Branching Storylines in Virtual Reality Environments for Leadership Development

Andrew Gordon, Michael van Lent, Martin van Velsen, Paul Carpenter, and Arnav Jhala

Simulation-based training is increasingly being used within the military to practice and develop the skills of successful soldiers. For the skills associated with successful military leadership, our inability to model human behavior to the necessary degree of fidelity in constructive simulations requires that new interactive designs be developed. The ICT Leaders project supports leadership development through the use of branching storylines realized within a virtual reality environment. Trainees assume a role in a fictional scenario, where the decisions that they make in this environment ultimately affect the success of a mission. All trainee decisions are made in the context of natural language conversations with virtual characters. The ICT Leaders project advances a new form of interactive training by incorporating a suite of Artificial Intelligence technologies, including control architectures, agents of mixed autonomy, and natural language processing algorithms.

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