Our capacity to partner with biology to make useful things is limited by the tools that we can use to specify, design, prototype, test, and analyze natural or engineered biological systems. However, biology has typically been engaged as a "technology of last resort" in attempts to solve problems that other more mature technologies cannot. This lecture will examine some recent progress on virus genome redesign and hidden DNA messages from outer space, building living data storage, logic, and communication systems, and how simple but old and nearly forgotten engineering ideas are helping make biology easier to engineer.
Paralyzed by a stroke, Henry Evans uses a telepresence robot to take the stage -- and show how new robotics, tweaked and personalized by a group called Robots for Humanity, help him live his life. He shows off a nimble little quadrotor drone, created by a team led by Chad Jenkins, that gives him the ability to navigate space -- to once again look around a garden, stroll a campus ...
David Wood, Catalyst and Futurist at Delta Wisdom, and Chair of London Futurists explains the scope of London Futurists, by briefly describing technology convergence, the technological singularity, and the hybrid age.
Economist Andrew McAfee suggests that, yes, probably, droids will take our jobs -- or at least the kinds of jobs we know now. In this far-seeing talk, he thinks through what future jobs might look like, and how to educate coming generations to hold them.
Andrew McAfee studies how information technology affects businesses and society.
Professor Paul Newman discusses the present and future state of robotics: asking how the state of the discipline measures up to science fiction, and discussing how Robots can learn to navigate our world, with profound consequences for society
Ed Boyden shows how, by inserting genes for light-sensitive proteins into brain cells, he can selectively activate or de-activate specific neurons with fiber-optic implants. With this unprecedented level of control, he's managed to cure mice of analogs of PTSD and certain forms of blindness. On the horizon: neural prosthetics. Session host Juan Enriquez leads a brief post-talk Q&A.
Douglas Linman, PhD., Solar Energy Science Innovator, Founder/Chief Executive, SUNTCO is the pioneer behind the leap in electrochemistry and nano science capturing solar energy in a new way and delivering it as Liquid Power. As its inventor he has become the Father of Solar Liquid Power (SLP). This TEDx talk will be on the state of the art in Nano-Science and how this relatively new science of matter will continue to change the way we live, work and play for the next 100 years.
In this talk, Marc takes us on a journey of how technology as a tool aims at augmenting our basic capabilities to take us to the next human level up. Marc Israel is a high tech guru, passionate about technology and its applications in complimenting our lives. An engineer by profession specialising in robotics, Marc moved to Mauritius 13 years ago after a career as an entrepreneur in France. He is an author of several books on database management, programming and presentation software.
Kicking off the TED2013 conference, Jennifer Granholm asks a very American question with worldwide implications: How do we make more jobs? Her big idea: Invest in new alternative energy sources. And her big challenge: Can it be done with or without our broken Congress?
James Glattfelder studies complexity: how an interconnected system -- say, a swarm of birds -- is more than the sum of its parts. And complexity theory, it turns out, can reveal a lot about how the economy works. Glattfelder shares a groundbreaking study of how control flows through the global economy, and how concentration of power in the hands of a shockingly small number leaves us all vulnerable. (Filmed at TEDxZurich.)
Inspirational futurist Gerd Leonhard delivered a compelling, challenging, and at times chilling glimpse into a possible near future dominated by data, digital dependence and dramatic sociological changes. Over the next ten years, human to machine interfaces will take us far beyond connected fridges, self-parking cars and intelligent wristwatches -- and at an unbelievable pace, as real life begins to outstrip fiction. Artificial intelligence will augment our bodies and extend our personalities into devices as chips as small as 5 nanometres across become fast, cheap and embedded in everything. This is the new version of the internet: the internet of everything with up to 100bn connected devices. We will be living inside a computer -- and our mobile phones will function as an external brain.
Future interfaces will lead to prediction markets, the quantified self, unprecedented access to huge amounts of information, moving from typing to gesturing to going inside a device to pull out data. We can already operate Google glass by blinking -- in the future, thinking will be enough. Used responsibly, this can bring unprecedented benefits, increased efficiency, vastly more comfortable and convenient lifestyles. But there is an equally huge associated risk, as well as the danger of unintended consequences in an age of exponential expansion in connectivity. One simple example is how by leapfrogging over television to YouTube in Indonesia has changed society, changed how people behave, act and think as they have become "more transparent, more digitally naked."
And those risks are nowhere more evident than in the downsides of Big Data. An economy of data, worth up to 15 trillion dollars in new commerce and activities, could trigger #datawars over the power than massive money puts in play -- and pollution in the form of surveillance, lack of trust and flawed privacy. Privacy and security failure is the present as "the power of technology exceeds the scope of ethics". Cloud computing, big data, scanning technologies and other new technologies are running our lives in a deep way. Recent world events make it clear that capturing pretty much everything is technically possible -- yes, we scan, as Gerd punned. And growing awareness of that is set to cost the US, as international companies -- and even countries -- consider putting their clouds, and their business, elsewhere.
Privacy will be the domain of the rich, able to afford encrpyted email and to opt out of permanent surveillance and intrusion. Privacy and trust have been eroded to the extent that police scanning the number plates of passing cars keep that information for up to five years; or bluetooth-enabled rubbish bins connect with mobiles to register anyone walking past. It's all possible; but being able to do it doesn't mean it should be done. Artificial intelligence, M2M communication, the Internet of Things -- none of this might happen unless we can forge new social contracts, ethics, a rule of law that makes us feel safe and lets us work. So what will be important for the industry in this future reality that is already upon us? Trust and ethics are key, according to Gerd. Without establishing a trust framework, no one will survive the next five years. Sector convergence and consumer power are shaping the market. People need to be given control, government laws on copyright and payment must be abandoned. "Forcing people to pay is like forcing people to love. It won't work" -- they will simply migrate to free and more. And telcos are no longer operating in a clear-cut sector, but are instead competing in an arena made of many, and often new, players.
The Long-Term Future of AI (and what we can do about it): Daniel Dewey at TEDxViennaDaniel Dewey is a research fellow in the Oxford Martin Programme on the Impacts of Future Technology at the Future of Humanity Institute, University of Oxford. His research includes paths and timelines to machine superintelligence, the possibility of intelligence explosion, and the strategic and technical challenges arising from these possibilities.
The pace of technological innovation is speeding up at an ever increasing rate. This is bringing unprecedented and incredibly rapid changes to the economy and society at large, particularly in the job market. Automation is removing jobs like never before, while comparatively few new jobs are being created by the new digital economy. This might be one of the greatest challenges that we've ever faced, but it could also represent our biggest opportunity. What can people and companies do right now to avoid being swept away by the exponentially increasing technologies that are coming to the market? What can governments do to provide for their people? What will be the future of work and of society? What will the transition look like, who will benefit from it, and who will be left behind?
Climate engineering-which could slow the pace of global warming by injecting reflective particles into the upper atmosphere-has emerged in recent years as an extremely controversial technology. A leading scientist long concerned about climate change offers a proposal for an easy fix to what is perhaps the most challenging question of our time. After decades during which very little progress has been made in reducing carbon emissions we must put this technology on the table and consider it responsibly.
David Keith is the Gordon McKay Professor of Applied Physics in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) at Harvard University and Professor of Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School.
Visions of the future don't just have to come from science fiction. There's very real technology today giving us clues about how our future lives might be transformed. So what might our future look like? And what does it take for an idea about the future to become a reality? In this hour, TED speakers make some bold predictions and explain how we might live in the future.
Max Tegmark, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Foundational Questions Institute (FQXi), presents a cosmic perspective on the future of life, covering our increasing scientific knowledge, the cosmic background radiation, the ultimate fate of the universe, and what we need to do to ensure the human race's survival and flourishing in the short and long term.
Until recently, the wet lab has been a crucial component of every biologist. Today's advances in the production of massive amounts of data and the creation of machine-learning algorithms for processing that data are changing the face of biological science—making it possible to do real science without a wet lab. David Heckerman shares several examples of how this transformation in the area of genomics is changing the pace of scientific breakthroughs.
As machines take on more jobs, many find themselves out of work or with raises indefinitely postponed. Is this the end of growth? No, says Erik Brynjolfsson -- it's simply the growing pains of a radically reorganized economy. A riveting case for why big innovations are ahead of us ... if we think of computers as our teammates.
Dr. Dickson Despommier was born in New Orleans in 1940, and grew up in California before moving to the New York area, where he now lives and works. He has a PhD in microbiology from the University of Notre Dame. For 27 years, he has conducted laboratory-based biomedical research at Columbia University with NIH-sponsored support. He is now an emeritus professor at Columbia University and adjunct professor at Fordham University. At present, Dr. Despommier is engaged in a project with the mission to produce significant amounts of food crops in tall buildings situated in densely populated urban centers. This initiative has grown in acceptance over the last few years to the point of stimulating planners and developers around the world to incorporate them into their vision for the future city. To date, there are vertical farms up and running in Japan, Korea, Singapore, Seattle, and Chicago, with many more in the planning stage. It is his hope that vertical farming will become commonplace throughout the built environment on a global scale.
Ken Jennings was an anonymous computer programmer in 2004 when his 75-game streak on the quiz show Jeopardy! Made him into a geek folk icon almost overnight. Today, Jennings is freelance writer who celebrates, in the words of Time magazine, "the world of triva...a place where minutiae have paradoxical grandeur and no fact is meaningless."
Szabolcs Kósa's insight:
Ken Jennings shares the story of IBM's Watson AI beating him in Jeopardy and asks some serious questions about knowledge management in the digital age.
Problem: Energy access & climate change Solution: A 100MW compact fusion reactor that runs on plentiful and cheap deuterium and tritium (isotopes of hydrogen). Breakthrough technology: Charles Chase and his team at Lockheed have developed a high beta configuration, which allows a compact reactor design and speedier development timeline (5 years instead of 30).