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The virtual HR Business Partner?

By Erik Korsvik Østergaard, 22. October 2021.

Yes, this article is from 2018 and thus it is a very early signal of technology augmenting the possibilities of conversation.

For a handful of years, I have been fascinated by the possibilities that tech gives us when it comes to leadership. We even experimented with having a software robot as our HR Business Partner in the early days of HR technology and AI. Since then, the market has been flooded with solutions – some rudimentary and some more sophisticated – that helps people at work get more insight into either their own behaviour or their colleagues’. Personally, I have learned a lot from using these solutions, especially from (1) seeing my blind spots and (2) having informed discussions with my colleagues.

The Virtual Freud

This article discusses

“an application where you sit in a chair facing Dr. Sigmund Freud. Upon entering the virtual environment, you do not float in empty space as one often does in VR — rather, you notice you have a virtual body that responds to your movements. This may lead you to identify the virtual body as your own, a magical feature commonly referred to as Virtual Embodiment.”

And then:

“When you sit in your new virtual body, facing Sigmund Freud, you are asked to tell him about a problem. Sometime after you have emptied your heart, the virtual environment fades to black, before you once again are placed in a body, but this on the other side of the room. You are now Dr. Sigmund Freud and your patient, who looks remarkably like you, starts talking. You hear a recording of what you just said minutes ago, but you get to view your statement in a ‘new dress’: a 3D model of yourself is saying it, while you are virtually embodied elsewhere. You get to view yourself from outside, instead of taking the role as yourself, take the role as your own psychologist in VR.”

I find this embracement of VR and AI very interesting, and it is a clear signal of a leadership toolbox that we need to understand and discuss. What if this application could help you making you understand your own business and culture problems – and thus being your own HR Business Partner? 

Are you curious and want to know more about signals? Then visit our signal database Sonar to learn more about the Future of Work and New Ways of Working.