December’s Top 5 News Stories: “Troops in Zombieland,” how “VR Changes Your Brain” and more

As we close out 2019 (and the decade!), many of the collective conversations we are having revolve around establishing and fostering relationships. In this age of advancing automation, it seems we’re all figuring out how tools like virtual reality and artificial intelligence can positively affect our lives, while at the same time we’re searching for meaningful opportunities to connect.

As virtual reality becomes more and more a part of our daily existence, news stories about the evolving ways we use VR platforms at home and in schools and workplaces, how VR can transform the mastery of essential human skills, and the discovery of innovative new implementations for these tools are adding context and nuance to the discourse. 

Each month, we’ll round up the top news stories that illustrate and highlight the changing VR industry and the importance of emotional intelligence and soft skills in today’s workplace.

Here’s December: 

“The Einstein study is one of several exploring the impacts of VR on neurological functioning, asking important questions about how the immersive digital experience can shape and transform not only the brain, but how we live and experience the real world.”

From Virtual reality changes your brain | Verizon

“Among the new technologies available or in development are: lifelike robotic companion pets, other robots to help patients remember to complete a task, GPS tracking tools to help find someone who has wandered off, virtual reality systems that can mentally transport patients outside the four walls of their homes or assisted-living facilities to other parts of the world, and even to other decades.”

From Virtual reality, robots, interactive apps, other new tech help people with dementia and their caretakers | The Washington Post

But our sons and daughters in uniform, especially those who are deployed, don’t necessarily need their equipment to be the latest and most advanced. They need devices that deliver information and decision support they can easily and effectively use in the high-stress, high-stakes missions we send them on.”

From Virtual Reality Is Great, But Only If It Works for Troops in Zombieland | Government Executive

Well meaning as these pieces of advice are, they miss something essential about emotional intelligence: it is largely about being adaptable and monitoring each situation, each individual and their needs and reactions. A templated response to any situation is the antithesis of an emotionally in-tune reaction.”

From There’s No Template for Emotional Intelligence | JSTOR Daily

Diversity has become a popular buzzword for corporate leaders and companies are now spending billions of dollars to make their organizations more diverse, equitable and inclusive but much of these efforts fail, research suggests. Which DEI practices need to be swapped out for new ones in the new decade?”

From 9 Diversity and Inclusion Practices to Leave in 2019 | Forbes