playlist

Most popular TED Talks of 2017

What a year! These 14 talks challenged our perceptions of love, happiness, what the future will hold ... and, um, the very nature of reality itself.

  1. 40:50
    Elon Musk The future we're building — and boring

    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.

  2. 14:47
    Anjan Chatterjee How your brain decides what is beautiful

    Anjan Chatterjee uses tools from evolutionary psychology and cognitive neuroscience to study one of nature's most captivating concepts: beauty. Learn more about the science behind why certain configurations of line, color and form excite us in this fascinating, deep look inside your brain.

  3. 15:17
    Megan Phelps-Roper I grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church. Here's why I left

    What's it like to grow up within a group of people who exult in demonizing ... everyone else? Megan Phelps-Roper shares details of life inside America's most controversial church and describes how conversations on Twitter were key to her decision to leave it. In this extraordinary talk, she shares her personal experience of extreme polarization, along with some sharp ways we can learn to successfully engage across ideological lines.

  4. 17:51
    Shah Rukh Khan Thoughts on humanity, fame and love

    "I sell dreams, and I peddle love to millions of people," says Shah Rukh Khan, Bollywood's biggest star. In this charming, funny talk, Khan traces the arc of his life, showcases a few of his famous dance moves and shares hard-earned wisdom from a life spent in the spotlight.

  5. 17:00
    Anil Seth Your brain hallucinates your conscious reality

    Right now, billions of neurons in your brain are working together to generate a conscious experience — and not just any conscious experience, your experience of the world around you and of yourself within it. How does this happen? According to neuroscientist Anil Seth, we're all hallucinating all the time; when we agree about our hallucinations, we call it "reality." Join Seth for a delightfully disorienting talk that may leave you questioning the very nature of your existence.

  6. 12:18
    Emily Esfahani Smith There's more to life than being happy

    Our culture is obsessed with happiness, but what if there's a more fulfilling path? Happiness comes and goes, says writer Emily Esfahani Smith, but having meaning in life — serving something beyond yourself and developing the best within you — gives you something to hold onto. Learn more about the difference between being happy and having meaning as Smith offers four pillars of a meaningful life.

  7. 7:37
    Joseph Redmon How computers learn to recognize objects instantly

    Ten years ago, researchers thought that getting a computer to tell the difference between a cat and a dog would be almost impossible. Today, computer vision systems do it with greater than 99 percent accuracy. How? Joseph Redmon works on the YOLO (You Only Look Once) system, an open-source method of object detection that can identify objects in images and video — from zebras to stop signs — with lightning-quick speed. In a remarkable live demo, Redmon shows off this important step forward for applications like self-driving cars, robotics and even cancer detection.

  8. 13:28
    Adam Grant Are you a giver or a taker?

    In every workplace, there are three basic kinds of people: givers, takers and matchers. Organizational psychologist Adam Grant breaks down these personalities and offers simple strategies to promote a culture of generosity and keep self-serving employees from taking more than their share.

  9. 14:03
    Giulia Enders The surprisingly charming science of your gut

    Ever wonder how we poop? Learn about the gut — the system where digestion (and a whole lot more) happens — as doctor and author Giulia Enders takes us inside the complex, fascinating science behind it, including its connection to mental health. It turns out, looking closer at something we might shy away from can leave us feeling more fearless and appreciative of ourselves.

  10. 9:29
    Adam Alter Why our screens make us less happy

    What are our screens and devices doing to us? Psychologist Adam Alter studies how much time screens steal from us and how they're getting away with it. He shares why all those hours you spend staring at your smartphone, tablet or computer might be making you miserable — and what you can do about it.

  11. 22:55
    Zeynep Tufekci We're building a dystopia just to make people click on ads

    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.

  12. 19:06
    Thordis Elva and Tom Stranger Our story of rape and reconciliation

    In 1996, Thordis Elva shared a teenage romance with Tom Stranger, an exchange student from Australia. After a school dance, Tom raped Thordis, after which they parted ways for many years. In this extraordinary talk, Elva and Stranger move through a years-long chronology of shame and silence, and invite us to discuss the omnipresent global issue of sexual violence in a new, honest way. For a Q&A with the speakers, visit go.ted.com/thordisandtom.

  13. 13:21
    Tim Ferriss Why you should define your fears instead of your goals

    The hard choices — what we most fear doing, asking, saying — are very often exactly what we need to do. How can we overcome self-paralysis and take action? Tim Ferriss encourages us to fully envision and write down our fears in detail, in a simple but powerful exercise he calls "fear-setting." Learn more about how this practice can help you thrive in high-stress environments and separate what you can control from what you cannot.

  14. 10:06
    David Lee Why jobs of the future won't feel like work

    We've all heard that robots are going to take our jobs — but what can we do about it? Innovation expert David Lee says that we should start designing jobs that unlock our hidden talents and passions — the things we spend our weekends doing — to keep us relevant in the age of robotics. "Start asking people what problems they're inspired to solve and what talents they want to bring to work," Lee says. "When you invite people to be more, they can amaze us with how much more they can be."