Do you ever feel extra forgetful? Stress could be the culprit. In a fascinating talk about how your memory works, neuropsychologist Nicole Byers shares the science behind how stress drains your brain's resources, making it harder to remember things and easier to make mistakes. But fear not: she also shares a simple solution to recharge your brain and get your memory back on track.
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Generative AI is poised to transform the workplace, but we still need human brains for new ideas, says marketing expert Jessica Apotheker. She explores how marketers can find their niche in the world of AI based on their preference for data or creativity, offering a pragmatic and hopeful look at the future of business.
Social progress in the United States often seems to take two steps forward and one step back, with hard-fought civil rights wins countered by a seemingly inevitable backlash. In this spirited talk, writer Charles M. Blow makes the case that history, inverted, suggests a potential path forward. It's an unapologetically provocative proposal that Blow thinks just might spark a real shift toward equality in the US.
As the cofounder of Google DeepMind, Shane Legg is driving one of the greatest transformations in history: the development of artificial general intelligence (AGI). He envisions a system with human-like intelligence that would be exponentially smarter than today's AI, with limitless possibilities and applications. In conversation with head of TED Chris Anderson, Legg explores the evolution of AGI, what the world might look like when it arrives — and how to ensure it's built safely and ethically.
US President Joe Biden and President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping recently met in San Francisco. It was the first time Xi had visited the US in six years — and the first time the two leaders had met in person in a year. Geopolitical expert Ian Bremmer explains the implications of the meeting, sharing context and insight on areas where the pair agree -- and flagging key areas where tensions might yet arise. (This conversation with TED's Helen Walters was recorded on November 20, 2023.)
AI could propel the biggest transformation in the history of medicine, says physician-scientist Eric Topol. He explains how sophisticated AI models can interpret medical images as well or better than human experts can — and, beyond that, even pick up things that human eyes can't see. Learn all the ways AI is poised to make a difference for both patients and doctors.
Just weeks before the management shakeup at OpenAI rocked Silicon Valley and made international news, the company's cofounder and chief scientist Ilya Sutskever explored the transformative potential of artificial general intelligence (AGI), highlighting how it could surpass human intelligence and profoundly transform every aspect of life. Hear his take on the promises and perils of AGI — and his optimistic case for how unprecedented collaboration will ensure its safe and beneficial development.
"The world's most important advanced technology is nearly all produced in a single facility," says AI expert Rob Toews. He describes how one company in Taiwan, TSMC, manufactures nearly all the most advanced semiconductor chips — a crucial technology that powers everything from phones to electric vehicles to next-generation artificial intelligence — and breaks down how geopolitical tensions in the region could paralyze the global field of AI.
Your immune system is more socially aware than you think, says social neuroscientist and psychology professor Keely Muscatell. Investigating the interconnectedness of your mood and your inflammatory system, she offers an evolutionary reason as to why being sick may make you feel depressed — and vice versa.
South Africa transitioned to democracy in the 1990s with a visionary constitution, but the promises of that constitution are largely unfulfilled to this day. Public leader Lindiwe Mazibuko explores how poor leadership failed to deliver a better life for the country's citizens — and shares her mission to cultivate a new generation of ethical leaders who can revitalize democracy in South Africa and beyond.
Are you actually bored, or is something else going on? Educator Kevin H. Gary shares three practical takeaways to deal with the doldrums, so you can take control of your attention, figure out which feelings to trust and name the real problem.
You don't need political power to make real change, says activist Katie Fahey. She tells the story of how she led a successful movement in Michigan to end gerrymandering — the practice of drawing district lines to favor one political party — and how it all started with a simple social media post.
Covering global war stories can be hard and thankless — but it's critical work if the rest of us are to understand what's really going on in the world. For nearly two decades, journalist Jane Ferguson has reported on hostilities across Africa and the Middle East, and she's witnessed firsthand the changing face of her profession. Via stories of her own experiences at the heart of complex conflicts, she shares fascinating details of how she and other female colleagues have changed the way that news is captured, shared — and understood.
"Will you forgive me?" asks community leader Sean Goode. He proposes that the promise of forgiveness before wrongdoing — what he calls "unapologetic grace" — can empower people to share their truths and create space to bridge our differences.
As humans live longer than ever before, we need our implants to last as long as we do, says bioengineer Nina Tandon. Using stem cells and digital fabrication, she's working on growing anatomically precise spare parts for the human body, replacing damaged bones, cartilage and more with implants that fit perfectly and hold up for a lifetime.
Photosynthesis is one of the most important processes on the planet, helping produce the food we eat and the air we breathe. Crop scientist Steve Long thinks it could be more efficient — and he's intent on giving it a boost. He shows how hacking photosynthesis could help feed the world all while reducing climate change.
From synthetic embryos to lab-grown skin, we live in a brave new world of stem cell advances. So why can it still take years to recover from injury? Orthopedic surgeon Kevin Stone is working to accelerate the body's healing response so you could recover in a matter of days or weeks, not months or years.
Does confidence equal competence? Not quite. In a talk that will make you better aware of yourself, experimental psychologist Robin Kramer delves into the Dunning-Kruger effect — which argues that those who are least capable often overestimate their skills the most — and explores just how good you are at judging your own abilities.
Clearing tropical forests isn't just dangerous to the natural world — it's also a threat to human health and wellbeing, says physician Neil Vora. Tracing how environmental devastation led to deadly epidemics like Ebola, he presents three ways deforestation unleashes disease and calls on each of us to help preserve the delicate ecological balance we depend upon.
"The fairytale industrial complex has been lying to you," says love coach and podcast host Francesca Hogi. Having spent years talking to thousands of people about their romantic hopes and dreams, she introduces a new possibility for our collective romantic future, one that recognizes that each of us holds the keys to true love within ourselves.
Irina Karamanos Adrian didn't plan on becoming Chile's First Lady — but she set out to transform the role all the same. She shares how she's fighting gender stereotypes and protecting democracy by shifting political power back to where it belongs: to people who were actually elected.
Pharmaceutical companies often only patent drugs they can monetize, creating synthetic versions of remedies already available in nature. In this quick talk, physician and entrepreneur Jeff Chen offers a path to affordable, effective natural medicines — for everyone.
With levity and profound insight, artist Maira Kalman reflects on life, death, dinner parties, not knowing the right answers, the joys of eating a hot dog from a street vendor and more. This talk, interwoven with her delightful paintings, is itself an artwork that seems to hold the entirety of life in all its absurd glory.
Electric vehicles need to be more than just eco-friendly — they have to be more chic, convenient and affordable than their gas-powered alternatives, says sustainability leader Cynthia Williams. She explores what it'll take for an electric revolution to succeed in the US, calling on corporations, policy leaders, investors and more to collaborate in unprecedented ways.
In the US, people spend the overwhelming majority of their time inside buildings that burn fossil fuels, which are bad for both the environment and human health. (Think: breathing in air pollution from gas stoves, furnaces and water heaters.) If we're going to fix this problem, we need to retrofit millions of buildings with all-electric equipment, says energy upgrader Donnel Baird. Hear about his ambitious plan to rip the fossil fuel infrastructure out of aging buildings and upgrade it with smarter, cleaner, healthier technology.
Are you thinking of returning to school? Educator Candice Neveu shares three challenges you might face continuing your education mid-career — and three mindset shifts to speed up your learning, improve your confidence and achieve the results you want.
Competition is a core part of human nature, and it can drive us to extraordinary feats. But when it goes wrong, the results can be devastating. Poker champion and science communicator Liv Boeree introduces us to the dark force of game theory driving many of humanity's biggest social problems — a force that's now threatening to derail the AI industry.
The vast majority of our time at work is spent trudging through redundant and outdated workflows, says operations visionary Salvatore Cali. Laying out the most common time-wasting pitfalls, he urges policy leaders and businesses to reevaluate what they ask of both employees and consumers. "By rethinking the true purpose of each task, you will discover what is waste and what is the real gold of your company: the creation of value," says Cali.
When it comes to technology, we're often presented with two contrasting visions of the future: one where technology fulfills all our desires, and another where it leads to chaos and conflict. Sociologist Ruha Benjamin is here with a more radical vision of the future — one where humanity isn't saved or slayed by technology, but rather uses it to uplift ordinary people and make things like health care and housing for all a reality.
We can produce abundant, sustainable and cheap energy — for everyone, says physicist Julio Friedmann. He explores the infrastructure, innovation and investment needed to supply energy to 10 billion people, offering case studies from Chile's refurbished supply chain, built in partnership with Japan, to Namibia's budding clean hydrogen production, inviting us to envision a greener, more equitably powered world.
The current explosion of exciting commercial and open-source AI is likely to be followed, within a few years, by creepily superintelligent AI – which top researchers and experts fear could disempower or wipe out humanity. Scientist Max Tegmark describes an optimistic vision for how we can keep AI under control and ensure it's working for us, not the other way around.
US Congresswoman Lucy McBath has made it her mission to seek bipartisan solutions for gun safety, leading the way in sponsoring so-called “red flag” laws that prevent gun violence and mass shootings. In a searing and timely talk, she shares the personal story that led her to this work — and a message for why comprehensive, common-sense gun legislation in the US is more urgent than ever.
Drawing on his decades-long mission to formulate the world in computational terms, Stephen Wolfram delivers a profound vision of computation and its role in the future of AI. Amid a debut of mesmerizing visuals depicting the underlying structure of the universe, he provides a sweeping survey of his life's work, offering a new perspective on the applications — and consequences — of AI powered by computational language.
A landfill on fire doesn't only emit a horrid stench — it has devastating consequences for the environment, too. The culprit is methane, an often underestimated greenhouse gas produced in large part by food systems, organic waste and yes, cow burps. Biochemical engineer Marcelo Mena explains the source of this sneaky pollutant, why its emissions need to be cut in half by 2050 — and what you can do to help.
AI won't kill us all — but that doesn't make it trustworthy. Instead of getting distracted by future existential risks, AI ethics researcher Sasha Luccioni thinks we need to focus on the technology's current negative impacts, like emitting carbon, infringing copyrights and spreading biased information. She offers practical solutions to regulate our AI-filled future — so it's inclusive and transparent.
There's a saying that comedy is tragedy plus time. Perhaps that's why some of our biggest problems feel easiest to manage with a dose of humor. Comedian, journalist and actor Roy Wood Jr. has spent his career finding the silly in the serious and using this tactic to influence real change. Listen in to learn how you can tap into the powers of humor in your own life. (This conversation, hosted by comedian Chris Duffy, was part of an exclusive TED Membership event. TED Membership is the best way to support and engage with the big ideas you love from TED. To learn more, visit ted.com/membership.)
Material scientist Anna Maria Coclite unveils "smart skin" — artificial skin technology that responds to touch, temperature and humidity like your very own. (It's actually even more sensitive than human skin!) From helping burn victims to paving the way to smarter, safer humanoid robots, Coclite highlights the broad-ranging potential of this innovation.
How do we defend people's freedom and dignity against authoritarianism, when the "law of war" doesn't seem to apply anymore? In the face of the Russian occupation of Ukraine, human rights lawyer and Nobel laureate Oleksandra Matviichuk considers this question every day. Exposing the failures of the international system of peace and security, she highlights the capabilities of ordinary people during extraordinary times — and urges us all to take an active position in the struggle for freedom. (This talk contains graphic descriptions.)
Artist Doris Mitsch invites us to revel in the wonders of nature through her dazzling photography: stacked images of starlings in flight, hawks surfing thermal updrafts, bats echolocating through the night sky and more. Revealing the hidden trails created by creatures in flight, her work offers unique insight into the intelligence behind nature's invisible rhythms.
Rice is the world's largest food source — and it's also a massive emitter of methane gas, a key contributor to climate change. Fifth-generation rice farmer Jim Whitaker and his daughter, farmer and conservationist Jessica Whitaker Allen, are working to slash rice's environmental impacts with innovative, sustainable farming practices. They share how they're keeping their family farm in Arkansas profitable while also spreading green farming practices to their neighbors — and, eventually, the rest of the world. "If you take care of the planet, it will take care of you," says Whitaker Allen.
What do people really need to feel supported at work? Organizational strategist Gabrielle Novacek offers an answer that could transform the traditional approach to diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) efforts and change how companies help caregivers balance the demands of work with the responsibilities of home.
For people living in poverty, a guaranteed income can mean finally having the space to dream of a comfortable life. Sharing the stories of single moms who participated in a first-of-its-kind program that offered them $1,000 per month with no strings attached, poverty disrupter Aisha Nyandoro calls for us to redefine what it means to be wealthy — putting aside lavish vacations and fancy cars in favor of paid bills and a well-fed family — and to listen when people tell us what they need.
Dasha Navalnaya is the daughter of Alexey Navalny, the politician and leader of the Russian opposition to Vladimir Putin. Sharing the story of her father's poisoning, persecution and current imprisonment, she details what it was like growing up under the watchful eye of government surveillance as her father led a decade-long investigation into the corruption of Putin's regime — and shows why paying attention to what happens in Russia matters to everyone, everywhere.
A frog and a mockingbird changed Paul Hawken's life, kindling a devotion to protect and restore nature. Now, as one of the world's preeminent environmentalists, he advocates for regeneration — a calling and action plan for the world to come together to end the climate crisis in one generation and put life at the center of every decision we make.
The Hamas attacks on Israel in October 2023 stunned the world. In this timely conversation, political scientist Ian Bremmer explains the historical context of the conflict, how Israel might respond and what it means for Jews, Palestinians and the world at large. Listen in for analysis of the unprecedented events, how the US may factor into the global response and how to find reliable information amid the breathless media coverage and the fog of war. (This interview, hosted by TED's head of curation Helen Walters, was recorded on October 9, 2023.)
In the long term, shutting down a coal mine means cleaner air and a healthier environment — but in the short term, it can devastate a community or family that relied on the mine's paychecks to make ends meet. Environmental justice advocate Payton M. Wilkins thinks we can protect both workers and the planet with an age-old solution: unions. He digs into the economic fallout of ditching fossil fuels and shows why unions are well-positioned to push the transition to clean energy and green jobs.
Tackling climate change costs a lot of money — and the financial sector is key to getting that money flowing. In a wide-ranging conversation, sustainable investment leaders Nili Gilbert and David Blood discuss where progress is being made on climate solutions, where capital still needs to move faster and why this is an unprecedented opportunity for sustainable growth.
Midlife doesn't have to be a scary time, says entrepreneur Chip Conley. In this short yet profound talk, he takes inspiration from the natural world to reframe our 40s, 50s and 60s as a transitional stage that's full of grace and beauty — and urges us all to make aging aspirational.
How is the US going to reach net zero by 2050? That's the question Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, director of the Office of Science for the US Department of Energy, is urgently trying to answer. She shares the thinking behind what her team is calling "Energy Earthshots" — projects designed to accelerate innovation in the fight against climate change, from nature-based solutions in the soil to the creation of brand-new technologies — and calls for innovative, equitable policies backed by science.