With his signature charm and searching insight, David Whyte meditates on the frontiers of the past, present and future, sharing two poems inspired by his niece's hike along El Camino de Santiago de Compostela in Spain.
Algorithms decide who gets a loan, who gets a job interview, who gets insurance and much more -- but they don't automatically make things fair. Mathematician and data scientist Cathy O'Neil coined a term for algorithms that are secret, important and harmful: "weapons of math destruction." Learn more about the hidden agendas behind the formulas.
"Music is everywhere, and it is in everything," says musician, student and TED-Ed Clubs star Anika Paulson. Guitar in hand, she plays through the beats of her life in an exploration of how music connects us and makes us what we are.
It's not the passage of time that makes it so hard to get older. It's ageism, a prejudice that pits us against our future selves -- and each other. Ashton Applewhite urges us to dismantle the dread and mobilize against the last socially acceptable prejudice. "Aging is not a problem to be fixed or a disease to be cured," she says. "It is a natural, powerful, lifelong process that unites us all."
The Italian island of Sardinia has more than six times as many centenarians as the mainland and ten times as many as North America. Why? According to psychologist Susan Pinker, it's not a sunny disposition or a low-fat, gluten-free diet that keeps the islanders healthy -- it's their emphasis on close personal relationships and face-to-face interactions. Learn more about super longevity as Pinker explains what it takes to live to 100 and beyond.
How smart can our machines make us? Tom Gruber, co-creator of Siri, wants to make "humanistic AI" that augments and collaborates with us instead of competing with (or replacing) us. He shares his vision for a future where AI helps us achieve superhuman performance in perception, creativity and cognitive function -- from turbocharging our design skills to helping us remember everything we've ever read and the name of everyone we've ever met. "We are in the middle of a renaissance in AI," Gruber says. "Every time a machine gets smarter, we get smarter."
When Richard J. Berry, the mayor of Albuquerque, saw a man on a street corner holding a cardboard sign that read "Want a job," he decided to take him (and others in his situation) up on it. He and his staff started a citywide initiative to help the homeless by giving them day jobs and a place to sleep -- and the results were incredible. Find out how your city can replicate Albuquerque's model with this frank and optimistic talk.
More than half of the world's population already lives in cities, and another 2.5 billion people are projected to move to urban areas by 2050. The way we build new cities will be at the heart of so much that matters, from climate change to economic vitality to our very well-being and sense of connectedness. Peter Calthorpe is already at work planning the cities of the future and advocating for community design that's focused on human interaction. He shares seven universal principles for solving sprawl and building smarter, more sustainable cities.
It's been a weird 100 years for artists and creators, says musician and entrepreneur Jack Conte. The traditional ways we've turned art into money (like record sales) have been broken by the internet, leaving musicians, writers and artists wondering how to make a living. With Patreon, Conte has created a way for artists on the internet to get paid by their fans. Could payment platforms like this change what it means to be an artist in the digital age?
When artist Damon Davis went to join the protests in Ferguson, Missouri, after police killed Michael Brown in 2014, he found not only anger but also a sense of love for self and community. His documentary "Whose Streets?" tells the story of the protests from the perspective of the activists who showed up to challenge those who use power to spread fear and hate.
Anjan Chatterjee uses tools from evolutionary psychology and cognitive neuroscience to study one of nature's most captivating concepts: beauty. Learn more about the science behind why certain configurations of line, color and form excite us in this fascinating, deep look inside your brain.
Each year, one in seven large corporations commits fraud. Why? To find out, Alexander Wagner takes us inside the economics, ethics and psychology of doing the right thing. Join him for an introspective journey down the slippery slopes of deception as he helps us understand why people behave the way they do.
Do you sometimes have your most creative ideas while folding laundry, washing dishes or doing nothing in particular? It's because when your body goes on autopilot, your brain gets busy forming new neural connections that connect ideas and solve problems. Learn to love being bored as Manoush Zomorodi explains the connection between spacing out and creativity.
Behold the microscopic jungle in and around you: tiny organisms living on your cheeks, under your sofa and in the soil in your backyard. We have an adversarial relationship with these microbes -- we sanitize, exterminate and disinfect them -- but according to microbiologist Anne Madden, they're sources of new technologies and medicines waiting to be discovered. These microscopic alchemists aren't gross, Madden says -- they're the future.
Harvard Law professor Ronald Sullivan fights to free wrongfully convicted people from jail -- in fact, he has freed some 6,000 innocent people over the course of his career. He shares heartbreaking stories of how (and why) people end up being put in jail for something they didn't do, and the consequences in their lives and the lives of others. Watch this essential talk about the duty we all have to make the world a bit more fair every day, however we can.
In 2002, the Colombian guerrilla movement known as the FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) kidnapped Ingrid Betancourt in the middle of her presidential campaign. For the next six years, Betancourt was held hostage in jungle prison camps where she was ravaged by malaria, fleas, hunger and human cruelty until her rescue by the Colombian government. In this deeply personal talk, the politician turned writer explains what it's like to live in a perpetual state of fear -- and how her faith sustained her. (In Spanish with English subtitles)
Ten years ago, researchers thought that getting a computer to tell the difference between a cat and a dog would be almost impossible. Today, computer vision systems do it with greater than 99 percent accuracy. How? Joseph Redmon works on the YOLO (You Only Look Once) system, an open-source method of object detection that can identify objects in images and video -- from zebras to stop signs -- with lightning-quick speed. In a remarkable live demo, Redmon shows off this important step forward for applications like self-driving cars, robotics and even cancer detection.
Meet Françoise Mouly, The New Yorker's art director. For the past 24 years, she's helped decide what appears on the magazine's famous cover, from the black-on-black depiction of the Twin Towers the week after 9/11 to a recent, Russia-influenced riff on the magazine's mascot, Eustace Tilley. In this visual retrospective, Mouly considers how a simple drawing can cut through the torrent of images that we see every day and elegantly capture the feeling (and the sensibility) of a moment in time.
Loneliness doesn't always stem from being alone. For architect Grace Kim, loneliness is a function of how socially connected we feel to the people around us -- and it's often the result of the homes we live in. She shares an age-old antidote to isolation: cohousing, a way of living where people choose to share space with their neighbors, get to know them, and look after them. Rethink your home and how you live in it with this eye-opening talk.
Artist Titus Kaphar makes paintings and sculptures that wrestle with the struggles of the past while speaking to the diversity and advances of the present. In an unforgettable live workshop, Kaphar takes a brush full of white paint to a replica of a 17th-century Frans Hals painting, obscuring parts of the composition and bringing its hidden story into view. There's a narrative coded in art like this, Kaphar says. What happens when we shift our focus and confront unspoken truths?
That science fiction future where robots can do what people and animals do may be closer than you think. Marc Raibert, founder of Boston Dynamics, is developing advanced robots that can gallop like a cheetah, negotiate 10 inches of snow, walk upright on two legs and even open doors and deliver packages. Join Raibert for a live demo of SpotMini, a nimble robot that maps the space around it, handles objects, climbs stairs -- and could soon be helping you out around the house.
Should your driverless car kill you if it means saving five pedestrians? In this primer on the social dilemmas of driverless cars, Iyad Rahwan explores how the technology will challenge our morality and explains his work collecting data from real people on the ethical trade-offs we're willing (and not willing) to make.
Corals in the Pacific Ocean have been dying at an alarming rate, particularly from bleaching brought on by increased water temperatures. But it's not too late to act, says TED Fellow Kristen Marhaver. She points to the Caribbean -- given time, stable temperatures and strong protection, corals there have shown the ability to survive and recover from trauma. Marhaver reminds us why we need to keep working to protect the precious corals we have left. "Corals have always been playing the long game," she says, "and now so are we."
Do your kidneys have a sense of smell? Turns out, the same tiny scent detectors found in your nose are also found in some pretty unexpected places -- like your muscles, kidneys and even your lungs. In this quick talk (filled with weird facts), physiologist Jennifer Pluznick explains why they're there and what they do.
Jimmy Lin is developing technologies to catch cancer months to years before current methods. He shares a breakthrough technique that looks for small signals of cancer's presence via a simple blood test, detecting the recurrence of some forms of the disease 100 days earlier than traditional methods. It could be a ray of hope in a fight where early detection makes all the difference.
Born with a genetic visual impairment that has no correction or cure, Susan Robinson is legally blind (or partially sighted, as she prefers it) and entitled to a label she hates: "disabled." In this funny and personal talk, she digs at our hidden biases by explaining five ways she flips expectations of disability upside down.
The divisiveness plaguing American politics today is nothing new, says constitutional law scholar Noah Feldman. In fact, it dates back to the early days of the republic, when a dispute between Alexander Hamilton and James Madison led the two Founding Fathers to cut ties and form the country's first political parties. Join Feldman for some fascinating history of American factionalism -- and a hopeful reminder about how the Constitution has proven itself to be greater than partisanship.
Why do so many companies make bad decisions, even with access to unprecedented amounts of data? With stories from Nokia to Netflix to the oracles of ancient Greece, Tricia Wang demystifies big data and identifies its pitfalls, suggesting that we focus instead on "thick data" -- precious, unquantifiable insights from actual people -- to make the right business decisions and thrive in the unknown.
Right now, billions of neurons in your brain are working together to generate a conscious experience -- and not just any conscious experience, your experience of the world around you and of yourself within it. How does this happen? According to neuroscientist Anil Seth, we're all hallucinating all the time; when we agree about our hallucinations, we call it "reality." Join Seth for a delightfully disorienting talk that may leave you questioning the very nature of your existence.
Climate change is real, case closed. But there's still a lot we don't understand about it, and the more we know the better chance we have to slow it down. One still-unknown factor: How might clouds play a part? There's a small hope that they could buy us some time to fix things ... or they could make global warming worse. Climate scientist Kate Marvel takes us through the science of clouds and what it might take for Earth to break its own fever.