existing training scenarios where the learning experience can be enhanced with the addition of ChatGPT technology. Below are three examples.

Difficult Conversations: Performance review

Difficult Conversations: Performance review with Generative AI and VR

One of the hardest parts of any manager’s job is giving negative feedback. A tough message must be communicated and understood – yet in order to be effective, the manager must demonstrate openness, respect, and active listening.

The simulation goes like this: You enter your VR meeting room and find yourself face-to-face with your employee. It’s the moment you’ve been dreading. You take a deep breath, greet your employee, and begin the conversation; bringing up the key points you want to raise.

When your employee responds, however, it’s not the response you were expecting. You are thrown for a moment, but regain your composure and continue the conversation until finally bringing it to a close, with (hopefully) a mutually agreeable outcome.

Each time you revisit a specific scenario it will play out a little differently.

Job Interview: Answering questions

Job Interview: Answering questions with Generative AI and VR

Everyone gets nervous about job interviews, yet for an interview to be successful it’s vital to come across calm and confident. With the addition of ChatGPT to VR simulated interview exercises, the most realistic practice is now attainable!

Rather than responding to pre-programmed questions, the VirtualSpeech avatar interviewers now ask personalized questions based on a specific job role or company as well as follow-up questions based on our responses.

After the roleplay, the avatar will provide you with feedback and tips for improvement.

Presentation: Answering questions

Presentation: Answering questions with Generative AI and VR

Sometimes the worst part of a presentation is the Q&A – and this is often because it’s the part we can’t easily practice. Well, that is, it’s the part we couldn’t easily practice before the pairing of VR and ChatGPT!

It works like this: You’re in the auditorium, delivering your presentation and handling distractions left, right, and center. All the while, ChatGPT is listening hard and preparing your virtual audience to ask you pertinent questions related to what you have said. You find you’re thinking on your feet just like in the real thing!

As always with VirtualSpeech, you’ll also receive feedback on your speech in terms of tone, pace, eye contact, etc to help you identify your own strengths and weaknesses.

Roleplaying in multiple languages

The VirtualSpeech VR platform, integrated with ChatGPT technology, provides a unique and valuable opportunity for learners to engage in roleplaying scenarios across various rooms in multiple languages.

This inclusive feature covers customer service, debating and negotiation, difficult conversations, sales pitching, job interviews, and more. By offering roleplaying experiences in languages such as Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Portuguese, the platform caters to a diverse global audience.

Learners can hone their soft skills in different linguistic contexts, fostering cross-cultural communication skills and adaptability, which are vital in today’s interconnected world.

The future of Generative AI in VR

It’s through practice and experience that we improve our speaking and communication skills – and the more closely we can simulate the real world in a virtual environment, the more effective our practice will be. This powerful pairing of immersive virtual reality with advanced, conversational artificial intelligence allows for increasingly personalized learning experiences which are both engaging and impactful.

Technology is moving at a rapid pace and we’re only at the beginning. As the technology advances, the experiences and simulations that can be created for learners will multiply and grow in sophistication. At VirtualSpeech, we are thinking up new use cases for AI every week, and it’s an exciting space to be involved in.

Just a few months ago, a real-time two-way conversation with an avatar who responds to your voice and gives you feedback was unthinkable for most of us. The value we can draw from VR and AI for our everyday lives in the real world is incredible – and where these technologies will take us in the future is mindblowing.