08 December 2022

Artifical intelligence gives good poster advice

I asked a new natural language artificial intelligence (AI), ChatGPT, “What are some best practices for academic conference posters?”

This is the response from the AI:

There are several best practices that should be followed when creating an academic conference poster. These include:

  1. Keep the poster simple and easy to read: Use clear and concise language, and avoid using too much text or complex graphics.

  2. Use a clear structure: Organize the content of the poster into distinct sections, and use headings and subheadings to guide the reader through the poster.

  3. Use a consistent font and font size: Choose a font and font size that is easy to read and consistent throughout the poster.

  4. Use high-quality images and graphics: Use clear and high-resolution images and graphics to illustrate your points and make the poster visually appealing.

  5. Leave space around the edges: Leave some white space around the edges of the poster to make it more readable and visually appealing.

  6. Proofread the poster carefully: Before printing the poster, proofread it carefully to ensure that there are no spelling or grammar errors.

  7. Practice presenting the poster: Practice presenting the poster to make sure that you can explain the key points clearly and concisely.

By following these best practices, you can create an effective and professional-looking academic conference poster.

This is good basic advice – and that alone is impressive. But the more I play around with this language AI, the more impressed I am. 

I asked it, “How can I make a bar graph in Python?” and it gave me usable code with good explanations.

Shirley Bassey
I asked it how many songs Shirley Bassey sang for the James Bond films, and it listed all of them plus an unused demo.

I wrote, “Tell me the incubation period for covid in the style of a regency romance novel.” After a mundane answer, the next paragraphs went:

As the sun rose on a new day, the people of the kingdom went about their lives, unaware of the danger that lurked among them. Though they went about their daily routines, the invisible enemy had already taken hold in the bodies of some, silently incubating and waiting to reveal itself.

As the days passed, the incubation period came to an end for some, and the first symptoms of the illness began to appear. Coughs and fever, shortness of breath and fatigue, these were the signs of the novel coronavirus, and they struck fear into the hearts of all who saw them.

But even as the illness spread, the people of the kingdom did not give up hope. They followed the guidance of the wise and learned doctors, washing their hands and staying home, and slowly but surely, the incubation period came to an end for all. And as the last symptoms faded away, the kingdom was able to breathe a sigh of relief, grateful to have survived the ravages of the deadly virus.

The ability to ask ChatGPT for a certain style has since been removed, because it allowed people to bypass certain restrictions imposed on the AI.

This thing can do a lot.

DALL-E generated image of "photo realistic woman presenting a poster about lobsters at an academic conference"
Previously, I wrote that AI systems described for poster generation seemed very limited: you needed to have most of the analysis and writing done before you could get the expert AI to help you. But ChatGPT has changed my mind on that somewhat. 

Combine natural language AI with AI image generators like MidJourney and Dall-E (which made the image at right), and the landscape for communication is going to change very rapidly.

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Photo from “Classic Tracks: Shirley Bassey 'Goldfinger'

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