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AI and VR in the Talent Management/

Talent Acquisition Landscape
By Nikki Lameree and Dean Lombardo
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Innovative technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) are rapidly finding
application in many industries, and HR is no different. For both job candidates and HR recruiters,
AI can connect people to the best job and company fit faster and often more accurately than
manual methods. For employees and HR managers, AI and immersive technologies such as VR can
make engagement, collaboration, job training, and learning and development more efficient and
engaging and less of a toll on existing staff.
The flip side of all this is that through innovation we may be shooting ourselves in the foot (or head)
as a species. By some estimates, AI could replace half of our office and factory jobs within the next 20
years, and take over driving, sanitation and more. Thats scary. This report explores the possibilities,
the realities, the opportunities and our how we can proactively direct humanitys future.

Technologies go through periods of fluctuation even before they achieve mainstream adoption and acceptance.
Take artificial intelligence (AI), for example. AI has had high expectations in the past leading to disappointment, with
speech recognition software struggling to do well that which engineers designed it to do. Flash back to March 2004,
when speech recognition software and other innovative technologies such as tablet computing hadnt yet achieved
wide acceptance and adoption. At the time, Microsoft Chairman and Chief Software Architect William H. Gates said
that, through investment, development organizations were working to overcome the barriers to speech recognition
software efficacy, such as eliminating background noises while distinguishing between words and phrases that sound
alike. The latter hurdle Gates called the wreck a nice beach problem, where the AI might confuse the audible
command of recognize speech with wreck a nice beach.
Throughout those 13 years, we witnessed, first-hand, trial-and-error applications, such as voice activation services
that incorrectly perceived our verbal cues and sent us to the wrong department or disconnected us. Technical
advances, machine learning and better design have led to voice response systems that are less likely to cause us to
bang the receiver, or our head, against the wall, and on the flip side negatively impact a companys brand through
poor customer service.
Why should you and I pay attention to AI this time?
AI, which consists primarily of machine learning and natural language processing, has at last reached a point where
it is having a significant impact on industries such as manufacturing, pharmaceutical, retail, training, and human
resources (HR).
Today were on an upward slope where business drivers and the need for competitive advantage make AI and other
innovative technologies difficult to ignore. The applications, in addition to voice activation systems and speech-to-text,
extend as far as our imaginations. One increasingly promising app is the analytical capability of AI, which is already
starting to tackle the challenge of making sense of the near-limitless volumes of information known as Big Data.

AI, which consists primarily of machine learning and natural language processing, has at last
reached a point where it is having a significant impact on industries such as manufacturing,
pharmaceutical, retail, training, and human resources (HR).
How far has AI come? According to Bastiaan Janmaat, CEO and co-founder of DataFox, it has gotten to the point
where AI tools can serve a business purpose reliably. These purposes include voice-to-text, artificial conversational
entities/dialogue systems, efficient and effective data mining, predictive analysis, and more. Combined with improved
user interfaces, AI and other innovative technologies are ready for further growth, inspiring landscapes of boosted
productivity and the shedding of mundane tasks.
However, there is a dark side. If you follow the science-fiction genre, you may have already felt a cold shudder while
envisioning images of artificial intelligence and robots putting people out of work and eventually reducing us to
gluttonous sloths or worse.
Rest assured. The futures not quite as bad as some paint it. According to most AI specialists, the dark vision of a near-
term AI apocalypse is highly exaggerated. On the other hand, these same authorities assure us that AI is here and you
wont be able to deny it. Jobs will be automated, but some new opportunities will open up.1
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That brings us to another innovative technology: virtual reality.

When it comes to VR, augmented reality and related immersive technologies, HR and HRIS professionals can look to
parallels in gaming, medical/surgical, teaching and training, and real estate, but additional, industry-specific vision will
be required. With advances in VR development and the advent of more affordable implementations, VR glasses for
learning and training applications could be coming soon to an office near you.
This report will primarily focus on AI, which many leading sources say is now poised to change the way we work.
Some of these scenarios are scary. Will AI really replace half of the worlds office jobs by 2027? Perhaps if we look
at AI technology through another pair of reality glasses, we will envision how it can take away those tiresome jobs
most of us dont want to spend time doing.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is a field of computer science that seeks to develop computing software able to do things
normally done by people in particular, things associated with people acting intelligently. This includes tasks such as
learning, seeing, talking, socializing, reasoning, and problem solving.2 According to ComputerWorld, any program can
be considered AI if it does something that we would normally think of as intelligent in humans.3 Yes, the Turing Test,
by strict definition, undermines the inclusion of many of the things we today call AI. When we visit a website and an
avatar pops up to greet us, most of us recognize the entity as automated and not a live person. We know that when
we converse with it, its still going to react in a manner that lacks flexibility and/or personality. This is not to say there
arent exceptions, most notably an AI based on IBM Watson that Georgia Tech used to answer student questions. The
more questions the AI received, the better at answering it got (this is machine learning in action!). For a period of
about three months, most of the students thought Jill Watson was a human teaching assistant responding to them. 1, 4
For now, lets just establish that some AIs go as far to simulate human behavior and the human cognitive process,
while others perform intelligent tasks without simulating the characteristics of human thinking or behavior at all.
All in all, these AI technologies have evolved since their overhyped introductory stages, and industry is harnessing
them in intelligent ways, even if we recognize or have serious doubts that the individual were engaging with is not
quite human.
With this explanation established, we can now cover the two types of AI: machine learning and natural language

Machine Learning
According to HubSpot, machine learning is a subfield of AI that allows machines to find hidden insights within data
sets without being explicitly told where to look.5 But in simpler terms, HubSpot Senior Software Engineer Asher Krim
explains, machine learning is just an application of statistics.5 You put in data and get revelation as your output. More
ambitiously, machine learning can enhance a computer programs problem-solving capability through experience,
without additional human programming to overcome the problem(s).

Natural Language Processing

Natural language processing is another significant area of AI. In NLP, a machine can transpose voice into text and then
read an answer back in human syntax.5
Forget about the issue of wreck a nice beach vs. recognize speech. Today Cortana, Microsofts voice assistant,
can pick up on slang and emotion the more shes used. And surely youve heard or read about Alexa, Amazons voice
recognition and response service powering hands-free, voice-activated Amazon Echo devices, or Google Home, the
voice-activated speaker powered by the Google Assistant. These voice search technologies are reported to now be
available on 3.9 billion Apple, Android, and Windows mobile devices worldwide, and continue to drive the increasing
adoption of AI.2

AIs Impact and What You Should Look For

Every day a new report on artificial intelligence is published, explaining how AI is going to change our lives. Should we
be worried?
In short, AI taketh and AI giveth. In other words, theres threat and opportunity.
Whats important to remember is AI is here to stay and we need to start preparing for both the benefits and threats,
the latter which we can proactively direct by identifying where AI might replace us and how we can reinvent ourselves
for peaceful and productive coexistence.
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So, first, a dose of what Elon Musk called the biggest existential threat to humanity. 6, 7
McKinsey Institute says that in 60 percent of all jobs, at least 1/3 of activities could currently be automated.8 An
example here would be virtual assistants taking meeting notes, thus dispensing with manual secretary responsibilities.
Even my own job of writer and my coauthors job as a marketer and translator are getting narrowed under the threat
(or, if you prefer, assistance) of AI. Additional reports say that by 2035, 47 percent of jobs could be automated.9
Its already happening: Goldman Sachs has replaced 600 market traders in favor of hiring 200 computer engineers
who are going to write algorithms to do trades. 10 Meanwhile, Associated Press uses Wordsmith natural language
processing to handle the mundane editorial duties of baseball box scores and quarterly earnings reports.5
But will the automation lead to productivity increases? The answer is almost certainly yes. According to a report that
looked at 12 countries, Accenture found that AI or technology that senses the environment, comprehends whats
happening and takes action could increase productivity by up to 40 percent by 2035. 11, 12

60 percent of all jobs and at least 1/3 of activities could currently be automated.
AI will likely hollow out middle- and working-class jobs, says Jane Fraser, the CEO of Citigroup Latin America. A full
77 percent of jobs in China will be vulnerable to robots or AI replacement, said Fraser. In the U.S. banking industry 40
percent of jobs could be lost, she said: We will need a new model for employment. 13
With the combination of AI (the software) with hardware (robots), we get glimpses of robots taking over factories
and many manual professions, such as taxi driving (first, like in the film Total Recall, and now in the autonomous cars
of today). Already people and robots are working side by side in many factories and other industries (underwater
construction), and the robots stand to outcompete us in terms of performance and endurance. Forrester, a leading IT
research and advisory firm, predicts robots (AI, machine learning and automation) will take over 7 percent of U.S. jobs
by 2025.14
On the flip side, new roles are developing thanks to AI. This could lead to a greater demand for data scientist and data
literacy expert roles, that is, people who will work to hone the accuracy and productivity of AI applications.
In HR, these new skills can be used in day-to-day operations as well as strategically, for both efficiency and
competitive advantage.
First, theres talent sourcing with AI built into advanced applicant tracking systems (ATSs), where the AIs semantical
and syntactical advancements deliver relevant talent pool results based on job criteria, regardless of the language
used. With integration between the ATS and job distribution sites/social media platforms, the AI helps to address the
competitive need for smart, volume recruiting.

AI or technology that senses the environment, comprehends whats happening

and takes action could increase productivity by up to 40 percent by 2035.
Natural language processing built into an ATS can empower the recruiter to verbally set the parameters for a position,
such as title and geography, as part of a snappy dialogue through an AI chat bot. This human-and-machine, hands-free
dialogue makes it easy to create new projects or job reqs, get approvals, and trigger the AI to search for existing and
new candidates. When the time to consider a new hire comes, salary guidance is automatically provided. The recruitment
function can derive further value when the AI provides analysis of which job sites, social networks, geographies, etc., are
delivering the best results, enabling recruitment teams to optimize their talent acquisition efforts.

Actions to Take Toward Talent Acquisition

Consider appointing someone from your corporate recruiting team to read up and see how AI technology might fit
into your organization.
Assess which functions might be appropriate for AI and where you will still require the human element. Functions
that rely on human contact might include those which require soft skills such as interviewing, employee relations, and
troubleshooting interpersonal issues with the staff, boss and clients. On the other hand, you might determine that
artificial intelligence could tackle some administrative projects such as payroll, onboarding, training, and early-stage
recruiting (soliciting, sorting and prioritizing candidates).

Actions to Take Toward Talent Management

AI is also poised to solve the people analytics challenge, that is, evaluating, incenting and making decisions on the
talent that already works for your organization. What if you could employ technology to continuously engage and
develop the individuals in your workforce, reduce but not replace time-consuming human mentorships, identify and
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mobilize skills toward corporate objectives, and more accurately fortify succession plans toward success? AI can take
the manual processing out of these activities and capture the intelligence you need to report, make decisions, take
action and save money time and money while doing so.

VR and Immersive
Immersive technology refers to technology that blurs the line between the physical world and digital or simulated
world, thereby creating a sense of immersion. Immersive reality can fall into a few categories including virtual reality,
augmented reality and mixed reality.
Sam Watts, operations lead and author at Make Real, defines VR as the ability to fully immerse a user within a
computer-based environment through sight, sound and interaction, to suspend that users belief and make them
accept that they are somewhere other than the real world.1 The sense of smell is coming, and that makes us imagine
being on a tour of a botanical garden and getting a whiff of jasmine and wisteria, or conversely at a futbol match
and getting flooded with the less attractive aromas of stale beer and sweat. 3D TV is not virtual reality, despite
manufacturer and retailer claims, although it is immersive.
But to a degree, the definition of virtual reality depends on whos defining it. A simplistic definition might be a set
of images and sounds produced by a computer that seem to represent a real place or situation.15 In more technical
terms VR describes a three-dimensional, computer generated environment which a person can explore and interact
with.16 By this definition, a VR experience is less immersive without headgear. However, until this headgear and
high-end computers that support fast graphics come down in price, some user organizations may have to trade off
a level of immersion in order to implement widely.17 These headsets can range in price from less than $100 to tens of
thousands or more.

VR as the ability to fully immerse a user within a computer-based environment

through sight, sound and interaction, to suspend that users belief and
make them accept that they are somewhere other than the real world.
The headgear has been through its own unsteady and fluctuating evolution. As Sam Watts tells us, VR technology
doesnt call nausea, badly designed VR applications do. 1 And hes tested these headsets and applications for years,
and some are reaching the Wow factor. So fooled has the human brain been by these VR experiences, that people
have fallen after trying to lean on furniture or pool tables that were not really there.
According to a reader-friendly definition in Tech Times, augmented reality is the blending of virtual reality and real
life, as developers can create images within applications that blend in with contents in the real world. With AR, users
are able to interact with virtual contents in the real world, and are able to distinguish between the two. 18
VR and augmented reality are similar in the goal of user immersion. With AR, users stay in touch with the real world
while interacting with virtual objects around them (through glasses, browsers, viewers, and even phones). With VR,
the user is isolated from the real world while interacting with a world that is entirely fabricated.18 According to Recode.
net, mixed reality lets the user see the real world (like AR) while also seeing believable, virtual objects (like VR). Mixed
reality anchors those virtual objects to points in real space, making it possible to treat them as real.19 Either way,
VR or AR is more immersive than your traditional interface with a computer. In many industries, where investment,
availability and access exist, VR, AR and other immersives enable the real-time training that employees need.
Immersive technology takes the 2D and 3D representation of structures and other entities and lays them over a
simulated construction of the real world or the real world itself. You might design into a pilot training app a lake
that the trainee has to fly over or the airport terminal to provide real perspective and bearings. Meanwhile, you can
interact with the AI, which can take on the role of air traffic control or other pilots in the air. In real estate, furniture
can be added to an unfurnished home for sale; here you might have a virtual Realtor talk you through the tour. The AI
brings in realistic elements (and the infusion of real-time data) so the user can make better decisions during training
exercises or actual operation.
Immersive technology (and in some cases, VR) are already used in high-end gaming/recreational / entertainment,
engineering, and instructional exercises, such as aviation and military training, ground traffic planning (add a
shopping mall and how does it impact traffic?), retail, and real estate (take a virtual tour of this luxury home
thousands of miles from your current location). In hospitality and tourism, VR enables agents to empower prospective
clients to experience a room or exotic environment, maybe a beach and lagoon, before they book. Healthcare /
surgical applications are occurring where precision is needed in both training and treatment. Law enforcement might
also be a good application, where training officers and agents can rehearse for a large variety of situations.
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VRs Impact and What You Should Look For

Opportunities exist where, with reasonable investment, you can leverage VR and other immersive technologies to
enhance merchandising, marketing, customer experience, and training and development.
How can you use it in HR?
Drive engagement and authentic brand culture awareness This might start with a virtual tour of the campus
to titillate an empathy for the culture. What is it the candidate wants to connect with? Is he or she looking for a
recreation room with a ping pong table, a gym, on-campus dining services, field trips, telecommuting and remote
collaboration, and fun onsite activities? What is the work like? With immersive technology you can put them in the
role to see if they like it and thrive.
Remote collaboration Using VR, employees can simultaneously work on code, or guide one another through
systems, documents or processes for better production and retention.
Teaching and training Just like in commercial pilot training, some training exercises in the real world are
expensive (man-hours, fuel, etc.) and limited by external factors (weather, travel, traffic). VR/AR/mixed reality
enables training instructors and pupils to participate in realistic situations anytime and anywhere to simulate
scenarios that will better prepare the trainee for real-world unpredictability. This immersive lesson is also better
retained because of the visual experience and muscle memory, especially if the practice session includes some level
of digital motion or movement of the limbs.

Lumesse in Action
In, talent acquisition and talent management, natural-language processing (NLP) generally powers candidate
engagement, recruitment, onboarding and training, while machine learning algorithms fortify the intelligence of
applicant tracking systems, and analytics.

In the ATS
Intelligent automation empowers HR organizations to create and get approvals on job reqs faster while reducing
manual data entry. It is also an effective and efficient means of distributing those jobs widely and getting back
measurements on your most effective talent sources. Lumesse ATSs, such as Lumesse TalentLink, provide candidate
relationship management (CRM) by searching external and internal databases and feeding those results into a single-
source candidate relationship management system. Whats more, over time, through a concept called adaptive self-
learning, the AI learns from the habits and preferences of people using the ATS or other system to provide improved
efficiency and user experience. In all Lumesse talent acquisition products, this power search is available not only for
external but internal databases.
In addition, live people arent always around when were interested in a brand or product. TalentObjects incorporation
of AI-driven chat bots (and Lumesse ATSs upcoming introduction of chat bots) will empower recruitment teams to
greet prospective candidates, even when recruiters are sleeping, while increasing and improving the volume and
quality of candidates.
Application forms are a pain. Often theyre too long. The chat bot can assist the applicant in applying for a job through
dialogue, asking questions and taking answers and populating the form, which also conversely helps the candidate to
rehearse for a later interview with a live person. The AI then takes those answers and determines which candidates
are most qualified, minus the biases of human beings.

Streamline the Recruitment Process

The IBM and Salesforce strategic partnership leveraging IBM Watson19 has made it possible for TalentObjects, also a
Salesforce partner, to bring you hands-free recruiting which streamlines the recruitment process.
Assuming you already have approval to fill or create a position, TalentObjects enables you to initiate a project: Alexa,
use TalentObjects to create a new project called Architect. Alexa then asks you if youd like to add prospects to the
project. Yes, you say. She asks you which geographic area youd like to link to the project. You say, New York. Alexa
then quickly provides the results, naming each candidate. The software makes the jump in logic for us, and we get
what were looking for without having to constantly guess on the key words, terms, titles, skills. Would you like to
email the prospects? Yes. She then says, Done, to confirm.
Disabled persons unable to, or who struggle to, type can also benefit from the hands-free computing and near-
omnipresent AI interface.
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You can use TalentObjects to find skills. Alexa, find a candidate with the skill of Python [a programming language].
The recruiter specifies the area and so on, and a short-list is provided. You then get intelligent results back and
populated into your candidate relationship management system (CRM) so you can evaluate active and passive
candidates in single view, something the majority of todays ATSs cant offer.
Last, hands-free and other automated recruitment process features drive action both inside and outside your
organization, all via voice command that triggers response from candidates or members of the hiring team. You can
then go to the Chatter homepage and view the actions that have been requested.

In the Talent Management/Employee Performance Management System

Want assistance determining engagement levels at your company? AI built into Lumesse ETWeb empowers you to
measure system and tool adoption as well as collaboration and contribution across your organization. In this way, it
can help to dismantle unhealthy siloes and foster greater teamwork and information sharing.
Artificial intelligence could also help employees to find the right training to boost performance whether it be a
Wikipedia article, a YouTube tutorial, a massive open online course (MOOC), a dedicated course or some social event.
Learning departments take note. That leads us to Lumesse Learning.

In Learning
AI is likely to creep into all of our lives as it increasingly becomes a mainstream way of making existing software
applications smarter. Its already becoming an expectation that applications will act in a smart way, and this is how it
will become mainstream. Learning products will inevitably fall in with this trend.
In learning, AI will begin to be used to create and curate content, to produce recommendations for learners (If you
just finished that course, youll probably want to be starting this one, People like you found this type of course
the easiest way of learning , etc.). It is also increasingly being used in adaptive learning programs, which reconfigure
learning course on the fly according to choices and quiz answers that users make within interactions.
There is justified concern about job losses due to AI, but face-to-face trainers are actually in the category of job
roles that are going to be hardest to automate (along with physiotherapists, strawberry pickers, masseurs and so on.
Nevertheless, a lot of L&D functions could well be automated.
Lumesse Learning is planning product releases over the next two financial quarters that will incorporate AI to make
its mobile and flexible L&D offerings even more ubiquitous and always available.
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Lumesse: The Learning Lounge, A Year in AI, Donald Clark, Wildfire, and VR, What Is It Good For? Sam Watts,
Make Real, http://www.lumesselearning.com/learning-lounge-2017-thank-you/
HubSpot: AI and the Future of Work, February 2017, https://youtu.be/gjSQ9s_qcmo
ComputerWorld: What is artificial intelligence?, April 2015, http://www.computerworld.com/article/2906336/emerging-
Georgia Tech News Center: Artificial Intelligence Course Creates AI Teaching Assistant; Students didnt know their TA was
a computer, May 2016, http://www.news.gatech.edu/2016/05/09/artificial-intelligence-course-creates-ai-teaching-assistant
HubSpot: The Robot Revolution, February 2017, https://www.hubspot.com/stories/artificial-intelligence
The Guardian: Elon Musk: artificial intelligence is our biggest existential threat,2014, https://www.theguardian.com/
Forbes: Is Elon Musk Right And Will AI Replace Most Human Jobs? November 2016, https://www.forbes.com/sites/
McKinsey Institute: Where machines could replace humansand where they cant (yet), July 2016, http://www.
RT.com: Robots could replace almost half of US jobs by 2036, December 2016, https://www.rt.com/usa/371544-
SlashdotMedia, Goldman Sachs Automated Trading Replaces 600 Traders With 200 Engineers, February 2017,
Accenture: Artificial Intelligence Is the Future of Growth, 2016, https://www.accenture.com/us-en/insight-artificial-
CNBC: Virtual reality technology is going way beyond video games, November 2016, http://www.cnbc.com/2016/11/03/
Fortune: Heres How Artificial Intelligence Is Going to Replace Middle Class Jobs, October 2016, http://fortune.
Forrester: Robots, AI Will Replace 7% Of US Jobs By 2025, June 2016, https://www.forrester.com/Robots+AI+Will+Repla
Cambridge online dictionary: Virtual reality definition, http://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/virtual-reality
Virtual Reality Society: What Is Virtual Reality? March 2017, https://www.vrs.org.uk/virtual-reality/what-is-virtual-reality.html
Stuff.com, Digital Living: How to watch VR without a headset, March 16, 2016, http://www.stuff.co.nz/technology/
Tech Times: Augmented Reality vs. Virtual Reality: What are the differences and similarities? April 2014 http://www.
Recode.net: What are the differences among virtual, augmented and mixed reality? July 2016, https://www.recode.

Lumesse provides Talent Solutions to more than 2,400 organizations in over 70 countries enabling them to engage and nurture the best
talent in an ever-changing and demanding global environment.

For further information visit: www.lumesse.com

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