A Presentation From 2023 Looks Quite Like 2012

March 2, 2012

in Miscellaneous

Actor Guy Pierce as Peter Weyland giving a TED Talk in 2023

Last Tuesday I was watching the live streaming of the first TED 2012 session when Chris Anderson introduced a TED Talk from 2023. The 3 minute movie is actually a well crafted promo of Ridley Scott’s upcoming movie Prometheus. The TED Talk is given by fictional character, Peter Weyland, and what was interesting about this video, apart of this being a clever and entertaining way to advertise a product, is that a presentation from 2023 looks just like 2012.


Interesting factoids from the video:

  •  Weyland presents to a large audience of several thousands, does this mean that in the future TED will open up its doors to a massive audience? 😉
  •  The stage resembles U2’s 360 degrees stage from the 2009 “360° Tour“.

Left: TED 2023 stage / Right: U2 360 Tour stage

  •  The presenter is wearing a fine tailored clear suit, as opposed to the usually black attire of TED speakers (I was surprised that all 5 speakers from TED 2012’s first session were dressed in black. Was this a style guideline from TED related to something specific like better rendering on video, a cultist uniform or just chance?)
  • Peter Weyland uses no PowerPoint or Prezi slides and the multiple screens distributed throughout the venue just show him or the TED logo. It’s comforting to see that in the future public speaking will be kept “human”.
  • As many TED talks that follow the “TED presenting formula”, the speaker starts with a short story or anecdote, in this case also with a joke.
  • The speaker is a megalomaniac, not unlike several  real TED speakers… just kidding TED, you know I’m a faithful TEDster!
  • On several of the big screens there’s a Twitter-like backchannel with “tweets” from the audience. In fact, at a certain point you can read the following (note that the screens does not provide a user name):

“Where’s Weyland going with this? Thought fire was for all mankind. He’s probably franchised using it now. #TED http://bit.ly/fgwQvj

The TED 2023 Twitter Backchannel

  • The tweets seem to come both from the physically present audience than from those following the live streaming, as next to the backchannel screen there’s a map that’s geolocating the messages.
  • The talk is being filmed by a couple of flying 5-rotor copters much alike currently existing quadricopters like the ones from AR Drone Parrot or the ArduCopter project.

Left: TED 2023 flying camera / Right: Parrot AR Drone quadrocopter

  • A strong discrepancy with current TED policies is that the audience is allowed to use flash photography! :-) (flash photography is prohibited from the TED conference room because it may distract the speaker, annoy the fellow participants but most of all because its light affects the quality of the video recording of the talks).
  • Last but not least, this fictional presentation implies that the Mayan’s were wrong and the world didn’t end in 2012.
  • http://twitter.com/ChrisShipton Chris Shipton

    Additional fascinating factoids are that if you go to https://www.weylandindustries.com/ and use the tweet button you get a tweet: ‘Celebrate the 50th anniversary of Peter Weyland’s historic #2023TED speech. Watch it here: http://WeylandIndustries.com‘ so it’s a TED video from 2023 posted in 2073. When, one would assume, indistinguishable – if ‘glitchy’ – artificial persons would be roaming around.

    The Prometheus analogy is a nice way of hinting what the film is going to be about. I guess Giger’s Alien is future mankind’s metaphorical eagle? Also the joyous references to gunpowder and nuclear weapons make this the darkest TED speech I’ve listend to. 
    I wonder if future TED’s will be presented by actors, with their advanced speechification skills?

    • http://www.gchicco.com Gianfranco Chicco

      That’s a good one! 

      • http://twitter.com/ChrisShipton Chris Shipton

        Jumping further on the bandwagon you can see my visual notes here: http://visualthinking.chrisshipton.com/peter-weylands-2023-ted-talk-visual-notes/

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