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TED Tech

From the construction of virtual realities to the internet of things to the watches on our wrists—technology's influence is everywhere. Its role in our lives is evolving fast, and we're faced with riveting questions and tough challenges that sit at the intersection of technology and humanity. Listen in every Friday as TED speakers explore the way tech shapes how we think about society, science, design, business, and more.

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How we could solve the dark matter mystery | Chanda Prescod-Weinstein

The universe that we know, with its luminous stars and orbiting planets, is largely made up of elements we can't actually see -- like dark energy and dark matter -- and therefore don't fully understand. Theoretical physicist Chanda Prescod-Weinstein takes us inside the search for this cosmos-shaping invisible matter and explains how, with the help of a new generation of telescopes, we could be closer to demystifying it than ever before. ""The universe is more queer and fantastical than it looks to the naked eye,"" she says. After the talk, our host Sherrell talks about the importance of inclusivity when it comes to who gets credit for technological advances. (If you want to hear more from Prescod-Weinstein, check out her episode on ""The TED Interview"" podcast wherever you're listening to this.)

15mins

30 Sep 2022

Rank #1

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An alternative to the Silicon Valley unicorn | Your Undivided Attention

What’s the alternative to the Silicon Valley unicorn? In this episode of the podcast Your Undivided Attention, co-hosts Tristan Harris and Aza Raskin talk with Mara Zepeda and Kate “Sassy” Sassoon of Zebras Unite about how to create the conditions for humane business, and in turn, humane technology. You can find more episodes of Your Undivided Attention anywhere you listen to podcasts.

51mins

23 Sep 2022

Rank #2

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Mark Cuban doesn’t believe in following your passions | ReThinking with Adam Grant

Mark Cuban has gone from selling garbage bags door-to-door to selling internet companies for billions, acquiring an NBA team, and becoming a beloved “Shark” on Shark Tank. Mark reveals to Adam how he turns problems into opportunities in entrepreneurship, basketball, and investing. They discuss his latest venture–disrupting the healthcare industry with an online pharmacy and a price-slashing philosophy that makes hundreds of drugs affordable–and why following your passion is not the best way to maintain your motivation. This is an episode of ReThinking with Adam Grant, another podcast in the TED Audio Collective. For episodes on the psychology of the world's most interesting minds, follow ReThinking wherever you're listening to this. For the full text transcript, visit go.ted.com/RWAG1

45mins

16 Sep 2022

Rank #3

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How is your city tackling the climate crisis? | Marvin Rees

"If we can unlock the full potential of our cities, we can minimize the price the planet pays for hosting us in our growing numbers," says Marvin Rees, the Mayor of Bristol, UK. Rees notes that while sustainable infrastructure already exists in many parts of the world -- like electric buses in Colombia and freshwater reserves in Singapore -- major investments could make similar innovations more far-reaching and successful. He highlights the pivotal role of city mayors in advocating for a "worldwide network of efficient decarbonized cities" that will bring the world closer to its climate goals. After the talk, hear our host Sherrell Dorsey dig deeper into how cities can make sure the future is equitably sustainable.

20mins

9 Sep 2022

Rank #4

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5 ethical principles for digitizing humanitarian aid | Aarathi Krishnan

Over the last decade, humanitarian organizations have digitized many of their systems, from registering refugees with biometric IDs to transporting cargo via drones. This has helped deliver aid around the world, but it's also brought new risks to the people it's meant to protect. Tech and human rights ethicist Aarathi Krishnan points to the dangers of digitization -- like sensitive data getting into the hands of the wrong people -- and lays out five ethical principles to help inform humanitarian tech innovation. After the talk, our host Sherrell shares a practical way to assess the costs and benefits of digitizing aid using Krishnan's principles.

17mins

2 Sep 2022

Rank #5

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A brain implant that turns your thoughts into text | Tom Oxley

What if you could control your digital devices using just the power of thought? That's the incredible promise behind the Stentrode -- an implantable brain-computer interface that collects and wirelessly transmits information directly from the brain, without the need for open surgery. Neurotech entrepreneur Tom Oxley describes the intricacies of this breakthrough technology, which is currently enrolling participants in human trials, as well as how it could help restore dignity to those with disabilities -- and transform the future of communication. Stay tuned after the talk to hear our host Sherrell talk about the promise and potential of technology when it comes to serving one of humanity's greatest needs: connection.

17mins

26 Aug 2022

Rank #6

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You shouldn't have to choose between filling your prescriptions and paying bills | Kiah Williams

As prescription drug costs skyrocket in the US, thousands of people are forced to forgo lifesaving medications -- all while manufacturers and health care facilities systematically destroy perfectly good, surplus pills. Kiah Williams shares how SIRUM -- a nonprofit that delivers unused medications to families who need them most -- plans to drive down prescription prices by recycling almost a billion dollars' worth of medications in the next five years. This ambitious plan is a part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change. Stay tuned after the talk to hear our host Sherrel speak with Jasmine Crowe, the CEO of Goodr: an organization leveraging tech to reduce food waste.

14mins

19 Aug 2022

Rank #7

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A creator-led internet, built on blockchain | Adam Mosseri

As digital assets like cryptocurrency and NFTs become more mainstream, design thinker and head of Instagram Adam Mosseri believes that creators are uniquely positioned to benefit. These blockchain-enabled technologies could remove the need for a "middleman" in the form of large social media platforms, allowing creators to more freely distribute their work and connect with their audiences. He explains how this new age of the internet will give way to "the greatest transfer of power from institutions to individuals in all time." After the talk, our host Sherrel digs into what blockchain and cryptocurrency could bring to the creator economy.

18mins

12 Aug 2022

Rank #8

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A bold plan to transform access to the US social safety net | Amanda Renteria

Digital public servant Amanda Renteria has seen that the millions of people who rely on government welfare services are often discouraged from seeking them out, frustrated by long lines and unnecessarily complicated processes. At Code for America, Renteria is helping develop human-centered technology that "respects you from the start, meets you where you are and provides an easy, positive experience." She details the four factors that hinder effective delivery of government benefits and explains Code for America's plan to bring user-centric, digital-first social services to more than 13 million Americans and unlock 30 billion dollars in benefits for low-income families. This ambitious plan is a part of the Audacious Project, TED's initiative to inspire and fund global change. After the talk, hear our host Sherrell Dorsey and co-founder of Promise Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins highlight the importance of tech that's designed with the people it's helping in mind.

16mins

5 Aug 2022

Rank #9

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NFTs, the metaverse and the future of digital art | Elizabeth Strickler

In need of a brief yet illuminating lesson on the obsession with NFTs? Elizabeth Strickler breaks down the acronym and explains the fundamentals of non-fungible tokens, sharing how these digital assets are changing the landscape for artists and content creators looking to cash in on their creations -- in and out of the metaverse. Stay tuned after the talk to hear thoughts from author QuHarrison Terry and our host Sherrell Dorsey on NFTs and equity. from author QuHarrison Terry and our host Sherrell Dorsey on NFTs and equity.

17mins

29 Jul 2022

Rank #10