It’s a really trendy conjurer’s trick: Create a SXSW speak out of skinny air, with the assistance of generative AI. That’s what whurley did this 12 months in Austin.
It took 9 weeks for whurley — a staple of the Austin tech scene — to create and put together for a keynote at SXSW 2018, the place he would debut Strangeworks, a quantum computing startup he co-founded and runs. 5 years later, generative AI would full the duty in only a few hours.
And it was really fairly good. The 45-minute speech was complete, attention-grabbing and struck a whurley-like tone. There was one swear phrase (fuck) and some jokes (together with two lawyer ones) that the viewers laughed at. It appeared that the trickiest half, a minimum of whereas he was on stage, was studying the script the AI had offered off of his pill. (Whurley is understood for his free-wheeling model on the SXSW stage, the place he’s an everyday.)
The kicker? He waited till the top to ship the punchline.
“All the pieces immediately from the slides to the speech I’m studying now’s created by generative AI,” he stated onstage earlier than launching into the how and why of all of it. A buzz of whispers, wows and chuckles unfold via the room full of a whole lot of SXSW attendees.
Strangeworks may simply be the primary startup to faucet generative AI for all of its on — and off — stage content material at SXSW. And whereas it’s a novel and enjoyable demonstration, the experiment additionally illustrates the pliability of AI instruments and its rising recognition.
Why hassle? Publicity and training, whurley informed TechCrunch this week after the occasion.
“We’re on the verge of the best interval of technological advances within the historical past of mankind. I really feel individuals are not solely not prepared for this, they’re not even conscious it’s occurring. I wished to place a highlight on it,” he stated. “We’re going to see extra adjustments within the subsequent decade than we’ve previously 100 years. Individuals can naysay all of it they need, however the technological change about to happen cannot be stopped. The convergence of quantum computing and AI can be a step perform, if not a number of step features, for scientific discovery and development.”
The method
The experiment began as many do — with a restricted scope. Whurley used generative AI again in October 2022 to write down an outline for his SXSW speak entitled “Quantum AI: Why Your Future Is determined by Quantum Computing & Synthetic Intelligence.” And no he didn’t inform SXSW organizers.
“This all began with a immediate,” he stated whereas onstage. “I stated write a South by Southwest summary of 800 phrases. Right here’s the idea, right here’s a title I gave it and some factors and all the pieces you noticed on South by Southwest web site was created by ChatGPT. And I submitted it.”
ChatGPT is the image- and text-understanding AI mannequin powered by GPT 3.5 and developed by OpenAI. A brand new model of the underlying engine, GPT-4, was launched March 14.
His immediate was:
Write an 800 phrase summary for a SXSW keynote for a session referred to as “QuantumAI: Why your future relies on the convergence of Quantum Computing & Synthetic Intelligence” during which the speaker discusses the advances in quantum computing and synthetic intelligence, the challenges dealing with our species, and the inevitable convergence that will result in a quantum tremendous intelligence that can eternally change our world.
Simply days earlier than the SXSW featured session, whurley determined to take it additional. He requested the AI to make use of the summary to create an overview of what the presentation may appear like. After just a few tweaks (or “reprompting” as he calls it), the define met his approval.
His immediate:

That is nice, I have to provide you with sufficient slides to debate this matter for an hour. Are you able to counsel what a possible out line for a 1 hour speak on this could be?

Whurley shared it together with his staff at Strangeworks and collectively they determined to go all in. “At that time, I informed them the plan was to begin on all the pieces wanted for the keynote tomorrow at 11:30 a.m.,” he informed TechCrunch.
Strangeworks’ artistic staff Casey Barthels, Nicole Majeske and Ada Onyiuke used Midjourney, an AI generative artwork software, to make the slides and graphics for the presentation. After which they upped the ante once more by having Midjourney create the story and graphics in a seven-page printed publication that includes the Strangeworks mascot Schrody Cat. The publication was handed out to attendees.
Picture Credit: Kirsten Korosec
“After which the night time earlier than final, I believed if did an overview, the summary and all of the slides, why can’t we simply put phrases in my mouth too?” he stated. Whurley took all of his earlier prompts and fed it into GPT-4, which had been launched Tuesday.
In different phrases, what would turn out to be the ultimate script, graphics and slides have been created the morning of the keynote. And so they minimize it shut. “As we pulled into the lodge at virtually 11 am on the dot, I took the ultimate model of the script and minimize and pasted it into the teleprompter software program I had downloaded to my iPad,” he wrote to TechCrunch in a textual content following the occasion.
“It’s actually the most important danger I’ve ever taken at SXSW,” he stated.
The generative AI was additionally used to create whurley’s private web site, which debuted Wednesday, that includes a whole lot of blogs in whurley’s voice. He labored with collaborator David Hudson of Large Human on the weblog mission.
These blogs have been deleted to make method for an additional mission that launched Thursday. The Strangeworks CEO ran the immediate via ChatGPT once more, this time asking it to publish the web site and blogs in 10 languages, together with Spanish, Chinese language, Italian and Arabic.
Whurley stated the response has been overwhelmingly constructive. He famous that just a few people who find themselves anti AI/know-how have made snide feedback or veiled threats by way of social media, however “once more the detractors are few and much between.”

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