Today I’m in San Antonio, explaining quantum computing to the masses.
It started innocently enough: my friend Sean Lowery asked me if I would speak at this year’s Innotech conference. Right then I had what I thought was a brilliant idea. I would use this audience as a test to talk about my current favorite subject, quantum computing. Sean loved the idea. But how could I share quantum computing effectively with an audience who knows nothing about it?
As I started working on the presentation, I sat down at my computer and cranked up my headphones. Do you know “Dumb It Down” by Lupe Fiasco? In it Fiasco raps about how he refuses to water down his message for fame and riches. I listened to Fiasco start to flow, and I thought, “This is going to be awesome! I’m going to find an easy way to explain the complex topic of quantum computing. People are going to love it. They are going to walk away quantum computer experts by the time I’m done.”
So, the first slide . . .
The first slide . . .
The first slide should have . . . maybe a title? And then . . . ?
I’m an idiot. This was going to be harder than I thought. How could I explain quantum computing to a business audience in enough technical detail that they would understand its potential, but not so much that their eyes would gloss over?
I shifted gears to approach this as a dry run, a chance to learn from the crowd. I ended up with a presentation that is more evangelistic, and less technical. I’m hoping it will be easily digestible for the audience. I know humor can help get an audience comfortable with a complex topic, so I’ve thrown in some of the ridiculous conspiracy theories floating around on the Internet. “The Mandala Effect,” the “Return of the Anunnaki,” “CERN’s Interdimensional Portal,” and the popular “The NSA is breaking all of our encryption!?!!” all make a cameo.
This will be a great first shot. I’m hoping for plenty of questions afterward, so I can make the proper adjustments for the next time I present on the subject. I’ll let you know if it was a total failure.
Maybe next time I’ll think before I say yes, but probably not.