AI

PowerPoint: Shot with its own bullets

Abstract

Imagine a world with almost no pronouns or punctuation. A world where any complex thought must be broken into seven-word chunks, with colourful blobs between them. It sounds like the futuristic dystopia of Kurt Vonnegut's short story Harrison Bergeron, in which intelligent citizens receive ear-splitting broadcasts over headsets so that they cannot gain an unfair advantage over their less intelligent peers. But this world is no fiction—it is the present-day reality of a PowerPoint presentation, a reality that is repeated an estimated 30 million times a day.