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The TED Blog shares interesting news about TED, TED Talks video, the TED Prize and more.



Updated: 2017-06-29T11:45:36Z

 



WordPress.comWhy TED takes two weeks off every summer

2017-06-23T18:17:15Z

TED.com is about to go quiet for two weeks. No new TED Talks will be posted on the web until Monday, July 10, 2017, while most of the TED staff takes our annual two-week vacation. Yes, we all (or almost all) go on vacation at the same time. No, we don’t all go to the same place. We’ve been doing it this […]TED.com is about to go quiet for two weeks. No new TED Talks will be posted on the web until Monday, July 10, 2017, while most of the TED staff takes our annual two-week vacation. Yes, we all (or almost all) go on vacation at the same time. No, we don’t all go to the same place. We’ve been doing it this way now for eight years. Our summer break is a little lifehack that solves the problem of a company in perpetual-startup mode where something new is always going on and everyone has raging FOMO. We avoid the fear of missing out on emails and new projects and blah blah blah … by making sure that nothing is going on. I love how the inventor of this holiday, TED’s founding head of media June Cohen, once explained it: “When you have a team of passionate, dedicated overachievers, you don’t need to push them to work harder, you need to help them rest. By taking the same two weeks off, it makes sure everyone takes vacation,” she said. “Planning a vacation is hard — most of us still feel a little guilty to take two weeks off, and we’d be likely to cancel when something inevitably comes up. This creates an enforced rest period, which is so important for productivity and happiness.” Bonus: “It’s efficient,” she said. “In most companies, people stagger their vacations through the summer. But this means you can never quite get things done all summer long. You never have all the right people in the room.” So, as the bartender said: You don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here. We won’t post new TED Talks on the web for the next two weeks. (Though — check out audio talks on iTunes, where we’re curating two weeks of talks on the theme of Journeys.) The office is three-quarters empty. And we stay off email. The whole point is that vacation time should be truly restful, and we should be able to recharge without having to check in or worry about what we’re missing back at the office. See you on Monday, July 10! Note: This piece was first posted on July 17, 2014. It was updated on July 27, 2015, again on July 20, 2016, and again on June 23, 2017. [...]



An updated design for TED Talks

2017-06-22T17:29:50Z

It’s been a few years since the TED Talks video page was last updated, but a new design begins rolling out this week. The update aims to provide a more straightforward viewing experience for mobile devices, improve performance, and surface more ideas we think you'll like. It’s been a few years since the TED Talks video page was last updated, but a new design begins rolling out this week. The update aims to provide a simple, straightforward viewing experience for you while surfacing other ideas worth spreading that you might also like. A few changes to highlight … More talks to watch Today there are about 2,500 TED Talks in the catalog, and each is unique. However, most of them are connected to other talks in some way — on similar topics, or given by the same speaker. Think of it as part of a conversation. That’s why, in our new design, it’s easier to see other talks you might be interested in. Those smart recommendations are shown along the right side of the screen. As our library of talks grows, the updated design will help you discover the most relevant talks. Beyond the video: More brain candy Most ideas are rich in nuanced information far beyond what an 18 minute talk can contain. That’s why we collected deeper content around the idea for you to explore— like books by the speaker, articles relating to the talk, and ways to take action and get involved — in the Details section. Many speakers provide annotations for viewers (now with clickable time codes that take you right to the relevant moment in the video) as well as their own resources and personal recommendations. You can find all of that extra content in the Footnotes and Reading list sections. Transcripts, translations, and subtitling Reaching a global community has always been a foundation of TED’s mission, so working to improve the experience for our non-English speaking viewers is an ongoing effort. This update gives you one-click access to our most requested subtitles (when available), displayed in their native endonyms. We’ve also improved the subtitles themselves, making the text easier for you to read across languages. What’s next? While there are strong visual differences, this update is but one mark in a series of improvements we plan on making for how you view TED Talks on TED.com. We’d appreciate your feedback to measure our progress and influence our future changes! [...]



TEDWomen update: Black Lives Matter wins Sydney Peace Prize

2017-06-23T16:32:12Z

Cross-posted from TEDWomen curator Pat Mitchell’s blog on the Huffington Post. Last month, the Black Lives Matter movement was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize, a global prize that honors those who pursue “peace with justice.” Past honorees include South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Irish President Mary Robinson. The prize “recognizes the vital contributions of […]Founders of the Black Lives Matter movement — from left, Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi, interviewed onstage by TEDWomen cohost Mia Birdsong at TEDWomen 2016 in San Francisco. Photo: Marla Aufmuth / TED Cross-posted from TEDWomen curator Pat Mitchell’s blog on the Huffington Post. Last month, the Black Lives Matter movement was awarded the Sydney Peace Prize, a global prize that honors those who pursue “peace with justice.” Past honorees include South African Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Irish President Mary Robinson. The prize “recognizes the vital contributions of leading global peacemakers, creates a platform so that their voices are heard, and supports their vital work for a fairer world.” Winners receive $50,000 to help them continue their work. One of the highlights of last year’s TEDWomen was a conversation with Black Lives Matter founders Alicia Garza, Patrisse Cullors and Opal Tometi. They spoke with Mia Birdsong about the movement and their commitment to working collaboratively for change. As Tometi told Birdsong: “We need to acknowledge that different people contribute different strengths, and that in order for our entire team to flourish, we have to allow them to share and allow them to shine.” src="https://embed.ted.com/talks/alicia_garza_patrisse_cullors_and_opal_tometi_an_interview_with_the_founders_of_black_lives_matter" width="585" height="329" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen> This year’s TEDWomen conference (registration is open), which will be held in New Orleans November 1–3, 2017, will expand on many of the themes Garza, Cullors, Tometi and Birdsong touched on during their conversation last year. This year’s conference theme is Bridges — and we’ll be looking at how individuals and organizations create bridges between races, cultures, people, and places — and, as modeled by the Black Lives Matter movement, how we build bridges to a more equal and just world. In announcing the award, the Sydney Peace Foundation said, “This is the first time that a movement and not a person has been awarded the peace prize — a timely choice. Climate change is escalating fast, increasing inequality and racism are feeding divisiveness, and we are in the middle of the worst refugee crisis since World War II. Yet many establishment leaders across the world stick their heads in the sand or turn their backs on justice, fairness and equality.” Founders Garza, Cullors and Tometi will travel to Australia later this year to formally accept the prize. Congratulations to them! [...]



5 TED Radio Hour episodes that explore what it’s like to be human

2017-06-17T12:45:10Z

TED Radio Hour started in 2013, and while I’ve only been working on the show for about a year, it’s one of my favorite parts of my job. We work with an incredibly creative team over at NPR, and helping them weave different ideas into a narrative each week adds a whole new dimension to […] TED Radio Hour started in 2013, and while I’ve only been working on the show for about a year, it’s one of my favorite parts of my job. We work with an incredibly creative team over at NPR, and helping them weave different ideas into a narrative each week adds a whole new dimension to the talks. On Friday, the podcast published its 100th episode. The theme is A Better You, and in the hour we explore the many ways we as humans try to improve ourselves. We look at the role of our own minds when it comes to self-improvement, and the tension in play between the internal and the external in this struggle. New to the show, or looking to dip back into the archive? Below are five of my favorite episodes so far that explore what it means to be human. The Hero’s Journey What makes a hero? Why are we so drawn to stories of lone figures, battling against the odds? We talk about space and galaxies far, far away a lot at TED, but in this episode we went one step further and explored the concept of the Hero’s Journey relates to the Star Wars universe – and the ideas of TED speakers. Dame Ellen MacArthur shares the transformative impact of her solo sailing trip around the world. Jarrett J. Krosoczka pays homage to the surprising figures that formed his path in life. George Takei tells his powerful story of being held in a Japanese-American internment camp during WWII, and how he managed to forgive, and even love, the country that treated him this way. We finish up the hour with Ismael Nazario’s story of spending 300 days in solitary confinement before he was even convicted of a crime, and how this ultimately set him on a journey to help others. Anthropocene In this episode, four speakers make the case that we are now living in a new geological age called the Anthropocene, where the main force impacting the earth – is us. Kenneth Lacovara opens the show by taking us on a tour of the earth’s ages so far. Next Emma Marris calls us to connect with nature in a new way so we’ll actually want to protect it. Then, Peter Ward looks at what past extinctions can tell us about the earth – and ourselves. Finally Cary Fowler takes us deep within a vault in Svalbard, where a group of scientists are storing seeds in an attempt to ultimately preserve our species. While the subject could easily be a ‘doom and gloom’ look at the state of our planet, ultimately it left me hopeful and optimistic for our ability to solve some of these monumental problems. If you haven’t yet heard of the Anthropocene, I promise that after this episode you’ll start coming across it everywhere. The Power of Design Doing an episode on design seemed like an obvious choice, and we were excited about the challenge of creating an episode about such a visual discipline for radio. We looked at the ways good or bad design affects us, and the ways we can make things more elegant and beautiful. Tony Fadell starts out the episode by bringing us back to basics, calling out the importance of noticing design flaws in the world around us in order to solve problems. Marc Kushner predicts how architectural design is going to be increasingly shaped by public perception and social media. Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia takes us inside the design process that helped people establish enough trust to open up their homes to complete strangers. Next we take an insightful design history lesson with Alice Rawsthorn to pay homage to bold and innovative design thinkers of the past, and their impact on the present. We often think of humans as having a monopoly on design, but our final speaker in this episode, Janine Benyus, examines the incredible design lessons we can take from the natural world. Bey[...]



A noninvasive method for deep brain stimulation, a new class of Emerging Explorers, and much more

2017-06-20T16:42:53Z

As usual, the TED community has lots of news to share this week. Below, some highlights. Surface-level brain stimulation. The delivery of an electric current to the part of the brain involved in movement control, known as deep brain stimulation, is sometimes used to treat people with Parkinson’s disease, depression, epilepsy and obsessive compulsive disorder. […] As usual, the TED community has lots of news to share this week. Below, some highlights. Surface-level brain stimulation. The delivery of an electric current to the part of the brain involved in movement control, known as deep brain stimulation, is sometimes used to treat people with Parkinson’s disease, depression, epilepsy and obsessive compulsive disorder. However, the process isn’t risk-free — and there are few people who possess the skill set to open a skull and implant electrodes in the brain. A new study, of which MIT’s Ed Boyden was the senior author, has found a noninvasive method: placing electrodes on the scalp rather than in the skull. This may make deep brain stimulation available to more patients and allow the technique to be more easily adapted to treat other disorders. (Watch Boyden’s TED Talk) Rooms for refugees. Airbnb unveiled a new platform, Welcome, which provides housing to refugees and evacuees free of charge. Using its extensive network, Airbnb is partnering with global and local organizations that will have access to Welcome in order to pair refugees with available lodging. The company aims to provide temporary housing for 100,000 displaced persons over the next five years. Airbnb co-founder, Joe Gebbia, urges anybody with a spare room to “play a small role in tackling this global challenge”; so far, 6,000 people have answered his call. (Watch Gebbia’s TED Talk) A TEDster joins The Shed. Kevin Slavin has been named Chief Science and Technology Officer of The Shed. Set to open in 2019, The Shed is a uniquely-designed space in New York City that will bring together leading thinkers in the arts, the humanities and the sciences to create innovative art. Slavin’s multidisciplinary—or, as he puts it, anti-disciplinary—mindset seems a perfect fit for The Shed’s mission of “experimentation, innovation, and collaboration.” Slavin, who was behind the popular game Drop 7, has run a research lab at MIT’s Media Lab, and has showcased his work in MoMA, among other museums. The Shed was designed by TEDsters Liz Diller and David Rockwell. (Watch Slavin’s TED Talk, Diller’s TED Talk and Rockwell’s TED Talk) Playing with politics. Designing a video to feel as close to real life as possible often means intricate graphics and astutely crafted scripts. For game development studio Klang, it also means replicating politics. That’s why Klang has brought on Lawrence Lessig to build the political framework for their new game, Seed. Described as “a boundless journey for human survival, fuelled by discovery, collaboration and genuine emotion,” Seed is a vast multiplayer game whose simulation continues even after a player has logged off. Players are promised “endless exploration of a living, breathing exoplanet” and can traverse this new planet forming colonies, developing relationships, and collaborating with other players. Thanks to Lessig, they can also choose their form of government and appointed officials. While the game will not center on politics, Lessig’s contributions will help the game evolve to more realistically resemble real life. (Watch Lessig’s TED Talk) A new class of explorers. National Geographic has announced this year’s Emerging Explorers. TED Speaker Anand Varma and TED Fellows Keolu Fox and Danielle N, Lee are among them. Varma is a photographer who uses the medium to turn science into stories, as he did in his TED talk about threats faced by bees. Fox’s work connects the human genome to disease; he advocates for more diversity in the field of genetics. He believes that [...]



Sneak preview lineup unveiled for Africa’s next TED Conference

2017-06-13T17:30:15Z

On August 27, an extraordinary group of people will gather in Arusha, Tanzania, for TEDGlobal 2017, a four-day TED Conference for “those with a genuine interest in the betterment of the continent,” says curator Emeka Okafor. As Okafor puts it: “Africa has an opportunity to reframe the future of work, cultural production, entrepreneurship, agribusiness. We […] On August 27, an extraordinary group of people will gather in Arusha, Tanzania, for TEDGlobal 2017, a four-day TED Conference for “those with a genuine interest in the betterment of the continent,” says curator Emeka Okafor. As Okafor puts it: “Africa has an opportunity to reframe the future of work, cultural production, entrepreneurship, agribusiness. We are witnessing the emergence of new educational and civic models. But there is, on the flip side, a set of looming challenges that include the youth bulge and under-/unemployment, a food crisis, a risky dependency on commodities, slow industrializations, fledgling and fragile political systems. There is a need for a greater sense of urgency.” He hopes the speakers at TEDGlobal will catalyze discussion around “the need to recognize and amplify solutions from within the Africa and the global diaspora.” Who are these TED speakers? A group of people with “fresh, unique perspectives in their initiatives, pronouncements and work,” Okafor says. “Doers as well as thinkers — and contrarians in some cases.” The curation team, which includes TED head curator Chris Anderson, went looking for speakers who take “a hands-on approach to solution implementation, with global-level thinking.” Here’s the first sneak preview — a shortlist of speakers who, taken together, give a sense of the breadth and topics to expect, from tech to the arts to committed activism and leadership. Look for the long list of 35–40 speakers in upcoming weeks. The TEDGlobal 2017 conference happens August 27–30, 2017, in Arusha, Tanzania. Apply to attend >> Kamau Gachigi, Maker “In five to ten years, Kenya will truly have a national innovation system, i.e. a system that by its design audits its population for talented makers and engineers and ensures that their skills become a boon to the economy and society.” — Kamau Gachigi on Engineering for Change Dr. Kamau Gachigi is the executive director of Gearbox, Kenya’s first open makerspace for rapid prototyping, based in Nairobi. Before establishing Gearbox, Gachigi headed the University of Nairobi’s Science and Technology Park, where he founded a Fab Lab full of manufacturing and prototyping tools in 2009, then built another one at the Riruta Satellite in an impoverished neighborhood in the city. At Gearbox, he empowers Kenya’s next generation of creators to build their visions. @kamaufablab Mohammed Dewji, Business leader “My vision is to facilitate the development of a poverty-free Tanzania. A future where the opportunities for Tanzanians are limitless.” — Mohammed Dewji Mohammed Dewji is a Tanzanian businessman, entrepreneur, philanthropist, and former politician. He serves as the President and CEO of MeTL Group, a Tanzanian conglomerate operating in 11 African countries. The Group operates in areas as diverse as trading, agriculture, manufacturing, energy and petroleum, financial services, mobile telephony, infrastructure and real estate, transport, logistics and distribution. He served as Member of Parliament for Singida-Urban from 2005 until his retirement in 2015. Dewji is also the Founder and Trustee of the Mo Dewji Foundation, focused on health, education and community development across Tanzania. @moodewji Meron Estefanos, Refugee activist “Q: What’s a project you would like to move forward at TEDGlobal? A: Bringing change to Eritrea.” —Meron Estefanos Meron Estefanos is an Eritrean human rights activist, and[...]



Two surprising strategies for effective innovation

2017-06-09T15:07:39Z

Picture this: Three kids are given a LEGO set with the pieces to build a fire department. All of them want to build as many new toys as possible. The first kid goes straight for the easy wins. He puts a tiny red hat on a tiny minifig: presto, a firefighter! In this way, he […] Picture this: Three kids are given a LEGO set with the pieces to build a fire department. All of them want to build as many new toys as possible. The first kid goes straight for the easy wins. He puts a tiny red hat on a tiny minifig: presto, a firefighter! In this way, he quickly makes several simple toys. The second kid goes by intuition. He chooses the pieces he’s drawn to and imagines how he could combine them. The third takes a different strategy altogether: She picks up axles, wheels, base plates; pieces she can’t use now but knows she’ll need later if she wants to build complex toys. By the time they’re finished playing, which kid will have created the most new toys? Common lore favors the second kid’s strategy — innovation by intuition or visionary foresight. “Innovation has been more of an art than a science,” says Martin Reeves (TED Talk: How to build a business that lasts 100 years), a senior partner and managing director at BCG, and global director of BCG’s think tank. “We think it’s dependent on intuition or personality or luck.” A new study, led by Reeves and Thomas Fink from the London Institute of Mathematical Sciences, shows that’s not the case. “Innovation is an unpredictable process, but one with predictable features,” says Reeves. “It’s not just a matter of luck. It’s possible to have a strategy of innovation.” The study found that the second kid, guided only by intuition and vision, is the least likely to succeed. The other two are the ones to emulate, but the secret is knowing how and when to use each of their tactics.    The Impatient Strategy Let’s go back to the first kid, the one who started by putting hats on the figurines. His strategy is familiar to entrepreneurs: he’s creating the minimum viable product, or the simplest, fastest version of a finished product. Reeves calls that an “impatient strategy.” It’s fast, iterative, and bare bones.   When you’re breaking into a market that’s fairly new, an impatient strategy is the best way to go. “Look for simple solutions,” says Reeves.     For example, that’s what Uber did when it first launched. The industry was young and easy to disrupt, so the app combined technologies that already existed to create a simple black-car service. Only later did it become the sprawling company it is today, looking ahead to things like the future of self-driving cars.    The Patient Strategy An impatient strategy might be effective early on, but eventually, it stops working. Enter the third kid from our LEGO story. She’s not worried about speed; she’s focused on the end point she wants to reach. It’ll take her longer to build a toy, but she’s more likely to create a toy that’s elaborate (think: a fire truck) and more sophisticated than the first kid’s firefighters in hats.  Reeves calls this a “patient strategy.” It’s complex, forward-looking, and relatively slow.    A patient strategy is too costly for most startups. It requires resources and access, and it risks investing a lot in a product that doesn’t take off. “It becomes a big company game,” says Reeves.   For example, Apple is known to make investments in technologies that often pay off later, many years after acquisition or initial patenting. That’s the hallmark of a patient strategy.     When to Switch Your Strategy   The most successful entrepreneurs use both strategies. They’re fast and agile when their industry is young; patient and forward-looking as their industry gets more advanced.   How do you know when to switch? “Think of this as a search,” s[...]



Listen in on couples therapy with Esther Perel, Tabby’s star dims again, and more

2017-06-20T16:43:38Z

Behold, your recap of TED-related news: The truth about couples. Ever wonder what goes on in couples therapy? You may want to tune in to Esther Perel’s new podcast “Where Should We Begin?” Each episode invites the reader to listen to a real session with a real couple working out real issues, from a Christian […] Behold, your recap of TED-related news: The truth about couples. Ever wonder what goes on in couples therapy? You may want to tune in to Esther Perel’s new podcast “Where Should We Begin?” Each episode invites the reader to listen to a real session with a real couple working out real issues, from a Christian couple bored with their sex life to a couple dealing with the aftermath of an affair, learning how to cope and communicate, express and excite. Perel hopes her audience will walk away with a sense of “truth” surrounding relationships — and maybe take away something for their own relationships. As she says: “You very quickly realize that you are standing in front of the mirror, and that the people that you are listening to are going to give you the words and the language for the conversations you want to have.” The first four episodes of “Where Should We Begin?” are available on Audible, with new episodes added every Friday. (Watch Perel’s TED Talk) Three TEDsters join the Media Lab. MIT’s Media Lab has chosen its Director’s Fellows for 2017, inviting nine extraordinary people to spend two years working with each other, MIT faculty and students to move their work forward. Two of the new Fellows are TED speakers — Adam Foss and Jamila Raqib — and a third is a TED Fellow, activist Esra’a Al Shafei. In a press release, Media Lab Director (and fellow TED speaker) Joi Ito said the new crop of fellows “aligns with our mission to create a better future for all,” with an emphasis on “civic engagement, social change, education, and creative disruption.” (Watch Foss’ TED Talk and Raqib’s TED Talk) The mystery of KIC 8462852 deepens. Tabby’s Star, notorious for “dipping,” is making headlines again with a dimming event that started in May. Astronomer Tabetha Boyajian, the star’s namesake, has been trying to crack the mystery since the flickering was noticed in 2011. The star’s dimming is erratic—sometimes losing up to 20 percent of its brightness—and has prompted a variety of potential explanations. Some say it’s space debris, others say it’s asteroids. Many blame aliens. Nobody knows for sure, still, but you can follow Boyajian on Twitter for updates. (Watch Boyajian’s TED talk) AI: friend or foe? The big fear with AI is that humanity will be replaced or overrun, but Nicholas Christakis has been entertaining an alternative view: how can AI complement human beings? In a new study conducted at Yale, Christakis experimented with human and AI interaction. Subjects worked with anonymous AI bots in a collaborative color-coordination game, and the bots were programmed with varying behavioral randomness — in other words, they made mistakes. Christakis’ findings showed that even when paired with error-prone AI, human performance still improved. Groups solved problems 55.6% faster when paired with bots—particularly when faced with difficult problems. “The bots can help humans to help themselves,” Christakis said. (Watch Christakis’ TED Talk) A bundle of news from TED architects. Alejandro Aravena’s Chile-based design team, Elemental, won the competition to design the Art Mill, a new museum in Doha, Qatar. The museum site is now occupied by Qatar Flour Mills, and Elemental’s design pays homage to the large grain silos it will replace. Meanwhile, The Shed, a new building in New York City designed by Liz Diller and David Rockwell, recently underwent testing. The building is designed in two parts: an eight-level tower and a teflon-based out[...]



Meet the TEDGlobal 2017 Fellows

2017-05-23T20:42:04Z

Meet the new class of TEDGlobal 2017 Fellows! Representing 18 countries — including, for the first time in our program, Somalia, Uruguay, Liberia and Zimbabwe — this class clears a high bar of talent, creativity and eccentricity. Among those selected, you’ll find a Somali computer scientist catalyzing the tech scene in Somalia and Somaliland; a […] Meet the new class of TEDGlobal 2017 Fellows! Representing 18 countries — including, for the first time in our program, Somalia, Uruguay, Liberia and Zimbabwe — this class clears a high bar of talent, creativity and eccentricity. Among those selected, you’ll find a Somali computer scientist catalyzing the tech scene in Somalia and Somaliland; a policy influencer working to make healthcare Deaf-friendly; the founder of Botswana’s first and only LGBT-themed theater festival, and many more. Below, get to know the new group of Fellows who will join us at TEDGlobal 2017, August 27–30, in Arusha, Tanzania. Nighat Dad (Pakistan) Digital rights activist Pakistani founder of the Digital Rights Foundation, a research and advocacy NGO that protects women and minorities from cyber harassment and defends their online freedom of expression. Kyle DeCarlo (USA) Policy influencer + healthcare entrepreneur US co-founder of the Deaf Health Initiative (DHI), an organization working to make healthcare Deaf-friendly through advocacy, policy changes and the creation of new medical devices. Abdigani Diriye (USA) Tech entrepreneur + inventor Somali computer scientist catalyzing the tech scene in Somalia and Somaliland through coding camps, incubators and accelerator programs. An inventor and advocate for innovation and research in Africa. With Moving and Passing, a multidisciplinary project that combines performance, sports and culture, artist Marc Bamuthi Joseph invites immigrant youth to join soccer clinics and writing workshops. (Photo: Joan Osato) Susan Emmett (USA) Ear surgeon US public health expert and ear surgeon studying global hearing health disparities in 15 countries and Indigenous groups around the world, in an effort to fight preventable hearing loss Mennat El Ghalid (France | Egypt) Mycologist Egyptian microbiologist studying fungal infections in humans, in an effort to discover their causes and develop new treatments and cofounder of ConScience, a nonprofit dedicated to science education. Victoria Forster (UK | Canada) Cancer researcher UK scientist researching new treatments for pediatric cancer, drawing on her own experience with leukemia to investigate the devastating side effects of current therapies Mike Gil (USA) Marine biologist + science advocate US marine biologist who studies the way reef fish communicate — and what these social interactions mean for the future of our coral reefs. Robert Hakiza (DRC | Uganda) Urban refugee expert Congolese cofounder of the Young African Refugees for Integral Development (YARID), which empowers refugees and builds community through vocational education, English classes, access to sports and computer literacy skills. Miho Janvier (France) Solar storm scientist French astrophysicist who works to predict “space weather” by studying the nature of solar flares and space storms, and how they impact planetary environments in our solar system and beyond. Astrophysicist Miho Janvier researches solar flares — the extreme bursts of radiation from the sun’s surface pictured here — and what they might mean for possible interstellar travel. (Photo: Solar Dynamics Observatory, NASA) Saran Kaba Jones (Liberia | USA) Clean water advocate Liberian founder and CEO of FACE Africa, which strengthens water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) infrastructure in rural communities in Sub-Saharan Africa through the establishment of community-based WA[...]



TED Prize winner Sarah Parcak unearths ancient mysteries on “60 Minutes”

2017-05-25T14:56:39Z

What’s the best way to find something lost on the ground, like a historical site from a civilization lost to time? For archaeologist Sarah Parcak, the answer’s obvious — from way up above, using satellites, of course. As a space archaeologist, she’s mapped the lost city of Tanis (of Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark […]What’s the best way to find something lost on the ground, like a historical site from a civilization lost to time? For archaeologist Sarah Parcak, the answer’s obvious — from way up above, using satellites, of course. As a space archaeologist, she’s mapped the lost city of Tanis (of Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark fame) and identified thousands of other potential ancient sites in Iceland, Europe and across North Africa — and now she’s letting everyone in on the fun with her $1 million TED Prize wish, GlobalXplorer. To get an up-close introduction to the revolutionary techniques of space archaeology, 60 Minutes joined Parcak at her tomb excavation site in Lisht, Egypt, a village 40 minutes south of Cairo with a history dating back more than 4,000 years. When they arrived, the biggest find of the season had just been unearthed — a hand, and a piece of stone tablet describing a powerful man, inscribed with one name: Intef. Interestingly, the slab is damaged in a way that hints it might have been intentionally desecrated. “Did he step on too many people on his way to the top?” Parcak speculates. “Who was this guy? What did he do?” “But that’s what makes archeology interesting,” says Parcak. “It’s like you’re reading the ancient version of the National Enquirer in slow time.” Yet, ironically, archaeologists like Sarah are in a perpetual race against time — hoping to find and secure ancient sites before they can be looted.   So far, less than 10% of the Earth has been explored and secured by archeologists, leaving many sites vulnerable to looting. For instance, after the Arab Spring in 2011, hundreds of ancient sites and antiquities in Egypt were left unprotected and open for pillage. Looking at satellite images, Parcak was able to identify some 800 places where looters were digging into unprotected tombs to bring out antiquities for sale. When they saw the satellite evidence of looting, the Egyptian government asked Parcak to excavate Intef’s tomb at Lisht, to preserve and protect what remains. This isn’t a new development — looting, says Parcak, has been going on for thousands of years, at a cost to history that’s priceless. “The most important thing for archeological discovery is context,” she tells 60 Minutes. “That’s why for us, as archeologists, looting is such a huge problem. Because when an object is taken out of its original context, we don’t know where it comes from. We can’t tell you anything about it aside from, ‘Well, it’s a mummy, or, ‘It’s a statue.’ But that’s kind of it. The story doesn’t get told.” Which is why Parcak is so excited about GlobalXplorer, which lets thousands of people help pore over satellite maps together to find potentially historic sites — which local governments can then help secure for future generations to learn from. Join her and thousands of other citizen scientists (now scouring Peru) in the fight to protect history and our global heritage. src="https://embed.ted.com/talks/sarah_parcak_help_discover_ancient_ruins_before_it_s_too_late" width="585" height="329" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen> [...]



Filmmaker Jen Brea gets a Sundance fellowship, Pamela Ronald makes the case for engineered rice, and more

2017-05-19T17:27:28Z

Behold, your recap of TED-related news: A new Sundance grant helps indie films get seen. Making a film is hard enough — but getting the film seen by an audience can be just as difficult, especially in this era of non-stop media shifts. To help, Sundance just launched the Creative Distribution Fellowship — and among […] Behold, your recap of TED-related news: A new Sundance grant helps indie films get seen. Making a film is hard enough — but getting the film seen by an audience can be just as difficult, especially in this era of non-stop media shifts. To help, Sundance just launched the Creative Distribution Fellowship — and among the first recipients is TED Fellow Jennifer Brea, whose documentary Unrest premiered at Sundance in January 2017. The fellowship offers resources, support and mentorship to find creative new ways to reach audiences. In the press release, Keri Putnam, executive director of Sundance, said: “This entrepreneurial approach to marketing, distribution and audience building empowers independent filmmakers to release their own films, on their own terms, while retaining their rights.” (Watch Jen’s TED Talk) Dance that’s accessible to all. Wayne McGregor has partnered with Sense, a charity that supports people who are deafblind or have sensory impairments, to create an “educational dance resource … to make dance and movement classes accessible to people with disabilities.” Making Sense of Dance, available free online, is a downloadable booklet and videos with lessons, ideas and games to help people lead movement sessions for people of all abilities. (Watch Wayne’s TED Talk) The case for engineering rice. Growing rice can be a gamble, especially in the face of climate change-induced droughts. That’s why Pamela Ronald and her lab at UC Davis are engineering rice to be more resilient, in hopes of safeguarding the crop against droughts while protecting food security and the livelihood of farmers who could be devastated by climate change in southeast Asia and sub-saharan Africa. Ronald continues to emphasize the importance of using genetic tools to protect both crops and people. “This focus on genes in our food is a distraction from the really, really important issues,” she told the MIT Technology Review. “We need to make policy based on evidence, and based on a broader understanding of agriculture. There are real challenges for farmers, and we need to be united in using all appropriate technologies to tackle these challenges.” (Watch Pamela’s TED Talk) How to prepare workers for global trade. As trade becomes more globalized, with production scattered across many countries, how should we educate our kids in the skills they will need? That’s the focus of the OECD’s Skills Outlook 2017 report: it suggests that nations around the world should focus on diversifying their population’s skills, to gain advantage in globalized industries. “Countries increasingly compete through the skills of their workers. When workers have a mix of skills that fit with the needs of technologically advanced industries, specialising in those industries means a comparative advantage,” explains the OECD’s Andreas Schleicher. (Watch Andreas’ TED Talk) New additions to the Academy of Sciences. Three of our TEDsters have just been elected to the National Academy of Sciences! Sangeeta Bhatia, Esther Duflo and Gabriela González have all been recognized for “distinguished and continuing achievements in original research.” Bhatia is the director of MIT’s Laboratory for Multiscale Regenerative Technologies, which engineers nanotechnologies to improve human health. Also hailing from MIT, as the co-founder and co-director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL), Esther Duflo aims to eradi[...]



We asked 3 experts: How will AI change our lives in the near future?

2017-05-17T11:43:30Z

Imagine a world where your car drives itself, your fridge does the grocery shopping, and robots work alongside you. Rapid advances in artificial intelligence are turning that world into a near-future possibility. But what will that future really look like, and how will it change our lives? We spoke with three artificial intelligence experts at […] Imagine a world where your car drives itself, your fridge does the grocery shopping, and robots work alongside you. Rapid advances in artificial intelligence are turning that world into a near-future possibility. But what will that future really look like, and how will it change our lives? We spoke with three artificial intelligence experts at TED2017 in Vancouver, at a dinner on the future of AI, hosted by Toyota. Here are their thoughts on how AI will change our lives in the coming years: When we talk about AI transforming our lives, what will that really look like? How will it change life as we know it? One of the more transformative changes I see coming is the mobility network: an internet of “physical” things, if you will. Everything is going to be able to move around the world autonomously, and we’re going to see an incredible number of different services running on this network. — Michael Hanuschik, CEO of a stealth-mode startup AI will continue to provide a set of tools to people that expand their horizons and enhance their ability to work and play. — Janet Baker, founder of Dragon Systems Do you think AI will help people make decisions and enhance our lives, or are we basically programming ourselves into oblivion? What will the role of humans become in the future? I certainly don’t believe we’ll program ourselves into oblivion any time soon. AIs are specialized tools. Very powerful tools, but tools nonetheless. AIs are great at making statistical guesses based on enormous data sets, but they have no real understanding or comprehension of the tasks they are performing. — Hanuschik Powerful technologies will be used and abused. Sophisticated AI-based technology for pattern recognition can be used to recognize the words we speak, faces in crowds, cancer cells in images, or protective radar signal analysis. It can also enable the automated surveillance of vast quantities of audio and visual materials, and unprecedented profiling and tracking through the collection and convergence of personal data. We must be aware and take active roles in advancing our capabilities and protecting ourselves from harm––including the harm from escalating prejudices we foster by isolating ourselves from differing ideas (e.g., with polarized news feeds) and productive discourse about them.  — Baker AI will enhance and augment the human experience. Historically, humans have formed strong bonds — even relationships — with their automobiles (machines). The bond between humans and human-support robots may well prove to be even stronger. — James Kuffner, roboticist and CTO at Toyota Research Institute There’s a lot of talk about how AI will affect the workplace. Do you think robots will take our jobs, or free us to perform new ones? Jobs based on fairly simple and repetitive tasks will probably continue to disappear, but anything more complex is likely to be around for quite some time. I haven’t seen evidence that a true AI, with the ability to understand and reason, will be seen in our lifetimes. — Hanuschik This is not a dichotomy. AI will replace workers, including many presently highly paid professionals, and it will provide a means for new jobs. As always, adaptation is the key for survival and success. — Baker Humans and robots working together, each with their own strengths, will be more productive and more efficient than eithe[...]



In memory of Benjamin Barber

2017-05-09T19:15:05Z

Nation states are failing miserably on some of the more urgent global challenges of the modern age — especially climate change, predatory capitalism, terrorism and forced migration. Nations are increasingly closed, parochial and outdated, slow to respond to the pressures of a fast changing world. The three and a half long century experiment is rapidly coming […]Benjamin Barber spoke at TED Global 2013. Photo by James Duncan Davidson. Nation states are failing miserably on some of the more urgent global challenges of the modern age — especially climate change, predatory capitalism, terrorism and forced migration. Nations are increasingly closed, parochial and outdated, slow to respond to the pressures of a fast changing world. The three and a half long century experiment is rapidly coming to an end. The good news is that cities are stepping-up to fill the gap. And not a moment too soon. Mayors of some of the world’s largest cities are agitating for a new urban agenda. And while many nation states succumb to reactionary nationalism and dangerous populism, more and more cities are calling for openness, interdependency and pluralism. Every once in a while a scholar comes along who predicts the big trends before the rest of us. Benjamin Barber was such a person. His 2013 TED talk — Why Mayors Should Rule the World — was a clarion call to action. It also led, late last year, to the creation of the world’s first Global Parliament of Mayors which today empowers city leaders from around the world not just to talk about our problems, but to deliver solutions. Benjamin was a democratic futurist. His thinking was big, bold, and bombastic. His 1984 Strong Democracy: Politics for a New Age — urged readers to embrace the politics of the local. His celebrated Jihad versus McWorld came out six years before 9/11. And his most recent books — If Mayors Ruled the World (2013) and Cool Cities (2017) — are manifestos for a progressive politics of urban governance. Benjamin was an indefatigable urban activist. He did more than shout from the rooftops. He got down into the trenches and led the way. Benjamin spent the better part of the past decade recruiting mayors to the cause. He convinced them that cities don’t just have the responsibility to confront our most urgent global challenges, but the right to do so. He radiated optimism and suffered no fools. Benjamin was a fighter to the end. His last tweet in April ended with a reference to #globalcities and #localresistance to Trump. His life embodies all that is great about TED — the sharing of transformation ideas and the conviction to see them put into the service of the public good. He will be dearly missed, though his tireless efforts to build a better world will live on in his words and deeds. Benjamin Barber died of pancreatic cancer at age 77 on April 24, 2017.  [...]



A celebrated building turns 50…and other TED news

2017-05-05T21:02:16Z

Behold, your recap of TED-related news: Habitat turns 50! First conceptualized in 1961 as part of architect Moshe Safdie’s thesis at McGill University, Habitat 67 has gone on to inspire several generations of architects. Combining high-rise living with community connection, Habitat’s concrete cluster of homes challenged the contemporary notions of apartment complexes and Brutalist architecture. […] Behold, your recap of TED-related news: Habitat turns 50! First conceptualized in 1961 as part of architect Moshe Safdie’s thesis at McGill University, Habitat 67 has gone on to inspire several generations of architects. Combining high-rise living with community connection, Habitat’s concrete cluster of homes challenged the contemporary notions of apartment complexes and Brutalist architecture. Each of the 354 concrete boxes maintains an individual feel while stacking on top of each other to create an elaborate frame of community housing. Habitat was exhibited at Montreal’s 1967 World Expo when Safdie was just 28. Fifty years later, Safdie still feels “as though it was built yesterday.” (Watch Moshe’s TED Talk) Panama Papers project nabs Pulitzer. Published a year ago, the Panama Papers have sparked outrage and global investigations into offshore tax havens and national political leaders. On April 10, they also sparked praise, winning a Pulitzer Prize in Explanatory Reporting. The ICIJ, the consortium of reporters who led the global effort to unpack the trove of data, were commended by the Prize Board for their collaborative feat, using 400 journalists from six continents to coordinate reporting on the largest data leak in history. “We believe collaboration is the wave of the future in global journalism,” said the director of the ICIJ, Gerard Ryle. (Watch Gerard’s TED Talk) Racial bias may begin earlier than we thought. Kang Lee and his colleagues published two studies providing evidence that racial bias may emerge as early as six months old. In the first of two separate experiments, Lee and his team examined whether infants ranging from three-to-ten months would associate happy or sad music with same-race faces and other-race faces. They found that, starting at six-to-nine months of age, infants exhibited a racial bias, looking longer at other-race faces when they heard sad music and same-race faces when they heard happy music. The second experiment examined how race impacted gaze following when infants were learning under uncertainty. In this experiment, six-to-eight month old infants were shown a series of videos. In the video, an adult looked at one of the four corners of the screen. In some cases, an animal appeared in the gazed at corner (a reliable gaze) and in others, the animal appeared in a different corner (unreliable gaze). The babies again exhibited a racial bias, preferring to follow a same-race gaze even when it was unreliable. While racial bias was previously thought to start later in a child’s development, these studies show an earlier adoption and that it can originate without experiences with people of other races. Lee explains that, “If we can pinpoint the starting point of racial bias, which we may have done here, we can start to find ways to prevent racial biases from happening.” (Watch Kang’s TED Talk) A “game changing” diagnostic tool. Pardis Sabeti and her team have adapted the CRISPR protein Cas13a into a highly sensitive diagnostic tool that can be programmed to detect individual nucleic acids. This new method, called SHERLOCK (Specific High-sensitivity Enzymatic Reporter unlocking) targets RNA molecules with a sensitivity a million times greater than the previous method. This sensitivity allows for an astoun[...]



In Case You Missed It: The themes that echoed through TED2017

2017-04-30T15:31:02Z

Over the past five days, the TED2017 conference has explored the theme “The Future You.” This has spanned an incredible number of ideas on a huge array of topics. Below, a tour through some of the key themes that emerged — through the week and in the double-stuffed session of day 5. All eyes on […]On Day 5 of TED2017, one two-hour session included a in-depth conversation with Elon Musk and a powerful talk from writer Anne Lamott. The themes they shared echoed throughout the conference. Photo: Marla Aufmuth / TED Over the past five days, the TED2017 conference has explored the theme “The Future You.” This has spanned an incredible number of ideas on a huge array of topics. Below, a tour through some of the key themes that emerged — through the week and in the double-stuffed session of day 5. All eyes on AI. How will artificial intelligence reshape our world? TED2017 brought many answers. The conference kicked off with a dance between a robot and human, followed by chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov’s call to add human purpose and passion to intelligent machines’ ability to calculate and parse. Then, in a session called “Our Robotic Overlords,” Noriko Arai showed the secrets of an AI that can pass a college entrance exam, Joseph Redmon revealed an algorithm (called YOLO) that lets AI identify objects accurately, Stuart Russell outlined a plan for aligning AI values with our own, and Radhika Nagpal imagined AI based on the collective intelligence of schools of fish. Later on, Martin Ford warned that, with AI mastering the ability to learn, humans are headed toward a future without work — which will require radical adjustments in society. And Robin Hanson brought us to a trippy possible future where “ems,” emulations or uploaded human minds, run the world. The need to erase the boundary between ‘me’ and ‘us.’ Some cultures worship many gods, others one. Us? We worship the self, said Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks — we think in terms of self-realization and partake in “that newest religious ritual: the selfie.” Sacks challenged us to replace the word ‘self’ with the word ‘other’ and see what happens. “The only people that will save us from ourselves is we.” That thought boomeranged through the week. His Holiness Pope Francis delivered a beautiful message of solidarity: “If there is an ‘us,’ there is a revolution.” Anna Rosling Rönnlund took us to “Dollar Street,” where the world’s poorest people live on the left and the richest on the right. “The person staring back at us from the other side of the world actually looks like you,” she said. Luma Mufleh shared her experience coaching a soccer team for refugee students in Georgia, and how she wished everyone people could stop seeing these young people as others to keep out and embrace them as they rebuild their lives with determination, resilience and joy. In a scathing look at ageism, Ashton Applewhite pointed out, “All prejudice relies on ‘othering.’” Finally, Jim Yong Kim, president of the World Bank, summed it up this way: “The Future You will depend on how much The Future Us brings opportunity to every child on Earth.” The future is now. Want a robotic dog that can deliver packages and fetch you a soda? Marc Raibert showed it to us. Waiting for your personal flying machine? Todd Reichert demoed the Kitty Hawk Flyer, a 254-pound personal electric aircraft, and Richard Browning showed us an IronMan-like suit designed for hovering. Meanwhile, Elon Musk said that the future of Earthly transportation isn’t above our heads, but below our feet, and talked about building a high-speed tunnel network under Lo[...]



The future us: The talks of Session 11 of TED2017

2017-05-01T06:48:44Z

In the final session of TED2017, we look ahead to the future we’ll build together. Below, recaps of the talks from Session 11, in chronological order. A design renaissance for our apps. “There’s a hidden goal driving all of our technology, and that goal is the race for our attention.” says Tristan Harris. He would know; he […]Kelly Stoetzel and Chris Anderson invite all the TED2017 speakers back onstage to close out TED2017: The Future You, April 28, 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Photo: Bret Hartman / TED In the final session of TED2017, we look ahead to the future we’ll build together. Below, recaps of the talks from Session 11, in chronological order. A design renaissance for our apps. “There’s a hidden goal driving all of our technology, and that goal is the race for our attention.” says Tristan Harris. He would know; he used to work in Stanford’s Persuasive Technology Lab, studying firsthand how tech engineers are using psychology to steer our thoughts. From Facebook notifications to Snapchat streaks to YouTube autoplays, technology orchestrates our time and attention for its own profit. But what if our phones “empower[ed] us to live out the timeline we want?” Harris calls for a “design renaissance,” one in which our apps encourage us to spend our time in a way compatible with what we want out of life. Imagine if instead of just commenting on a controversial Facebook post, you had the option to click a “Host a dinner” button in which you could have the same conversation but in person and over a meal. Harris believes that fixing the way our technology guides our thoughts and behavior is “critical infrastructure for solving every other problem. There’s nothing in your life or in our collective problems that does not require our ability to be able to put our attention where we care about.” Jim Yong Kim speaks at TED2017, April 28, 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Photo: Marla Aufmuth / TED A global convergence of aspirations. Jim Yong Kim wrote a book he describes as “a 500-page diatribe against the World Bank.” Today, he’s the president of it. This isn’t as crazy as it sounds — he was nominated for the role because of his critiques, and he’s given it a central goal to end extreme poverty by 2030 and boost shared prosperity around the world. Why? Because everywhere he travels, he sees the same thing: kids gathered around a smartphone. Access to the internet has led to increases in reported satisfaction — but it also ups people’s reference income, or the income to which they compare themselves. Globally, this is leading to a convergence of aspirations. “Are we going to have a situation where aspirations are connected to opportunity?” he asks. “Or are aspirations going to meet frustration?” The World Bank is aiming for the former. “We’re trying to use tools … that rich people use every single day to make themselves richer, but that we haven’t used adequately on behalf of the poor.” They’re aiming to de-risk investment in developing countries, to boost private capital going to them. This has led to a company scaling solar energy in Zambia, so the price for a kilowatt hour dropped from 25 to 4 cents. And to another using drones to deliver blood anywhere in Rwanda in an hour — saving lives while making money. This kind of thinking could have a big effect, he says. Kim grew up in South Korea, one of the poorest countries in the world at the time, and the World Bank expressed low aspirations for it.[...]



12 things I know for sure: Anne Lamott speaks at TED2017

2017-04-28T21:51:23Z

Author Anne Lamott recently turned 61. So she’s compiled the following list of “every single true thing I know.” A brief recap: All truth is a paradox. “Life is a precious unfathomably beautiful gift, and it is impossible here,” she says. Life is “filled with heartbreaking sweetness and beauty, floods and babies and acne and Mozart, […]Anne Lamott speaks at TED2017, April 28, 2017, Vancouver, BC, Canada. Photo: Marla Aufmuth / TED Author Anne Lamott recently turned 61. So she’s compiled the following list of “every single true thing I know.” A brief recap: All truth is a paradox. “Life is a precious unfathomably beautiful gift, and it is impossible here,” she says. Life is “filled with heartbreaking sweetness and beauty, floods and babies and acne and Mozart, all swirled together.” . “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes.” That includes you. . Nothing outside of you will help you in any real, lasting way. Radical self-care is the only thing that will get you through. It’s hard to admit, but it’s true, and it works the other way around too. “If it is someone else’s problem, you probably don’t have the solution,” she says. . “Everyone is screwed up, broken, clingy and scared. Everyone, even the people who seem to have it most together.” So don’t compare your insides to someone else’s outsides, she warns. . “Chocolate with 75% cacao is not actually a food. Its best use is as bait in snake traps or to balance the legs on wobbly chairs.” . Every writer puts down terrible first drafts. The trick is that they commit to sticking with it. They take it Bird by Bird, her father’s advice that became the heart of her bestselling book. “Every story you own is yours. If people wanted you to write more warmly about them, they should have behaved better,” she says. “You are going to feel like hell if you never write the stuff that is tugging on the sleeves of your heart — your stories, visions, memories, visions and songs. Your truth, your version of things, your own voice. That is really all you have to offer us. And that’s also why you were born.” . Creative success are “something you have to recover from. They will hurt, damage and change you in ways you cannot imagine.” And that brings us back to #1, because creative success is also amazing. “It is a miracle to get your work published,” she says. “Just try to bust yourself gently of the fantasy that publication will heal you, will fill the Swiss cheesey holes inside you. It can’t. It won’t.” . Families are both astonishing and hard. Again reference #1. “Earth is forgiveness school,” she says. “It begins with forgiving yourself — then you might as well start at the dinner table.” . Speaking of food: try to do a little better. “I think you know what I mean.” . Grace is a powerful thing. “Grace is Spiritual WD-40 or water wings,” she says. “The mystery of grace is that God loves Henry Kissinger and Vladimir Putin and me exactly as much as He or She loves your new grandchild.” Grace doesn’t always come in the forms you expect. Lamott sees it most in laughter. “Laughter really is carbonated holiness,” she says. “It helps us breathe again and again, and gives us back to ourselves.” . God isn’t that scary. Rather than getting trapped in the mundanity of our own lives, she tells us to “go look up.” Now. “My pastor says you can trap bees on the floor of a Mason jar without a lid, because they don&#[...]



What will the future look like? Elon Musk speaks at TED2017

2017-05-01T06:48:34Z

In conversation with TED’s Head Curator Chris Anderson, serial entrepreneur and future-builder Elon Musk discusses his new project digging tunnels under LA, Hyperloop, Tesla, SpaceX and his dreams for what the world could look like. Below, highlights from the conversation. Why are you boring? “We’re trying to dig a hole under LA, and this is to […] src="https://embed.ted.com/talks/elon_musk_the_future_we_re_building_and_boring" width="586" height="330" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen> In conversation with TED’s Head Curator Chris Anderson, serial entrepreneur and future-builder Elon Musk discusses his new project digging tunnels under LA, Hyperloop, Tesla, SpaceX and his dreams for what the world could look like. Below, highlights from the conversation. Why are you boring? “We’re trying to dig a hole under LA, and this is to create the beginning of what will be a 3D network of tunnels to alleviate congestion,” Musk says, describing the work of his new project, The Boring Company. Musk shows a video of what this system could look like, with an electric car-skate attached to an elevator from street level that brings your car vertically underground into a tunnel. There’s no speed limit in the tunnel — and the car-skates are being designed to achieve speeds of 200 km/h, or about 130 mph. “You should be able to get from Westwood to LAX in 5-6 minutes,” Musk says. Why aren’t flying cars a better solution? “I do rockets, so I like things that fly,” Musk says. “There’s a challenge of flying cars in that they’ll be quite noisy. If something’s flying over your head, a whole bunch of flying cars going all over the place, that is not an anxiety-reducing situation … You’ll be thinking, ‘Did they service their hubcap, or is it going to come off and guillotine me?'” How will these tunnels tie in with Hyperloop? The Hyperloop test track is the second biggest vacuum chamber in the world, smaller only than the Large Hadron Collider, Musk says. The proposed transportation system would propel people and freight in pod-like vehicles in a vacuum, and tunnels end up being great for creating vacuum. “We’re cautiously optimistic that it’ll be faster than the world’s fastest bullet train, even over a .8-mile stretch,” Musk says of Hyperloop. What’s happening at Tesla? Tesla Model 3 is coming in July, Musk says, and it’ll have a special feature: autopilot. Using only passive optical cameras and GPS, no LIDAR, the Model 3 will be capable of autonomous driving. “Once you solve cameras for vision, autonomy is solved; if you don’t solve vision, it’s not solved … You can absolutely be superhuman with just cameras.” Musk says that Tesla is on track for completing a fully autonomous, cross-country LA to New York trip by the end of 2017. “November or December of this year, we should be able to go from a parking lot in California to a parking lot in New York, no controls touched at any point during the entire journey,” Musk says. More news from Tesla: a semi truck, which Musk reveals with a teaser photo. It’s a heavy-duty, long-range semi meant to alleviate heavy-duty trucking. “With the Tesla Semi, we want to show that an electric truck actually can out-torque any diesel semi. If you had a tug of war competition, the Tesla Semi will tug the diesel semi uphill,” Musk says. And it’s nimble — it can be d[...]



A beer exchange that spanned the globe

2017-04-28T19:23:59Z

During the International Beer Exchange held on Day 2 of TEDFest, a screening event for TEDx’ers in New York City, bottles were lined up side by side like passengers on the subway during morning rush hour. A pale ale from Vail stood tall next to a stout from Kentucky that had been aged in oak […]A highlight of TEDFest — a beer exchange between members of the TEDx community. Photo: David Rosenberg / TED During the International Beer Exchange held on Day 2 of TEDFest, a screening event for TEDx’ers in New York City, bottles were lined up side by side like passengers on the subway during morning rush hour. A pale ale from Vail stood tall next to a stout from Kentucky that had been aged in oak bourbon barrels. They were flanked by a beer made from seawater, another that had been infused with coffee, as well as a group of lagers, pilsners and stouts. The beer exchange was a little bit like TEDFest itself: attended by 500 TEDx organizers from more than 60 countries. Attendees packed a table inside St. Ann’s Warehouse with beer from countries including Mexico, Germany, Argentina, Japan, France, Ireland and Aruba. Organizers were allowed to choose one beer for every bottle they brought, and when the time came to make the exchange, many took their time, studying what was available before carefully making the final decision. (For attendees who don’t drink alcohol, candy and other goodies were also exchanged.) Since they weren’t allowed to drink on site, whether they were satisfied with their selections would be discussed later. At the TEDx beer exchange, if you brought a beer, you got to take a beer. Photo: David Rosenberg / TED Some brought individual bottles, some brought six-packs — all left happy. Photo: David Rosenberg /TED The beer exchange is a fitting illustration of how, even though members of this community live in 60 countries, they have quite a lot in common. Photo: David Rosenberg / TED [...]



The TED2017 film festival: Shorts from the conference

2017-05-06T19:55:28Z

TED is about speakers stepping on a stage and sharing an idea in 18 minutes or less. But throughout our annual conference, short films play a vital part in the program too — opening sessions and providing moments of pause, reflection and laughter between talks. The short films shown during the conference are selected by Anyssa […]Every year at TED, we curate a program of short films to play between speakers and set the mood. The massive screens in the TED2017 theater made for spectacular viewing. What we’re looking at here is our opening video, created by Alec Donovan. Photo: Marla Aufmuth/TED TED is about speakers stepping on a stage and sharing an idea in 18 minutes or less. But throughout our annual conference, short films play a vital part in the program too — opening sessions and providing moments of pause, reflection and laughter between talks. The short films shown during the conference are selected by Anyssa Samari and Jonathan Wells, who talk to filmmakers and scour the internet year-round to find the right pieces. “We’re looking for artful treatments of topics,” says Samari. “The films we show are usually around 60 seconds, so it has to communicate an idea visually in a small fraction of time.” Below, the short films that showed over the course of TED2017.   class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='586' height='360' src='http://www.youtube.com/embed/jkBb7dePIL8?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;'> The short: Desiigner’s “PANDA” featuring Taylor Hatala & Kyndall Harris. A duo of teenage dance prodigies slay a hip-hop performance. The creators: Directed by Tim Milgram. Choreography by Antoine Troupe. Shown during: Session 1, “One Move Ahead”   class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='586' height='360' src='http://www.youtube.com/embed/VXa9tXcMhXQ?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;'> The short: Kraftwerk’s “The Robots.” The classic 1977 video from the band that blazed the trail in electronic music. The creators: Kraftwerk Shown during: Session 2, “Our Robotic Overlords”   class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='586' height='360' src='http://www.youtube.com/embed/AWJJnQybZlk?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;'> The short: “Laws of Robotics.” The legendary sci-fi writer’s words prove eerily relevant in our debates on artificial intelligence today. The creators: BBC Horizon Shown during: Session 2, “Our Robotic Overlords”   class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='586' height='360' src='http://www.youtube.com/embed/ABz2m0olmPg?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent' allowfullscreen='true' style='border:0;'> The short: “Kenzo World.” A woman lets her inner dance machine lose in this viral Kenzo fragrance ad. The creators: Directed by Spike Jonze Shown during: Session 3, “The Human Response”   class='youtube-player' type='text/html' width='586' height='360' src='http://www.youtube.com/embed/UlP4Z_pWhKo?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1[...]