Thousands of languages thrive across the globe, yet modern speech technology -- with all of its benefits -- supports just over a hundred. Computational linguist Kalika Bali dreams of a day when technology acts as a bridge instead of a barrier, working passionately to build new and inclusive systems for the millions who speak low-resource languages. In this perspective-shifting talk, she outlines what happens when a language is omitted from the digital landscape -- and what can be gained when...
Biodesigner Natsai Audrey Chieza prototypes the future, imagining a world where people and nature can thrive together. In this wildly imaginative talk, she shares the vision behind her innovation lab, which works at the intersection of nature, technology and society to create sustainable materials and models for the future. Chieza invites us to consider what kind of world we wish for -- and what systemic changes and collaborations need to happen for it to exist.
The single most important thing for avoiding a climate disaster is cutting carbon pollution from the current 51 billion tons per year to zero, says philanthropist and technologist Bill Gates. Introducing the concept of the "green premium" -- the higher price of zero-emission products like electric cars, artificial meat or sustainable aviation fuel -- Gates identifies the breakthroughs and investments we need to reduce the cost of clean tech, decarbonize the economy and create a pathway to a...
Documentary photographer Olivia Arthur has been exploring a new frontier: the evolution of the blurring line between humanity and technology. In this meditative talk, she shows her work documenting the remarkable ways humans have merged with machines -- from bionics and motorized limbs to synthetic muscles and strikingly realistic robots -- and offers wisdom on the complexity, adaptability and resilience of the human body.
Jamila Gordon believes in the power of human connection -- and artificial intelligence -- to help people who might otherwise be left behind. Telling the story of her own path from refugee to global tech executive, she shows how AI is helping refugees, migrants and those from disadvantaged backgrounds find jobs and develop the skills they need to work effectively and safely.
Artificial intelligence is all around us ... and the future will only bring more of it. How can we ensure the AI systems we build are responsible, safe and sustainable? Ethical AI expert Genevieve Bell shares six framing questions to broaden our understanding of future technology -- and create the next generation of critical thinkers and doers.
What is a weapon in the Information Age? From microscopic "smart dust" tracking devices to DNA-tracing tech and advanced facial recognition software, journalist Sharon Weinberger leads a hair-raising tour through the global, unregulated bazaar of privatized mass surveillance. To rein in this growing, multibillion-dollar marketplace that often caters to customers with nefarious intents, Weinberger believes the first step is for governments to classify surveillance tools as dangerous and...
Biodiversity is the key to life on Earth and reviving our damaged planet, says ecologist Thomas Crowther. Sharing the inside story of his headline-making research on reforestation, which led to the UN's viral Trillion Trees Campaign, Crowther introduces Restor: an expansive, informative platform built to enable anyone, anywhere to help restore the biodiversity of Earth's ecosystems.
People around the world are demanding clean air -- and cities are starting to respond, says electrification advocate Monica Araya. She takes us on a world tour of urban areas that are working to fully electrify their transportation systems over the next decade, shifting to emission-free motorcycles, cars, buses, ferries and beyond. See what a future without the internal combustion engine could look like -- and what it will take to get there.
Could we exit our solar system, and enter another? Astrophysicist Philip Lubin discusses the awesome potential of using lasers to propel small spacecraft, enabling humanity's first interstellar missions. Learn how this transformative technology could help us reach Proxima Centauri, the nearest star to our own -- and fundamentally alter our understanding of the universe along the way.
Can technology create a democracy that's fast, fair ... and even fun? Digital minister Audrey Tang shares how Taiwan avoided a COVID-19 shutdown in early 2020 through innovations like developing apps to map mask availability, crowdsourcing ideas that could become laws and creating a "humor over rumor" campaign to combat disinformation with comedy. (This virtual conversation, hosted by TED science curator David Biello and current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers, was recorded June 1,...
Karen DeSalvo, the chief health officer at Google, explains the partnership between big tech and public health in slowing the spread of COVID-19 -- and discusses a new contact tracing technology recently rolled out by Google and Apple that aims to ease the burden on health workers and provide scientists critical time to create a vaccine. (This virtual conversation, hosted by current affairs curator Whitney Pennington Rodgers and head of TED Chris Anderson, was recorded on May 27, 2020.)
As you age, you gradually lose the ability to refocus your eyes -- a phenomenon as old as humanity itself -- leading to a reliance on bifocals, contacts and procedures like LASIK surgery. Electrical engineer Nitish Padmanaban offers a glimpse of cutting-edge tech that's truly a sight for sore eyes: dynamic, autofocusing lenses that track your sight and adjust to what you see, both near and far.
Before the coronavirus pandemic, bioengineer Jim Collins and his team combined the power of AI with synthetic biology in an effort to combat a different looming crisis: antibiotic-resistant superbugs. Collins explains how they pivoted their efforts to begin developing a series of tools and antiviral compounds to help fight COVID-19 -- and shares their plan to discover seven new classes of antibiotics over the next seven years. (This ambitious plan is part of The Audacious Project, TED's...
Looking to put your skills to use to fight the pandemic? Consider joining The Global Hack, a virtual hackathon designed to rapidly develop solutions to the coronavirus crisis. Designer and technologist Marko Russiver shares the motivation behind a movement looking to help people build post-pandemic resilience. (This virtual conversation is part of the TED Connects series, hosted by head of curation Helen Walters. Recorded April 8, 2020)
The world is more connected than ever, but some communities are still cut off from vital resources like electricity and health care. In this solution-oriented talk, activist Johanna Figueira discusses her work with Code for Venezuela -- a platform that gathers technologists to address Venezuela's needs for information and medical supplies -- and shares ideas for how it could be used as a model to help other communities in need.
To work safely, self-driving cars must avoid obstacles -- including those just out of sight. And for this to happen, we need technology that sees better than humans can, says electrical engineer David Lindell. Buckle up for a quick, groundbreaking tech demo as Lindell explains the significant and versatile potential of a high-speed camera that can detect objects hidden around corners.
How comfortable are you with robots taking over your life? Covering a wide range of potential applications -- from the mundane (robot house cleaner) to the mischievous (robot sex partner) to the downright macabre (uploading your brain to live on after death) -- technology strategist Lucy Farey-Jones shares data-backed evidence of how our willingness to accept AI may be radically changing.
What if the government ran more like Silicon Valley? Engineer Matt Cutts shares why he decided to leave Google (where he worked for nearly 17 years) for a career in the US government -- and makes the case that if you really want to make an impact, go where your help is needed most.
"Full access to a person's phone is the next best thing to full access to a person's mind," says cybersecurity expert Eva Galperin. In an urgent talk, she describes the emerging danger of stalkerware -- software designed to spy on someone by gaining access to their devices without their knowledge -- and calls on antivirus companies to recognize these programs as malicious in order to discourage abusers and protect victims.
"Complete silence is very addictive," says Rebecca Knill, a writer who has cochlear implants that enable her to hear. In this funny, insightful talk, she explores the evolution of assistive listening technology, the outdated way people still respond to deafness and how we can shift our cultural understanding of ability to build a more inclusive world. "Technology has come so far," Knill says. "Our mindset just needs to catch up."
The world's most valuable tech companies profit from the personal data you generate. So why aren't you getting paid for it? In this eye-opening talk, entrepreneur and technologist Jennifer Zhu Scott makes the case for private data ownership -- which would empower you to donate, destroy or sell your data as you see fit -- and shows how this growing movement could put power (and cash) back into the hands of people.
Take a trip down the microworld as roboticists Paul McEuen and Marc Miskin explain how they design and mass-produce microrobots the size of a single cell, powered by atomically thin legs -- and show how these machines could one day be "piloted" to battle crop diseases or study your brain at the level of individual neurons.
What if we could "grow" clothes from microbes, furniture from living organisms and buildings with exteriors like tree bark? TED Fellow Suzanne Lee shares exciting developments from the field of biofabrication and shows how it could help us replace major sources of waste, like plastic and cement, with sustainable and eco-friendly alternatives.