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What does the future look like?
Visions of the future of everything from cars to the Internet to the human species.
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The next species of human
18 minutes 50 seconds
While the mega-banks were toppling in early 2009, Juan Enriquez took the stage to say: The really big reboot is yet to come. But don't look for it on the stock exchange or the political ballot. It'll come from science labs, and it promises keener bodies and minds. Our kids are going to be ... different.
We are all cyborgs now
7 minutes 53 seconds
Technology is evolving us, says Amber Case, as we become a screen-staring, button-clicking new version of homo sapiens. We now rely on "external brains" (cell phones and computers) to communicate, remember, even live out secondary lives. But will these machines ultimately connect or conquer us? Case offers surprising insight into our cyborg selves.
Is this our final century?
17 minutes 26 seconds
Speaking as both an astronomer and "a concerned member of the human race," Sir Martin Rees examines our planet and its future from a cosmic perspective. He urges action to prevent dark consequences from our scientific and technological development.
The Long Now
23 minutes 23 seconds
Stewart Brand works on the Clock of the Long Now, a timepiece that counts down the next 10,000 years. It's a beautiful project that asks us to think about the far, far future. Here, he discusses a tricky side problem with the Clock: Where can we put it?
What does the future hold? 11 characters offer quirky answers
18 minutes 36 seconds
Sarah Jones changes personas with the simplest of wardrobe swaps. In a laugh-out-loud improvisation, she invites 11 "friends" from the future on stage—from a fast-talking Latina to an outspoken police officer—to ask them questions supplied by the TED2014 audience.
Get ready for hybrid thinking
9 minutes 52 seconds
Two hundred million years ago, our mammal ancestors developed a new brain feature: the neocortex. This stamp-sized piece of tissue (wrapped around a brain the size of a walnut) is the key to what humanity has become. Now, futurist Ray Kurzweil suggests, we should get ready for the next big leap in brain power, as we tap into the computing power in the cloud.
Google's driverless car
4 minutes 14 seconds
Sebastian Thrun helped build Google's amazing driverless car, powered by a very personal quest to save lives and reduce traffic accidents. Jawdropping video shows the DARPA Challenge-winning car motoring through busy city traffic with no one behind the wheel, and dramatic test drive footage from TED2011 demonstrates how fast the thing can really go.
How we're teaching computers to understand pictures
17 minutes 58 seconds
When a very young child looks at a picture, she can identify simple elements: "cat," "book," "chair." Now, computers are getting smart enough to do that too. What's next? In a thrilling talk, computer vision expert Fei-Fei Li describes the state of the art -- including the database of 15 million photos her team built to "teach" a computer to understand pictures -- and the key insights yet to come.
What happens when our computers get smarter than we are?
16 minutes 31 seconds
Artificial intelligence is getting smarter by leaps and bounds -- within this century, research suggests, a computer AI could be as "smart" as a human being. And then, says Nick Bostrom, it will overtake us: "Machine intelligence is the last invention that humanity will ever need to make." A philosopher and technologist, Bostrom asks us to think hard about the world we're building right now, driven by thinking machines. Will our smart machines help to preserve humanity and our values -- or will they have values of their own?
Navigating our global future
7 minutes 6 seconds
As globalization and technological advances bring us hurtling towards a new integrated future, Ian Goldin warns that not all people may benefit equally. But, he says, if we can recognize this danger, we might yet realize the possibility of improved life for everyone.
5 predictions, from 1984
25 minutes 23 seconds
With surprising accuracy, Nicholas Negroponte predicts what will happen with CD-ROMs, web interfaces, service kiosks, the touchscreen interface of the iPhone and his own One Laptop per Child project.