playlist

Why tech needs diversity

Fascinating, forward-thinking talks that highlight the importance of diversity — in its many forms — within the tech industry. (Curated in partnership with the National Security Agency.)

  1. 13:42
    Jedidah Isler The untapped genius that could change science for the better

    Jedidah Isler dreamt of becoming an astrophysicist since she was a young girl, but the odds were against her: At that time, only 18 black women in the United States had ever earned a PhD in a physics-related discipline. In this personal talk, she shares the story of how she became the first black woman to earn a PhD in astrophysics from Yale — and her deep belief in the value of diversity to science and other STEM fields. "Do not think for one minute that because you are who you are, you cannot be who you imagine yourself to be," she says. "Hold fast to those dreams and let them carry you into a world you can't even imagine."

  2. 16:39
    Keren Elazari Hackers: the Internet's immune system

    The beauty of hackers, says cybersecurity expert Keren Elazari, is that they force us to evolve and improve. Yes, some hackers are bad guys, but many are working to fight government corruption and advocate for our rights. By exposing vulnerabilities, they push the Internet to become stronger and healthier, wielding their power to create a better world.

  3. 14:12
    Lera Boroditsky How language shapes the way we think

    There are about 7,000 languages spoken around the world — and they all have different sounds, vocabularies and structures. But do they shape the way we think? Cognitive scientist Lera Boroditsky shares examples of language — from an Aboriginal community in Australia that uses cardinal directions instead of left and right to the multiple words for blue in Russian — that suggest the answer is a resounding yes. "The beauty of linguistic diversity is that it reveals to us just how ingenious and how flexible the human mind is," Boroditsky says. "Human minds have invented not one cognitive universe, but 7,000."

  4. 11:05
    Rocío Lorenzo How diversity makes teams more innovative

    Are diverse companies really more innovative? Rocío Lorenzo and her team surveyed 171 companies to find out — and the answer was a clear yes. In a talk that will help you build a better, more robust company, Lorenzo dives into the data and explains how your company can start producing fresher, more creative ideas by treating diversity as a competitive advantage.

  5. 19:43
    Temple Grandin The world needs all kinds of minds

    Temple Grandin, diagnosed with autism as a child, talks about how her mind works — sharing her ability to "think in pictures," which helps her solve problems that neurotypical brains might miss. She makes the case that the world needs people on the autism spectrum: visual thinkers, pattern thinkers, verbal thinkers, and all kinds of smart geeky kids.

  6. 12:11
    Jennifer Pahlka Coding a better government

    Can government be run like the Internet, permissionless and open? Coder and activist Jennifer Pahlka believes it can — and that apps, built quickly and cheaply, are a powerful new way to connect citizens to their governments — and their neighbors.

  7. 21:30
    Linus Torvalds The mind behind Linux

    Linus Torvalds transformed technology twice — first with the Linux kernel, which helps power the Internet, and again with Git, the source code management system used by developers worldwide. In a rare interview with TED Curator Chris Anderson, Torvalds discusses with remarkable openness the personality traits that prompted his unique philosophy of work, engineering and life. "I am not a visionary, I'm an engineer," Torvalds says. "I'm perfectly happy with all the people who are walking around and just staring at the clouds ... but I'm looking at the ground, and I want to fix the pothole that's right in front of me before I fall in."

  8. 10:04
    Shohini Ghose A beginner's guide to quantum computing

    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.

  9. 8:37
    Tapiwa Chiwewe You don't have to be an expert to solve big problems

    Driving in Johannesburg one day, Tapiwa Chiwewe noticed an enormous cloud of air pollution hanging over the city. He was curious and concerned but not an environmental expert — so he did some research and discovered that nearly 14 percent of all deaths worldwide in 2012 were caused by household and ambient air pollution. With this knowledge and an urge to do something about it, Chiwewe and his colleagues developed a platform that uncovers trends in pollution and helps city planners make better decisions. "Sometimes just one fresh perspective, one new skill set, can make the conditions right for something remarkable to happen," Chiwewe says. "But you need to be bold enough to try."

  10. 7:15
    Supasorn Suwajanakorn Fake videos of real people — and how to spot them

    Do you think you're good at spotting fake videos, where famous people say things they've never said in real life? See how they're made in this astonishing talk and tech demo. Computer scientist Supasorn Suwajanakorn shows how, as a grad student, he used AI and 3D modeling to create photorealistic fake videos of people synced to audio. Learn more about both the ethical implications and the creative possibilities of this tech — and the steps being taken to fight against its misuse.

  11. 8:44
    Joy Buolamwini How I'm fighting bias in algorithms

    MIT grad student Joy Buolamwini was working with facial analysis software when she noticed a problem: the software didn't detect her face — because the people who coded the algorithm hadn't taught it to identify a broad range of skin tones and facial structures. Now she's on a mission to fight bias in machine learning, a phenomenon she calls the "coded gaze." It's an eye-opening talk about the need for accountability in coding ... as algorithms take over more and more aspects of our lives.

  12. 5:20
    Sarah Parcak Archaeology from space

    In this short talk, TED Fellow Sarah Parcak introduces the field of "space archaeology" — using satellite images to search for clues to the lost sites of past civilizations.

  13. 12:22
    Chip Conley What baby boomers can learn from millennials at work — and vice versa

    For the first time ever, we have five generations in the workplace at the same time, says entrepreneur Chip Conley. What would happen if we got intentional about how we all work together? In this accessible talk, Conley shows how age diversity makes companies stronger and calls for different generations to mentor each other at work, with wisdom flowing from old to young and young to old alike.

  14. 12:10
    Kriti Sharma How to keep human bias out of AI

    AI algorithms make important decisions about you all the time — like how much you should pay for car insurance or whether or not you get that job interview. But what happens when these machines are built with human bias coded into their systems? Technologist Kriti Sharma explores how the lack of diversity in tech is creeping into our AI, offering three ways we can start making more ethical algorithms.