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!

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.

  • thumb
    Nov 14 2011: Computers should have the magical power of nudging you towards productivity in a healthy way, adequate ergonomics, brightness/font size, frequent breaks, and never ever ever loose a file.

    They should also remind you of projects you might have left hanging when you have time again to pursue them.
    • thumb
      Nov 14 2011: Hi Fernando, if computers could do what you suggest, a lot of us would be much better off given the amount of time we spend sitting in front of them. The closest thing I can think of is a robotic weight loss coach made by my friend Cory Kidd: http://intuitiveautomata.com/
      • thumb
        Nov 14 2011: That's pretty cool, but I don't think it would work for me.. I'm too lazy to walk over and input what I ate and did for exercise.. too much obstacles there! Now, if it could recognise my voice and inquire, learn my patterns and anticipate (like every morning a coffee), i'd find it more interesting!

        I believe that these kind of applications shoud not take more time of your day than absolutely necessary.. I think this is also why the iPhone/Pad/Pod are a success.. there are hardly (if any) obstacles that keep you from getting results.

        I'm also working on a Task Manager (just a little pet project for now) that allows me to add, edit, complete and restructure tasks within a matter of seconds. The whole premise is that managing tasks should not become a task itself. I think this should be true for all our interactions with machines/devices.

Showing single comment thread. View the full conversation.