Presentations

Could your Presentation Pass the Turing Test?

Robot has a presentation using the whiteboard.In the quest for artificial intelligence, the holy grail is the Turing test, in which a computer is able to “converse” in such a way that an average person can’t tell whether it is human or machine.

Just yesterday, the University of Reading claimed that its supercomputer called Eugene Goostman had passed the test, although a lot of people are not convinced.

I’m not qualified to comment on whether or not the computer did pass, ask but I have observed many presentations where the presenter would be hard pressed to pass the Turing test, and I am sure you have too.

  • When a presentation is so generic that it can apply to any audience and anyone could deliver it, it’s tough to prove that a human wrote it.
  • When the presentation is so sanitized by the marketing and legal departments that any spark of humanity is extinguished, a computer may have written it.
  • When the presenter insists on reading the slides to the audience, it’s clear that a machine is in control.
  • When the speaker makes no personal connection with individual audience members, it could be a humanoid up there speaking.
  • When the speaker is unable to interact with the audience and adjust in midstream as necessary, it’s tough to prove there’s a real person behind the podium.

Do your presentations show your personality? Do they engage your listeners’ hearts as well as their minds? Could they pass the Turing test?

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