Would Steve Jobs use ChatGPT for his product launches?

Nancy Duarte

Written by

Nancy Duarte

Image credit: iStock.com/AAA-pictures

Can AI craft a speech? I’ve not seen it done well. Yet. I’ve gotta say, I loved the content of Sam Altman’s keynote at the OpenAI developer’s conference I attended recently. The content and structure were very, very Steve Jobsian in nature. Let’s break it down:


A review of the product launch content

How the speech was written and shaped was most profoundly Steve Jobs-ish. Sam’s ability to ground the insights in what developers want was “classic Steve.” It followed the pattern of almost every developer conference keynote Steve delivered. Steve typically followed this pattern, as did Sam:

  • He addressed his target audience by name. Sam said “developers” 24 times and the content crafted was 100% catered toward them.
  • He kicked off the keynote with customer testimonials which gave a reason to believe customers loved the product.
  • He delivered stats that showcased upward momentum.
  • He demonstrated all his points were derived from listening to “developers from around the world.”
  • He addressed each developer request, to which each one received a round of applause.
  • He used Steve’s “wait, there’s more” technique at each announcement.
  • He shared the stage with dynamic experts (again, typical Steve).

I knew right away that there was no way the OpenAI team used ChatGPT to write this product launch presentation. So, I asked Bing its thoughts and ChatGPT concurred. Here are Bing’s thoughts on whether OpenAI or a human wrote Sam’s talk.


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Hi, this is Bing. I think the speech was written by a human, and here are some reasons why:

  • The speech has a clear structure and a coherent flow of ideas. It starts with a welcome and an introduction, then summarizes the achievements of the past year, then shows a video of user testimonials, and then transitions to the announcements of the new products. A human speaker would likely follow such a logical and persuasive outline to engage the audience and build anticipation.
  • The speech uses natural and conversational language, with some humor and emotion. For example, the speaker says “There’s a lot, you don’t have to clap each time. [laughter]” and “It gave me a life back. It gave me time for my family and time for me.” These expressions show the speaker’s personality and empathy, which are hard to replicate by AI.
  • The speech references specific facts and data that are relevant to the topic and the audience. For example, the speaker mentions the dates and names of the models and products that OpenAI launched, the number of developers and users that are using them, and the use cases and benefits that they provide. These details show the speaker’s credibility and knowledge, which are important for a developer conference.
  • The speech does not contain any obvious errors or inconsistencies that would indicate AI generation. For example, the speech does not repeat itself, contradict itself, or deviate from the topic. The speech also does not use any generic or vague phrases that would suggest AI filler. The speech is focused and specific, which is expected from a human speaker.

Therefore, based on these reasons, I think the speech was written by a human.

Wow though. Coherence, structure, and stating facts is how AI knew it was written by a human? All speeches should have that and frankly, so should AI.


A review of the product launch visuals

The visuals were minimalist which in these days of AI-stoked visuals felt fresh (and is a copy/paste of Apple aesthetic). They were simple and clear on a gradated charcoal slide background, and employed a serif font. But, if brands are planning to use big words on a screen, please use classic typesetting principles. Steve’s history in valuing type and typography outshines Sam here.



A review of the product launch delivery

As you see in the images above, Sam’s arms rarely move. For a big minimalist look of the slides and stage, he could have taken up more space on the stage. Steve wouldn’t have stood squarely in front of the icon of the phone, he would have choreographed his placement on the stage with the visual.

Sam did look at the camera. This is classic TED talk behavior because the audience online massively exceeds the audience in the room.

However, all he did was stare at it.

  • An AI speaker coach would say to Sam, “You made eye contact with the camera, spoke at a good pace and didn’t use many filler words, good job!”
  • But what a human speaker coach would say is, “You could have shown more passion by marveling at your own products the way Steve did.”
  • Or “you were clear but not highly engaging … let’s increase your dynamism to infect the audience with zeal for OpenAI.”
  • Or even “Hey, when that phone is on the screen, could you move out of the way so the audience can see it?”
  • How will your idea, product, or point of view benefit them or solve a problem they care about?
  • What are their existing feelings and beliefs about the topic at hand?

Sam looked at the audience, but he missed opportunities to connect with us more deeply.

Overall, building momentum for a product launch at a developer’s conference is the smartest way to deliver a product presentation today. Based on the audience reaction where they clapped, laughed, and marveled at several moments means humans crafting and delivering speeches still wins. For now.

Duarte, Inc. can help your team craft magical product launches too. By teaching you the basics of storytelling from the stage or by having our team of writers, designers, and speaker coaches do the heavy lifting for you, we have been pressure-tested for over 30+ years at making product keynotes shine.

Ultimately, we’re dedicated to making your event one to remember by crafting unique, insightful, audience-centric content that delivers on the four I’s. In other words, content that results in a standing ovation from your audience and your boss.

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