It is so truthy that authors, so-called experts, and every day citizens just repeat this one because it sounds true.

Thanks to blog commenter Ashraf another stumbling zombie was spotted at a niche publication called Inc, the moldy monster summoned to support a case for AI (stress the artificial portion and discard the Intelligence one)– How A.I. and Machine Learning Can Help Build a More Engaged Workforce.

Maybe it’s me, but don’t we mark student papers lower (or ungrade them with critical feedback) who do not cite evidence for claims?

But there it is stated as fact, well several of them declared factishly:

We all know reading text for hours at a time is tiring and overwhelming, especially when it pertains to technical job functions. Break up the monotony by designing an eLearning curriculum that includes short- and long-form written content, photos, infographics, video, and audio. People process visual input 60,000 times faster than they do text, so using a variety of content formats helps you impart information in ways that stick. Ideally, make the modules available via desktop and mobile, so new hires can access the materials wherever they are.

“But Alan, you cited with a link, just the same as the author’s article.”

But as I first pointed out in May 2012, the 3M reference is not a research study, nor a report, nor even a paper, it is a publicity 2 page brochure called “Polishing Your Presentation” (not even available from 3M anymore, you have to dial in the Wayback Machine to find this PDF).

Hang your assertion of AI on something as strong as this statement:

Did you know that visual aids have been found to improve learning by up to 400 percent? Did you realize that we can process visuals 60,000 times faster than text? Would you guess that the average person only remembers about a fifth of what they hear?

These findings from behavioral research confirm our daily experience: we rely on all our senses to bring ideas and concepts to life. Effective presenters today realize that preparing to take the podium means more than having your index cards in order. As photos, illustrations, graphs and text make their way into presenters’ toolboxes, audiences are coming to expect impressive visual aids. However, high-quality images aren’t the whole story. Visuals should support you, not replace you. Use them instead to shed light on your key messages and capture the audience’s interest.

Emphasis added, from Polishing Your Presentation, 3M (2001) found only in the Internet Archive

So proof of this claim published in Inc. rests on a 3M brochure’s claim citing zero evidence.

I carried out this investigation for years, digging in deeper, but the trail ends cold in 1982, with the claim in a Business Week advertisement piece by a Philip Cooper, again, just making the claim. I traced him to the MIT Sloan School of business, but got no response from email, even a phone message. Heck, I even offered a cash bribe to attendees of a conference in Cambridge to go know on his door and find the chimera.

I went as far as I can. At least when people search on this claim (2 million results without quotes, 2070 with exact match) my blog posts do show up.

But that requires a writer who checks their facts. I guess Inc. is too busy to do that.

I was going to tweet this out, but I am weary of this space where people just like and retweet and not much more, so I am going old school and hanging it first here on my blog, my domain.

Go on, be a zombie. Just keep repeating what others say.

Or be human, aka Unartificially Intelligent.

Featured Image: My own photo Zombie Family Sticker flickr photo by cogdogblog shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license with text added in ragged font, “It’s a fact Humans process visuals 60,000 times faster text… and they will never look for the source!”

One of those stickers on the bac of vehicle typically of a sweet family, but these are zombie figures, even a zombie cat. Ragged text at the tip reads -- ts a fAct Humans process visuals 60,000 times faster text... and they will never look for the source!
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An early 90s builder of web stuff and blogging Alan Levine barks at on web storytelling (#ds106 #4life), photography, bending WordPress, and serendipity in the infinite internet river. He thinks it's weird to write about himself in the third person. And he is 100% into the Fediverse (or tells himself so) Tooting as


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