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TED Talks Technology

Some of the world's leading inventors and researchers share demos, breakthroughs and visions onstage at the TED conference, TEDx events and partner events around the world. You can also download these and many other videos free on TED.com, with an interactive English transcript and subtitles in up to 80 languages. TED is a nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading.

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Inside the massive (and unregulated) world of surveillance tech | Sharon Weinberger

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 powerful weapons.

11mins

1 Dec 2020

Rank #1

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What a digital government looks like | Anna Piperal

What if you never had to fill out paperwork again? In Estonia, this is a reality: citizens conduct nearly all public services online, from starting a business to voting from their laptops, thanks to the nation's ambitious post-Soviet digital transformation known as "e-Estonia." One of the program's experts, Anna Piperal, explains the key design principles that power the country's "e-government" -- and shows why the rest of the world should follow suit to eradicate outdated bureaucracy and regain citizens' trust.

13mins

9 Jan 2020

Rank #2

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The danger of AI is weirder than you think | Janelle Shane

The danger of artificial intelligence isn't that it's going to rebel against us, but that it's going to do exactly what we ask it to do, says AI researcher Janelle Shane. Sharing the weird, sometimes alarming antics of AI algorithms as they try to solve human problems -- like creating new ice cream flavors or recognizing cars on the road -- Shane shows why AI doesn't yet measure up to real brains.

10mins

22 Oct 2019

Rank #3

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The future we're building -- and boring | Elon Musk

Elon Musk discusses his new project digging tunnels under LA, the latest from Tesla and SpaceX and his motivation for building a future on Mars in conversation with TED's Head Curator, Chris Anderson.

40mins

30 Apr 2017

Rank #4

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A beginner's guide to quantum computing | Shohini Ghose

A quantum computer isn't just a more powerful version of the computers we use today; it's something else entirely, based on emerging scientific understanding -- and more than a bit of uncertainty. Enter the quantum wonderland with TED Fellow Shohini Ghose and learn how this technology holds the potential to transform medicine, create unbreakable encryption and even teleport information.

10mins

11 Jan 2019

Rank #5

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The most detailed map of galaxies, black holes and stars ever made | Juna Kollmeier

Humans have been studying the stars for thousands of years, but astrophysicist Juna Kollmeier is on a special mission: creating the most detailed 3-D maps of the universe ever made. Journey across the cosmos as she shares her team's work on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, imaging millions of stars, black holes and galaxies in unprecedented detail. If we maintain our pace, she says, we can map every large galaxy in the observable universe by 2060. "We've gone from arranging clamshells to general relativity in a few thousand years," she says. "If we hang on 40 more, we can map all the galaxies."

14mins

7 Jun 2019

Rank #6

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What your smart devices know (and share) about you | Kashmir Hill and Surya Mattu

Once your smart devices can talk to you, who else are they talking to? Kashmir Hill and Surya Mattu wanted to find out -- so they outfitted Hill's apartment with 18 different internet-connected devices and built a special router to track how often they contacted their servers and see what they were reporting back. The results were surprising -- and more than a little bit creepy. Learn more about what the data from your smart devices reveals about your sleep schedule, TV binges and even your tooth-brushing habits -- and how tech companies could use it to target and profile you. (This talk contains mature language.)

9mins

18 Jul 2018

Rank #7

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How deepfakes undermine truth and threaten democracy | Danielle Citron

The use of deepfake technology to manipulate video and audio for malicious purposes -- whether it's to stoke violence or defame politicians and journalists -- is becoming a real threat. As these tools become more accessible and their products more realistic, how will they shape what we believe about the world? In a portentous talk, law professor Danielle Citron reveals how deepfakes magnify our distrust -- and suggests approaches to safeguarding the truth.

13mins

11 Sep 2019

Rank #8

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How Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google manipulate our emotions | Scott Galloway

The combined market capitalization of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google is now equivalent to the GDP of India. How did these four companies come to infiltrate our lives so completely? In a spectacular rant, Scott Galloway shares insights and eye-opening stats about their dominance and motivation -- and what happens when a society prizes shareholder value over everything else. Followed by a Q&A with TED Curator Chris Anderson. (Note: This talk contains graphic language.)

19mins

21 Nov 2017

Rank #9

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What AI is -- and isn't | Sebastian Thrun and Chris Anderson

Educator and entrepreneur Sebastian Thrun wants us to use AI to free humanity of repetitive work and unleash our creativity. In an inspiring, informative conversation with TED Curator Chris Anderson, Thrun discusses the progress of deep learning, why we shouldn't fear runaway AI and how society will be better off if dull, tedious work is done with the help of machines. "Only one percent of interesting things have been invented yet," Thrun says. "I believe all of us are insanely creative ... [AI] will empower us to turn creativity into action."

24mins

30 Nov 2017

Rank #10

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What would happen if we upload our brains to computers? | Robin Hanson

Meet the "ems" -- machines that emulate human brains and can think, feel and work just like the brains they're copied from. Futurist and social scientist Robin Hanson describes a possible future when ems take over the global economy, running on superfast computers and copying themselves to multitask, leaving humans with only one choice: to retire, forever. Glimpse a strange future as Hanson describes what could happen if robots ruled the earth.

12mins

24 Aug 2017

Rank #11

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What you need to know about stalkerware | Eva Galperin

"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.

12mins

28 Feb 2020

Rank #12

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How a fleet of wind-powered drones is changing our understanding of the ocean | Sebastien de Halleux

Our oceans are unexplored and undersampled -- today, we still know more about other planets than our own. How can we get to a better understanding of this vast, important ecosystem? Explorer Sebastien de Halleux shares how a new fleet of wind- and solar-powered drones is collecting data at sea in unprecedented detail, revealing insights into things like global weather and the health of fish stocks. Learn more about what a better grasp of the ocean could mean for us back on land.

12mins

20 Nov 2018

Rank #13

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How AI can bring on a second Industrial Revolution | Kevin Kelly

"The actual path of a raindrop as it goes down the valley is unpredictable, but the general direction is inevitable," says digital visionary Kevin Kelly -- and technology is much the same, driven by patterns that are surprising but inevitable. Over the next 20 years, he says, our penchant for making things smarter and smarter will have a profound impact on nearly everything we do. Kelly explores three trends in AI we need to understand in order to embrace it and steer its development. "The most popular AI product 20 years from now that everyone uses has not been invented yet," Kelly says. "That means that you're not late."

13mins

13 Dec 2016

Rank #14

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Future tech will give you the benefits of city life anywhere | Julio Gil

Don't believe predictions that say the future is trending towards city living. Urbanization is actually reaching the end of its cycle, says logistics expert Julio Gil, and soon more people will be choosing to live (and work) in the countryside, thanks to rapid advances in augmented reality, autonomous delivery, off-the-grid energy and other technologies. Think outside city walls and consider the advantages of country living with this forward-thinking talk.

11mins

27 Sep 2017

Rank #15

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A funny look at the unintended consequences of technology | Chuck Nice

Technology should work for us, but what happens when it doesn't? Comedian Chuck Nice explores the unintended consequences of technological advancement and human interaction -- with hilarious results.

10mins

27 Feb 2018

Rank #16

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We're building a dystopia just to make people click on ads | Zeynep Tufekci

We're building an artificial intelligence-powered dystopia, one click at a time, says techno-sociologist Zeynep Tufekci. In an eye-opening talk, she details how the same algorithms companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon use to get you to click on ads are also used to organize your access to political and social information. And the machines aren't even the real threat. What we need to understand is how the powerful might use AI to control us -- and what we can do in response.

22mins

27 Oct 2017

Rank #17

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How India's smartphone revolution is creating a new generation of readers and writers | Chiki Sarkar

India has the second largest population of any country in the world -- yet it has only 50 decent bookstores, says publisher Chiki Sarkar. So she asked herself: How do we get more people reading books? Find out how Sarkar is tapping into India's smartphone revolution to create a new generation of readers and writers in this fun talk about a fresh kind of storytelling.

10mins

8 Jan 2019

Rank #18

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A forgotten Space Age technology could change how we grow food | Lisa Dyson

We're heading for a world population of 10 billion people -- but what will we all eat? Lisa Dyson rediscovered an idea developed by NASA in the 1960s for deep-space travel, and it could be a key to reinventing how we grow food.

11mins

18 Jul 2016

Rank #19