In this passionate talk, legendary spacecraft designer Burt Rutan lambasts the US government-funded space program for stagnating and asks entrepreneurs to pick up where NASA has left off.
New York Times columnist David Pogue takes aim at technology’s worst interface-design offenders, and provides encouraging examples of products that get it right. To funny things up, he bursts into song.
Inventor Dean Kamen lays out his argument for the Segway and offers a peek into his next big ideas (portable energy and water purification for developing countries).
Tech enthusiast Kevin Kelly asks "What does technology want?" and discovers that its movement toward ubiquity and complexity is much like the evolution of life.
In 2006, open-learning visionary Richard Baraniuk explains the vision behind Connexions (now called OpenStax), an open-source, online education system. It cuts out the textbook, allowing teachers to share and modify course materials freely, anywhe...
Jimmy Wales recalls how he assembled "a ragtag band of volunteers," gave them tools for collaborating and created Wikipedia, the self-organizing, self-correcting, never-finished online encyclopedia.
Inventor, entrepreneur and visionary Ray Kurzweil explains in abundant, grounded detail why, by the 2020s, we will have reverse-engineered the human brain and nanobots will be operating your consciousness.
Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the MIT Media Laboratory, describes how the One Laptop Per Child project will build and distribute the "$100 laptop."
Oxford philosopher and transhumanist Nick Bostrom examines the future of humankind and asks whether we might alter the fundamental nature of humanity to solve our most intrinsic problems.
Inventor and MacArthur fellow Saul Griffith shares some innovative ideas from his lab -- from "smart rope" to a house-sized kite for towing large loads.
Accepting his 2005 TED Prize, inventor Robert Fischell makes three wishes: redesigning a portable device that treats migraines, finding new cures for clinical depression and reforming the medical malpractice system.
Jeff Han shows off a cheap, scalable multi-touch and pressure-sensitive computer screen interface that may spell the end of point-and-click.
Chris Anderson, then the editor of Wired, explores the four key stages of any viable technology: setting the right price, gaining market share, displacing an established technology and, finally, becoming ubiquitous.
Worldchanging.com founder Alex Steffen argues that reducing humanity’s ecological footprint is incredibly vital now, as the western consumer lifestyle spreads to developing countries.
Scientific discoveries, futurist Juan Enriquez notes, demand a shift in code, and our ability to thrive depends on our mastery of that code. Here, he applies this notion to the field of genomics.
Inventor Dean Kamen previews the prosthetic arm he’s developing at the request of the US Department of Defense. His quiet commitment to using technology to solve problems -- while honoring the human spirit -- has never been more clear.
MIT professor Neil Gershenfeld talks about his Fab Lab -- a low-cost lab that lets people build things they need using digital and analog tools. It's a simple idea with powerful results.
The dot-com boom and bust is often compared to the Gold Rush. But Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos says it's more like the early days of the electric industry.
IDEO's David Kelley says that product design has become much less about the hardware and more about the user experience. He shows video of this new, broader approach, including footage from the Prada store in New York.
Treo creator Jeff Hawkins urges us to take a new look at the brain -- to see it not as a fast processor, but as a memory system that stores and plays back experiences to help us predict, intelligently, what will happen next.
"I don't think we're going to make it," John Doerr says in an emotional talk about climate change and investment. To create a world fit for his daughter to live in, he says, we need to invest now in clean, green energy.
Blaise Aguera y Arcas leads a dazzling demo of Photosynth, software that could transform the way we look at digital images. Using still photos culled from the Web, Photosynth builds breathtaking dreamscapes and lets us navigate them.
Anand Agarawala presents BumpTop, a user interface that takes the usual desktop metaphor to a glorious, 3-D extreme, transforming file navigation into a freewheeling playground of crumpled documents and clipping-covered "walls."
Microsoft's Stephen Lawler gives a whirlwind tour of Virtual Earth, moving up, down and through its hyper-real cityscapes with dazzlingly fluidity, a remarkable feat that requires staggering amounts of data to bring into focus.
Researcher Hans Rosling uses his cool data tools to show how countries are pulling themselves out of poverty. He demos Dollar Street, comparing households of varying income levels worldwide. Then he does something really amazing.
Bill Stone, a maverick cave explorer who has plumbed Earth's deepest abysses, discusses his efforts to mine lunar ice for space fuel and to build an autonomous robot for studying Jupiter's moon Europa.
Alan Russell studies regenerative medicine -- a breakthrough way of thinking about disease and injury, using a process that can signal the body to rebuild itself.
In a friendly, high-speed presentation, Will Wright demos his newest game, Spore, which promises to dazzle users even more than his previous masterpieces.
Hod Lipson demonstrates a few of his cool little robots, which have the ability to learn, understand themselves and even self-replicate.
How might the human race end? Stephen Petranek lays out 10 terrible options and the science behind them. Will we be wiped out by an asteroid? Eco-collapse? How about a particle collider gone wild?
Paul MacCready -- aircraft designer, environmentalist, and lifelong lover of flight -- talks about his long career.
Paul Rothemund writes code that causes DNA to arrange itself into a star, a smiley face and more. Sure, it's a stunt, but it's also a demonstration of self-assembly at the smallest of scales -- with vast implications for the future of making things.
Nokia researcher Jan Chipchase's investigation into the ways we interact with technology has led him from the villages of Uganda to the insides of our pockets. He's made some unexpected discoveries along the way.
Juan Enriquez challenges our definition of bioenergy. Oil, coal, gas and other hydrocarbons are not chemical but biological products, based on plant matter -- and thus, growable. Our whole approach to fuel, he argues, needs to change.
Biologist Robert Full shares slo-mo video of some captivating critters. Take a closer look at the spiny legs that allow cockroaches to scuttle across mesh and the nanobristle-packed feet that let geckos to run straight up walls.
Robin Chase founded Zipcar, the world’s biggest car-sharing business. That was one of her smaller ideas. Here she travels much farther, contemplating road-pricing schemes that will shake up our driving habits and a mesh network vast as the Interst...
Educator Roy Gould and researcher Curtis Wong show a sneak preview of Microsoft's WorldWide Telescope, which compiles images from telescopes and satellites to build a comprehensive, interactive view of our universe.
"Can we create new life out of our digital universe?" Craig Venter asks. His answer is "yes" -- and pretty soon. He walks through his latest research and promises that we'll soon be able to build and boot up a synthetic chromosome. NOTE: This talk...
With surprising accuracy, Nicholas Negroponte predicts what will happen with CD-ROMs, web interfaces, service kiosks, the touchscreen interface of the iPhone and his own One Laptop per Child project.
Building sophisticated educational tools out of cheap parts, Johnny Lee demos his cool Wii Remote hacks, which turn the $40 video game controller into a digital whiteboard, a touchscreen and a head-mounted 3-D viewer.
Tod Machover of MIT's Media Lab is devoted to extending musical expression to everyone, from virtuosos to amateurs, and in the most diverse forms, from opera to video games. He and composer Dan Ellsey shed light on what's next.
"Rock-star physicist" Brian Cox talks about his work on the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. Discussing the biggest of big science in an engaging, accessible way, Cox brings us along on a tour of the massive project.
Hector Ruiz, the executive chair of AMD, wants to give Internet access to everyone. In this talk, he shares his extraordinary life story and describes AMD's 50x15 initiative that calls for connecting 50 percent of the world by 2015.
Hacker and writer Joshua Klein is fascinated by crows. (Notice the gleam of intelligence in their little black eyes?) After a long amateur study of corvid behavior, he's come up with an elegant thought experiment: a machine that could form a new b...
Dr. Seyi Oyesola takes a searing look at health care in underdeveloped countries. His photo tour of a Nigerian teaching hospital -- all low-tech hacks and donated supplies -- drives home the challenge of doing basic health care there.
Susan Blackmore studies memes: ideas that replicate themselves from brain to brain like a virus. She makes a bold new argument: Humanity has spawned a new kind of meme, the teme, which spreads itself via technology -- and invents ways to keep itse...
In this prescient 2005 talk, Clay Shirky shows how closed groups and companies will give way to looser networks where small contributors have big roles and fluid cooperation replaces rigid planning.
Historian George Dyson tells stories from the birth of the modern computer -- from its 17th-century origins to the hilarious notebooks of some early computer engineers.
Singer-songwriter Nellie McKay performs the semi-serious song "Clonie" -- about creating the ultimate companion.
Nicholas Negroponte talks about how One Laptop per Child is doing, two years in. Speaking at the EG conference while the first XO laptops roll off the production line, he recaps the controversies and recommits to the goals of this far-reaching pro...
X Prize founder Peter Diamandis talks about how he helped Stephen Hawking fulfill his dream of going to space -- by flying together into the upper atmosphere and experiencing weightlessness at zero g.
Physicist Freeman Dyson suggests that we start looking for life on the moons of Jupiter and out past Neptune, in the Kuiper belt and the Oort cloud. He talks about what such life would be like -- and how we might find it.
Speaking at TED in 1998, Rev. Billy Graham marvels at technology's power to improve lives and change the world -- but says the end of evil, suffering and death will come only after the world accepts Christ. A legendary talk from TED's archives.
At the 2007 EG conference, Kevin Kelly shares a fun stat: The World Wide Web, as we know it, is only 5,000 days old. Now, Kelly asks, how can we predict what's coming in the next 5,000 days?
Researcher Kwabena Boahen is looking for ways to mimic the brain's supercomputing powers in silicon -- because the messy, redundant processes inside our heads actually make for a small, light, superfast computer.
Imagine hearing great, departed pianists play again today, just as they would in person. John Q. Walker demonstrates how recordings can be analyzed for precise keystrokes and pedal motions, then played back on computer-controlled grand pianos.
In 2007, Paul Rothemund gave TED a short summary of his specialty, DNA folding. Now he lays out in clear, abundant detail the immense promise of this field -- to create tiny machines that assemble themselves.
Peter Diamandis says it's our moral imperative to keep exploring space -- and he talks about how, with the X Prize and other incentives, we're going to do just that.
In this absorbing look at emerging media and tech history, Peter Hirshberg shares some crucial lessons from Silicon Valley and explains why the web is so much more than "better TV."
Brewster Kahle is building a truly huge digital library -- every book ever published, every movie ever released, all the strata of web history ... It's all free to the public -- unless someone else gets to it first.
Game designer David Perry says tomorrow's videogames will be more than mere fun to the next generation of gamers. They'll be lush, complex, emotional experiences -- more involving and meaningful to some than real life. With an excerpt from Michael...
The Inventables guys, Zach Kaplan and Keith Schacht, demo some amazing new materials and how we might use them. Look for squishy magnets, odor-detecting ink, "dry" liquid and a very surprising 10-foot pole.
Graham Hawkes takes us aboard his graceful, winged submarines to the depths of planet Ocean (a.k.a. "Earth"). It's a deep blue world we landlubbers rarely see in 3D.
Technologist and futurist Bill Joy talks about several big worries for humanity -- and several big hopes in the fields of health, education and future tech.
Why build a virtual world? Philip Rosedale talks about the virtual society he founded, Second Life, and its underpinnings in human creativity. It's a place so different that anything could happen.
General Motors veep Larry Burns previews cool next-gen car design: sleek, customizable (and computer-enhanced) vehicles that run clean on hydrogen -- and pump energy back into the electrical grid when they're idle.
So the Mars Rovers didn't scoop up any alien lifeforms. Scientist Penelope Boston thinks there's a good chance -- a 25 to 50 percent chance, in fact -- that life might exist on Mars, deep inside the planet's caves. She details how we should look a...
TED follows Nicholas Negroponte to Colombia as he delivers laptops inside territory once controlled by guerrillas. His partner? Colombia's Defense Department, who see One Laptop per Child as an investment in the region. (And you too can get involv...
Paul Moller talks about the future of personal air travel -- the marriage of autos and flight that will give us true freedom to travel off-road. He shows two things he's working on: the Moller Skycar (a jet + car) and a passenger-friendly hovering...
What is genomics? How will it affect our lives? In this intriguing primer on the genomics revolution, entrepreneur Barry Schuler says we can at least expect healthier, tastier food. He suggests we start with the pinot noir grape, to build better w...
We all want to make the world better -- but how? Jamais Cascio looks at some specific tools and techniques that can make a difference. It's a fascinating talk that might just inspire you to act.
Woody Norris shows off two of his inventions that use sound in new ways, including the Long Range Acoustic Device, or LRAD. He talks about his untraditional approach to inventing and education, because, as he puts it: "Almost nothing has been inve...
In this TED archive video from 1998, paralympic sprinter Aimee Mullins talks about her record-setting career as a runner, and about the amazing carbon-fiber prosthetic legs (then a prototype) that helped her cross the finish line.
MIT grad student David Merrill demos Siftables -- cookie-sized, computerized tiles you can stack and shuffle in your hands. These future-toys can do math, play music, and talk to their friends, too. Is this the next thing in hands-on learning?
While the mega-banks were toppling in early 2009, Juan Enriquez took the stage to say: The really big reboot is yet to come. But don't look for it on the stock exchange or the political ballot. It'll come from science labs, and it promises keener ...
Ed Ulbrich, the digital-effects guru from Digital Domain, explains the Oscar-winning technology that allowed his team to digitally create the older versions of Brad Pitt's face for "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button."
In the year leading up to this talk, the web tool Twitter exploded in size (up 10x during 2008 alone). Co-founder Evan Williams reveals that many of the ideas driving that growth came from unexpected uses invented by the users themselves.
This demo -- from Pattie Maes' lab at MIT, spearheaded by Pranav Mistry -- was the buzz of TED. It's a wearable device with a projector that paves the way for profound interaction with our environment. Imagine "Minority Report" and then some.
Athlete, actor and activist Aimee Mullins talks about her prosthetic legs -- she's got a dozen amazing pairs -- and the superpowers they grant her: speed, beauty, an extra 6 inches of height ... Quite simply, she redefines what the body can be.
20 years ago, Tim Berners-Lee invented the World Wide Web. For his next project, he's building a web for open, linked data that could do for numbers what the Web did for words, pictures, video: unlock our data and reframe the way we use it together.
In this brief talk, Saul Griffith unveils the invention his new company Makani Power has been working on: giant kite turbines that create surprising amounts of clean, renewable energy.
In this engaging talk from the EG'08 conference, New York Times tech columnist David Pogue rounds up some handy cell phone tools and services that can boost your productivity and lower your bills (and your blood pressure).
In this powerful talk, P.W. Singer shows how the widespread use of robots in war is changing the realities of combat. He shows us scenarios straight out of science fiction -- that now may not be so fictitious.
Forget about the hybrid auto -- Shai Agassi says it's electric cars or bust if we want to impact emissions. His company, Better Place, has a radical plan to take entire countries oil-free by 2020.
In this prophetic 2003 talk -- just days before Dolly the sheep was stuffed -- biotech ethicist Gregory Stock looked forward to new, more meaningful (and controversial) technologies, like customizable babies, whose adoption might drive human evolu...
At TEDU 2009, Erik Hersman presents the remarkable story of Ushahidi, a GoogleMap mashup that allowed Kenyans to report and track violence via cell phone texts following the 2008 elections, and has evolved to continue saving lives in other countri...
In this short talk from TED U 2009, Brian Cox shares what's new with the CERN supercollider. He covers the repairs now underway and what the future holds for the largest science experiment ever attempted.
Nandan Nilekani, the visionary co-founder of outsourcing pioneer Infosys, explains four brands of ideas that will determine whether India can continue its recent breakneck progress.
Yves Béhar and Forrest North unveil Mission One, a sleek, powerful electric motorcycle. They share slides from distant (yet similar) childhoods that show how collaboration kick-started their friendship -- and shared dreams.
Ray Kurzweil's latest graphs show that technology's breakneck advances will only accelerate -- recession or not. He unveils his new project, Singularity University, to study oncoming tech and guide it to benefit humanity.
Jane Poynter tells her story of living two years and 20 minutes in Biosphere 2 -- an experience that provoked her to explore how we might sustain life in the harshest of environments.
Surgeon and inventor Catherine Mohr tours the history of surgery (and its pre-painkiller, pre-antiseptic past), then demos some of the newest tools for surgery through tiny incisions, performed using nimble robot hands. Fascinating -- but not for ...
(NOTE: This talk was given in 2009, and this field of science has developed quickly since then. Read "Criticisms & updates" below for more details.) Drug-resistant bacteria kills, even in top hospitals. But now tough infections like staph and anth...
The man who helped usher in the environmental movement in the 1960s and '70s has been rethinking his positions on cities, nuclear power, genetic modification and geo-engineering. This talk at the US State Department is a foretaste of his major new...
Daniel Kraft demos his Marrow Miner -- a new device that quickly harvests life-saving bone marrow with minimal pain to the donor. He emphasizes that the adult stem cells found in bone marrow can be used to treat many terminal conditions, from Park...
Janine Benyus has a message for inventors: When solving a design problem, look to nature first. There you'll find inspired designs for making things waterproof, aerodynamic, solar-powered and more. Here she reveals dozens of new products that take...
Eric Giler wants to untangle our wired lives with cable-free electric power. Here, he covers what this sci-fi tech offers, and demos MIT's breakthrough version, WiTricity -- a near-to-market invention that may soon recharge your cell phone, car, p...
David Hanson's robot faces look and act like yours: They recognize and respond to emotion, and make expressions of their own. Here, an "emotional" live demo of the Einstein robot offers a peek at a future where robots truly mimic humans.
Henry Markram says the mysteries of the mind can be solved -- soon. Mental illness, memory, perception: they're made of neurons and electric signals, and he plans to find them with a supercomputer that models all the brain's 100,000,000,000,000 sy...
Computer graphics trailblazer Paul Debevec explains the scene-stealing technology behind Digital Emily, a digitally constructed human face so realistic it stands up to multiple takes.
Reuse of syringes, all too common in under-funded clinics, kills 1.3 million each year. Marc Koska clues us in to this devastating global problem with facts, photos and hidden-camera footage. He shares his solution: a low-cost syringe that can't b...
As globalization and technological advances bring us hurtling towards a new integrated future, Ian Goldin warns that not all people may benefit equally. But, he says, if we can recognize this danger, we might yet realize the possibility of improve...
Venice is sinking. To save it, Rachel Armstrong says we need to outgrow architecture made of inert materials and, well, make architecture that grows itself. She proposes a not-quite-alive material that does its own repairs and sequesters carbon, t...
At TEDIndia, Pranav Mistry demos several tools that help the physical world interact with the world of data -- including a deep look at his SixthSense device and a new, paradigm-shifting paper "laptop." In an onstage Q&A, Mistry says he'll open-so...
Rob Hopkins reminds us that the oil our world depends on is steadily running out. He proposes a unique solution to this problem -- the Transition response, where we prepare ourselves for life without oil and sacrifice our luxuries to build systems...
With new data from the Keck telescopes, Andrea Ghez shows how state-of-the-art adaptive optics are helping astronomers understand our universe's most mysterious objects: black holes. She shares evidence that a supermassive black hole may be lurkin...
Anthony Atala's state-of-the-art lab grows human organs -- from muscles to blood vessels to bladders, and more. At TEDMED, he shows footage of his bio-engineers working with some of its sci-fi gizmos, including an oven-like bioreactor (preheat to ...
Where you live: It impacts your health as much as diet and genes do, but it's not part of your medical records. At TEDMED, Bill Davenhall shows how overlooked government geo-data (from local heart-attack rates to toxic dumpsite info) can mesh with...
Traditional lab tests for disease diagnosis can be too expensive and cumbersome for the regions most in need. George Whitesides' ingenious answer is a foolproof tool that can be manufactured at virtually zero cost.
At TED2010, Bill Gates unveils his vision for the world's energy future, describing the need for "miracles" to avoid planetary catastrophe and explaining why he's backing a dramatically different type of nuclear reactor. The necessary goal? Zero c...
In this wide-ranging, thought-provoking talk, Kevin Kelly muses on what technology means in our lives -- from its impact at the personal level to its place in the cosmos.
Eric Topol says we'll soon use our smartphones to monitor our vital signs and chronic conditions. At TEDMED, he highlights several of the most important wireless devices in medicine's future -- all helping to keep more of us out of hospital beds.
Gary Flake demos Pivot, a new way to browse and arrange massive amounts of images and data online. Built on breakthrough Seadragon technology, it enables spectacular zooms in and out of web databases, and the discovery of patterns and links invis...
At TED2009, Tim Berners-Lee called for "raw data now" -- for governments, scientists and institutions to make their data openly available on the web. At TED University in 2010, he shows a few of the interesting results when the data gets linked up.
Chef Dan Barber squares off with a dilemma facing many chefs today: how to keep fish on the menu. With impeccable research and deadpan humor, he chronicles his pursuit of a sustainable fish he could love, and the foodie's honeymoon he's enjoyed si...
Games like World of Warcraft give players the means to save worlds, and incentive to learn the habits of heroes. What if we could harness this gamer power to solve real-world problems? Jane McGonigal says we can, and explains how.
Soldiers who've lost limbs in service face a daily struggle unimaginable to most of us. At TEDMED, Dean Kamen talks about the profound people and stories that motivated his work to give parts of their lives back with his design for a remarkable pr...
Meet seven all-terrain robots -- like the humanoid, soccer-playing DARwIn and the cliff-gripping CLIMBeR -- built by Dennis Hong's robotics team at RoMeLa, based at Virginia Tech. Watch to the end for the five creative secrets to his lab's success.
Vaccine-autism claims, "Frankenfood" bans, the herbal cure craze: All point to the public's growing fear (and, often, outright denial) of science and reason, says Michael Specter. He warns the trend spells disaster for human progress.
Drugs alone can't stop disease in sub-Saharan Africa: We need diagnostic tools to match. TED Senior Fellow Frederick Balagadde shows how we can multiply the power and availability of an unwieldy, expensive diagnostic lab -- by miniaturizing it to ...
Stephen Wolfram, creator of Mathematica, talks about his quest to make all knowledge computational -- able to be searched, processed and manipulated. His new search engine, Wolfram Alpha, has no lesser goal than to model and explain the physics un...
Simplicity: We know it when we see it -- but what is it, exactly? In this funny, philosophical talk, George Whitesides chisels out an answer.
Anil Gupta is on the hunt for the developing world's unsung inventors -- indigenous entrepreneurs whose ingenuity, hidden by poverty, could change many people's lives. He shows how the Honey Bee Network helps them build the connections they need -...
Nathan Myhrvold and team's latest inventions -- as brilliant as they are bold -- remind us that the world needs wild creativity to tackle big problems like malaria. And just as that idea sinks in, he rolls out a live demo of a new, mosquito-zappin...
Craig Venter and team make a historic announcement: they've created the first fully functioning, reproducing cell controlled by synthetic DNA. He explains how they did it and why the achievement marks the beginning of a new era for science.
Minority Report science adviser and inventor John Underkoffler demos g-speak -- the real-life version of the film's eye-popping, tai chi-meets-cyberspace computer interface. Is this how tomorrow's computers will be controlled?
Nuclear power: the energy crisis has even die-hard environmentalists reconsidering it. In this first-ever TED debate, Stewart Brand and Mark Z. Jacobson square off over the pros and cons. A discussion that'll make you think -- and might even chang...
For the last 12 years, Carter Emmart has been coordinating the efforts of scientists, artists and programmers to build a complete 3D visualization of our known universe. He demos this stunning tour and explains how it's being shared with facilitie...
TED Fellow and urban designer Mitchell Joachim presents his vision for sustainable, organic architecture: eco-friendly abodes grown from plants and -- wait for it -- meat.
Tan Le's astonishing new computer interface reads its user's brainwaves, making it possible to control virtual objects, and even physical electronics, with mere thoughts (and a little concentration). She demos the headset, and talks about its far-...
Arthritis and injury grind down millions of joints, but few get the best remedy -- real biological tissue. Kevin Stone shows a treatment that could sidestep the high costs and donor shortfall of human-to-human transplants with a novel use of anima...
Peter Molyneux demos Milo, a hotly anticipated video game for Microsoft's Kinect controller. Perceptive and impressionable like a real 11-year-old, the virtual boy watches, listens and learns -- recognizing and responding to you.
In this far-seeing talk, Seth Priebatsch shows how game dynamics are reshaping the world -- from a classroom where students "level up" instead of being graded ,to a pervasive game called "happy hour" that you may already be playing. Get ready to m...
TED's Chris Anderson says the rise of web video is driving a worldwide phenomenon he calls Crowd Accelerated Innovation -- a self-fueling cycle of learning that could be as significant as the invention of print. But to tap into its power, organiza...
In this short, amazing demo, Fabian Hemmert imagines one future of the mobile phone -- a shape-shifting and weight-shifting handset that "displays" information nonvisually. It's a delightfully intuitive way to communicate.
At TED@Cannes, Gary Wolf gives a 5-min intro to an intriguing new pastime: using mobile apps and always-on gadgets to track and analyze your body, mood, diet, spending -- just about everything in daily life you can measure -- in gloriously geeky d...
Product designer Eben Bayer reveals his recipe for a new, fungus-based packaging material that protects fragile stuff like furniture, plasma screens -- and the environment.
What's the difference between a pest and a bug? Shimon Steinberg makes the case for using good bugs to fight bad bugs, avoiding chemicals in our quest for perfect produce.
From rockets to stock markets, many of humanity's most thrilling creations are powered by math. So why do kids lose interest in it? Conrad Wolfram says the part of math we teach -- calculation by hand -- isn't just tedious, it's mostly irrelevant ...
No one knows exactly how many landmines still litter the world, but it's safe to say: millions, waiting to kill and maim unsuspecting civilians. Clearing them is slow, expensive and dangerous. The founder of Apopo, Bart Weetjens, talks about his e...
Working with a team of physicists, Dr. Deborah Rhodes developed a new tool for tumor detection that's 3 times as effective as traditional mammograms for women with dense breast tissue. The life-saving implications are stunning. So why haven't we h...
Medical scans can produce thousands of images for a single patient in seconds, but how do doctors know what's useful? Scientific visualization expert Anders Ynnerman shows us sophisticated new tools -- like virtual autopsies -- for analyzing our d...
Cynthia Breazeal wonders: Why can we use robots on Mars, but not in our living rooms? The key, she says, is in training robots to interact with people. Now she dreams up and builds robots that teach, learn -- and play. Watch for amazing demo foota...
As web companies strive to tailor their services (including news and search results) to our personal tastes, there's a dangerous unintended consequence: We get trapped in a "filter bubble" and don't get exposed to information that could challenge ...
Eythor Bender of Berkeley Bionics brings onstage two amazing exoskeletons, HULC and eLEGS -- robotic add-ons that could one day allow a human to carry 200 pounds without tiring, or allow a wheelchair user to stand and walk. It's a powerful onstage...
When first discovered in 2010, the Stuxnet computer worm posed a baffling puzzle. Beyond its sophistication loomed a more troubling mystery: its purpose. Ralph Langner and team helped crack the code that revealed this digital warhead's final targe...
Sebastian Thrun helped build Google's amazing driverless car, powered by a very personal quest to save lives and reduce traffic accidents. Jawdropping video shows the DARPA Challenge-winning car motoring through busy city traffic with no one behin...
The nerve disease ALS left graffiti artist TEMPT paralyzed from head to toe, forced to communicate blink by blink. In a remarkable talk at TEDActive, entrepreneur Mick Ebeling shares how he and a team of collaborators built an open-source inventio...
Software developer Mike Matas demos the first full-length interactive book for the iPad -- with clever, swipeable video and graphics and some very cool data visualizations to play with. The book is "Our Choice," Al Gore's sequel to "An Inconvenien...
Fiorenzo Omenetto shares 20+ astonishing new uses for silk, one of nature's most elegant materials -- in transmitting light, improving sustainability, adding strength and making medical leaps and bounds. On stage, he shows a few intriguing items m...
Using robotics, laser rangefinders, GPS and smart feedback tools, Dennis Hong is building a car for drivers who are blind. It's not a "self-driving" car, he's careful to note, but a car in which a non-sighted driver can determine speed, proximity ...
Physicists are used to the idea that subatomic particles behave according to the bizarre rules of quantum mechanics, completely different to human-scale objects. In a breakthrough experiment, Aaron O'Connell has blurred that distinction by creatin...
It's been 25 years since the first PC virus (Brain A) hit the net, and what was once an annoyance has become a sophisticated tool for crime and espionage. Computer security expert Mikko Hyppönen tells us how we can stop these new viruses from thre...
We live in a world run by algorithms, computer programs that make decisions or solve problems for us. In this riveting, funny talk, Kevin Slavin shows how modern algorithms determine stock prices, espionage tactics, even the movies you watch. But,...
Plenty of robots can fly -- but none can fly like a real bird. That is, until Markus Fischer and his team at Festo built SmartBird, a large, lightweight robot, modeled on a seagull, that flies by flapping its wings. A soaring demo fresh from TEDGl...
Many of us have a social media presence -- a virtual personality made up of status updates, tweets and connections, stored in the cloud. Adam Ostrow asks a big question: What happens to that personality after you've died? Could it ... live on?
What if every light bulb in the world could also transmit data? At TEDGlobal, Harald Haas demonstrates, for the first time, a device that could do exactly that. By flickering the light from a single LED, a change too quick for the human eye to det...
MIT researcher Skylar Tibbits works on self-assembly -- the idea that instead of building something (a chair, a skyscraper), we can create materials that build themselves, much the way a strand of DNA zips itself together. It's a big concept at ea...
Every new invention changes the world -- in ways both intentional and unexpected. Historian Edward Tenner tells stories that illustrate the under-appreciated gap between our ability to innovate and our ability to foresee the consequences.
Less than 10% of plastic trash is recycled -- compared to almost 90% of metals -- because of the massively complicated problem of finding and sorting the different kinds. Frustrated by this waste, Mike Biddle has developed a cheap and incredibly e...
How can we begin to understand the way the brain works? The same way we begin to understand a city: by making a map. In this visually stunning talk, Allan Jones shows how his team is mapping which genes are turned on in each tiny region, and how i...
The next big shift is now, and it's not what you think: Facebook is the new Windows; Google must be sacrificed. Tech investor Roger McNamee presents 6 bold ways to prepare for the next internet.
Kirk Sorensen shows us the liquid fuel thorium reactor -- a way to produce energy that is safer, cleaner and more efficient than current nuclear power.
Cybercrime expert Mikko Hypponen talks us through three types of online attack on our privacy and data -- and only two are considered crimes. "Do we blindly trust any future government? Because any right we give away, we give away for good."
Imagine playing a video game controlled by your mind. Now imagine that game also teaches you about your own patterns of stress, relaxation and focus. Ariel Garten shows how looking at our own brain activity gives new meaning to the ancient dictum ...
From deep in the TED archive, Danny Hillis outlines an intriguing theory of how and why technological change seems to be accelerating, by linking it to the very evolution of life itself. The presentation techniques he uses may look dated, but the...
Could someone hack your pacemaker? Avi Rubin shows how hackers are compromising cars, smartphones and medical devices, and warns us about the dangers of an increasingly hack-able world.
Comic author Rob Reid unveils Copyright Math (TM), a remarkable new field of study based on actual numbers from entertainment industry lawyers and lobbyists.
Imagine a set of electronics as easy to play with as Legos. TED Fellow Ayah Bdeir introduces littleBits, a set of simple, interchangeable blocks that make programming as simple and important a part of creativity as snapping blocks together.
As we expect more from technology, do we expect less from each other? Sherry Turkle studies how our devices and online personas are redefining human connection and communication -- and asks us to think deeply about the new kinds of connection we w...
As you surf the Web, information is being collected about you. Web tracking is not 100% evil -- personal data can make your browsing more efficient; cookies can help your favorite websites stay in business. But, says Gary Kovacs, it's your right t...
How can a super-thin 3-inch disk levitate something 70,000 times its own weight? In a riveting demonstration, Boaz Almog shows how a phenomenon known as quantum locking allows a superconductor disk to float over a magnetic rail -- completely frict...
Autonomous cars are coming -- and they're going to drive better than you. Chris Gerdes reveals how he and his team are developing robotic race cars that can drive at 150 mph while avoiding every possible accident. And yet, in studying the brainwav...
Artist Neil Harbisson was born completely color blind, but these days a device attached to his head turns color into audible frequencies. Instead of seeing a world in grayscale, Harbisson can hear a symphony of color -- and yes, even listen to fac...
Ramesh Raskar presents femto-photography, a new type of imaging so fast it visualizes the world one trillion frames per second, so detailed it shows light itself in motion. This technology may someday be used to build cameras that can look “around...
Videos on the web should work like the web itself: dynamic, full of links, maps and information that can be edited and updated live, says Ryan Merkley. On the TED stage he demos Mozilla's Popcorn Maker, a web-based tool for easy video remixing.
The Internet connects billions of people and machines; it's the backbone of modern life. But tech pioneer Danny Hillis thinks the Internet just wasn't designed to grow this big -- and he fears that one big cyber-attack or glitch could shut it down...
Mark Shaw demos Ultra-Ever Dry, a liquid-repellent coating that acts as an astonishingly powerful shield against water and water-based materials. At the nano level, the spray covers a surface with an umbrella of air so that water bounces right off...
When we drive, we get into a glass bubble, lock the doors and press the accelerator, relying on our eyes to guide us -- even though we can only see the few cars ahead of and behind us. But what if cars could share data with each other about their ...
In our digital world, social relations have become mediated by data. Without even realizing it, we're barricading ourselves against strangeness -- people and ideas that don't fit the patterns of who we already know, what we already like and where ...
Why can't two slices of pizza be used as a slide clicker? Why shouldn't you make music with ketchup? In this charming talk, inventor Jay Silver talks about the urge to play with the world around you. He shares some of his messiest inventions, and ...
Scaremongers play on the idea that robots will simply replace people on the job. In fact, they can become our essential collaborators, freeing us up to spend time on less mundane and mechanical challenges. Rodney Brooks points out how valuable thi...
Apes, dolphins and elephants are animals with remarkable communication skills. Could the internet be expanded to include sentient species like them? A new and developing idea from a panel of four great thinkers -- dolphin researcher Diana Reiss, m...
Months after he was born, in 1948, Ron McCallum became blind. In this charming, moving talk, he shows how he reads -- and celebrates the progression of clever tools and adaptive computer technologies that make it possible. With their help, and the...
A billion people in the world lack access to all-season roads. Could the structure of the internet provide a model for how to reach them? Andreas Raptopoulos of Matternet thinks so. He introduces a new type of transportation system that uses elect...
Everyone's talking about the "Internet of Things," but what exactly does that mean for our future? In this thoughtful talk, economist Marco Annunziata looks at how technology is transforming the industrial sector, creating machines that can see, f...
"The computer is an incredibly powerful means of creative expression," says designer and TED Fellow James Patten. But right now, we interact with computers, mainly, by typing and tapping. In this nifty talk and demo, Patten imagines a more viscera...
Marco Tempest uses charming stagecraft to demo EDI, the multi-purpose robot designed to work very closely with humans. Less a magic trick than an intricately choreographed performance, Tempest shows off the robot’s sensing technology, safety featu...
Lorrie Faith Cranor studied thousands of real passwords to figure out the surprising, very common mistakes that users -- and secured sites -- make to compromise security. And how, you may ask, did she study thousands of real passwords without comp...
MIT Media Lab founder Nicholas Negroponte takes you on a journey through the last 30 years of tech. The consummate predictor highlights interfaces and innovations he foresaw in the 1970s and 1980s that were scoffed at then but are ubiquitous today...
What happens when we teach a computer how to learn? Technologist Jeremy Howard shares some surprising new developments in the fast-moving field of deep learning, a technique that can give computers the ability to learn Chinese, or to recognize obj...
Hooray for technology! It makes everything better for everyone!! Right? Well, no. When a new technology, like ebooks or health trackers, is only available to some people, it has unintended consequences for all of us. Jon Gosier, a TED Fellow and t...
Sending an email message is like sending a postcard, says scientist Andy Yen in this thought-provoking talk: Anyone can read it. Yet encryption, the technology that protects the privacy of email communication, does exist. It's just that until now ...
When a very young child looks at a picture, she can identify simple elements: "cat," "book," "chair." Now, computers are getting smart enough to do that too. What's next? In a thrilling talk, computer vision expert Fei-Fei Li describes the state o...
Greg Gage is on a mission to make brain science accessible to all. In this fun, kind of creepy demo, the neuroscientist and TED Senior Fellow uses a simple, inexpensive DIY kit to take away the free will of an audience member. It's not a parlor tr...
Subtle motion happens around us all the time, including tiny vibrations caused by sound. New technology shows that we can pick up on these vibrations and actually re-create sound and conversations just from a video of a seemingly still object. But...
Our emotions influence every aspect of our lives -- how we learn, how we communicate, how we make decisions. Yet they're absent from our digital lives; the devices and apps we interact with have no way of knowing how we feel. Scientist Rana el Kal...
There's a parallel Internet you may not have run across yet -- accessed by a special browser and home to a freewheeling collection of sites for everything from anonymous activism to illicit activities. Jamie Bartlett reports from the dark net.