TED Conversations

James Patten


This conversation is closed.

If you could give computers one magical power, what would it be and why?

Live TED Conversation: Join TED Fellow James Patten

James is an inventor who is exploring new ways that physical objects can represent and control digital information.

This conversation will open at November 14 at 1:00PM EST.


Closing Statement from James Patten

Thank you to everyone for sharing some great ideas! One theme that I was really struck by was the extent to which people wanted their computers to have human qualities. Also there were some great suggestions about new types of input and output, ways of processing information and many others. I think that within the next several decades many of the things mentioned here will some to pass (some much sooner than that). Ultimately what we think of as a "computer" will change drastically in the next several years, as things adapt to better suit human abilities. Thank you everyone for participating!

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  • Nov 14 2011: A computer should be able to work like an experienced assistant. It should be able to know that, first thing in the morning, I want to read a certain website, check certain emails which are more important to me, and perhaps hear a certain type of music. It should observe my actions, and adapt to them, offering what it thinks I might like, but quickly accepting (and adapting) to my changes. A computer should do for actions and living what Pandora is beginning to do with selecting music.
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      Nov 14 2011: Hi Ken, I agree and it seems like things are starting to take steps in that direction, but in a piecemeal way. e.g. google priority inbox and the favorites pages that many web browsers have now..

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