"“I will breathe. I will think of solutions. I will not let my worry control me. I will not let my stress level break me.” – Shayne McClendon "
Your right to mental privacy in the age of brain-sensing tech | Nita Farahany
Neurotechnology, or devices that let you track your own brain activity, could help you deeply understand your health. But without privacy protections, your innermost thoughts, emotions and desires could be at risk of exploitation, says neurotech and AI ethicist Nita Farahany. She details some of the field's promising potential uses -- like tracking and treating diseases from depression to epilepsy -- and shares reasonable concern over who collects our brain data and how they plan to use it, ultimately calling for the legal recognition of "cognitive liberty": the right to protect our mental privacy, freedom of thought and self-determination as we navigate the blurring line between the human body and brain wearables.
The dinosaur detectives of real-life Jurassic parks | Martin Lockley
Dinosaur tracks can teach us more about the day-to-day behavior of creatures like T. rex or the Stegosaurus than their skeletons ever could, says paleontologist Martin Lockley. From a "dinosaur's lover's lane" in Colorado to the rocky shores of South Korea, Lockley explores what we can learn from the traces of some of the most impressive creatures ever to walk the Earth.
Are life-saving medicines hiding in the world's coldest places? | Normand Voyer
Could the next wonder drug be somewhere in Canada's snowy north? Take a trip to this beautiful, frigid landscape as chemist Normand Voyer explores the mysterious molecular treasures found in plants thriving in the cold. These scarcely investigated organisms could hold immense medical promise, he says – so long as we work quickly enough to discover them.
A foster care system where every child has a loving home | Sixto Cancel
In the US, youth in foster care are nearly twice as likely as war veterans to suffer from PTSD. Placed in foster care at just 11 months old, 2023 Audacious Project grantee Sixto Cancel experienced the faults of the system firsthand. Now, he's the founder of Think of Us, an organization working to reform child welfare by centering kinship care, or placing a child with an extended family member or a familiar adult. Learn more about his plan to help thousands of kids searching for a loving home with one simple, systemic switch. (This ambitious idea is a part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change.)
Is someone you love suffering in silence? Here's what to do | Gus Worland
Lots of people talk about the need to be physically fit, but mentally fit? Not as much. In a powerful talk, mental health advocate Gus Worland shares how an experience of deep grief from his own life sparked his mission to advocate for suicide prevention -- and shows why "looking after your own village" can be as simple as sending a text message, right now, to the person you cannot imagine living without.
The timeless, ancient language of art | Wangechi Mutu
Using found materials and mesmerizing structures that unearth deep-rooted emotions, Wangechi Mutu's visual creations celebrate our collective history and explore how art communicates into the future. From ancient rock carvings in the Sahel to her own chimeric abstractions, she shares her journey of self-discovery and reminds us all that we already speak the most ancient language of all.
The incredible creativity of deepfakes -- and the worrying future of AI | Tom Graham
AI-generated media that looks and sounds exactly like the real world will soon permeate our lives. How should we prepare for it? AI developer Tom Graham discusses the extraordinary power of this rapidly advancing technology, demoing cutting-edge examples -- including real-time face swaps and voice cloning -- live from the TED stage. In conversation with head of TED Chris Anderson, Graham digs into the creative potential of this hyperreal content (often referred to as "deepfakes") as well as its risk for exploitation and the new legal rights we'll need in order to maintain control over our photorealistic AI avatars.
What makes a "good college" -- and why it matters | Cecilia M. Orphan
Why are "good colleges" often the ones that accept the fewest students? Exposing the harmful consequences of society's obsession with highly rejective (and expensive) universities, educator Cecilia M. Orphan asks us to rethink what makes institutions "prestigious" and consider directing funds and attention to where they're needed most: regional public universities that serve all students. A call for schools to be judged by the opportunities they create -- not the ones they stifle.
Lessons from losing my mind | Andy Dunn
Neurodiversity and innovation often go hand in hand, but does that mean visionary entrepreneurs get a free pass to say and do anything they want? Bonobos founder and mental health advocate Andy Dunn shares his experience navigating bipolar I in the midst of running a successful startup, offering lessons learned on his journey to wellness and steps to create a future where everyone is able to "dream crazy dreams" -- while being held accountable.
3 ways your money can fight climate change | Veronica Chau
What if we could solve the climate and housing crises at the same time? Financial institutions have pledged trillions to transform the economy and accelerate climate action -- but right now, that money is not flowing at the speed it needs to, says sustainable investing expert Veronica Chau. Illuminating the links between climate change and affordable housing, she suggests a playbook of moves to start mobilizing big money and transform climate financing challenges into opportunities.
What the world can learn from China's innovation playbook | Keyu Jin
In the last few decades, China has gone from technological scarcity to abundance. What sparked this shift? Economist Keyu Jin explores how China has fostered a model of innovation unlike any other and shows why understanding its competitive, collaborative approach could benefit the world -- and perhaps demystify some contradictions.
The urgent risks of runaway AI -- and what to do about them | Gary Marcus
Will truth and reason survive the evolution of artificial intelligence? AI researcher Gary Marcus says no, not if untrustworthy technology continues to be integrated into our lives at such dangerously high speeds. He advocates for an urgent reevaluation of whether we're building reliable systems (or misinformation machines), explores the failures of today's AI and calls for a global, nonprofit organization to regulate the tech for the sake of democracy and our collective future. (Followed by a Q&A with head of TED Chris Anderson)
Does working hard really make you a good person? | Azim Shariff
Around the world, people who work hard are often seen as morally good -- even if they produce little to no results. Social psychologist Azim Shariff analyzes the roots of this belief and suggests a shift towards a more meaningful way to think about effort, rather than admiring work for work's sake.
How "second chance" laws could transform the US justice system | Sheena Meade
More than 30 million people in the US are eligible to have their arrest and conviction records cleared -- but most people who qualify either can't afford it or simply don't know it's an option. In this gripping talk, second chance advocate and 2023 Audacious Project grantee Sheena Meade makes the case for "clean slate" laws that streamline this complicated process, increasing access to work, housing and education opportunities for millions of people. Learn how her team at the Clean Slate Initiative has already helped pass these laws in six US states and how they're now working to unlock record clearance for millions more, so everyone can get a true shot at becoming their best selves. (This ambitious plan is a part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change.)
The disappearing computer -- and a world where you can take AI everywhere | Imran Chaudhri
In this exclusive preview of groundbreaking, unreleased technology, former Apple designer and Humane cofounder Imran Chaudhri envisions a future where AI enables our devices to "disappear." He gives a sneak peek of his company's new product -- shown for the first time ever on the TED stage -- and explains how it could change the way we interact with tech and the world around us. Witness a stunning vision of the next leap in device design.