Inventor, scientist, author, engineer — over his broad career, Danny Hillis has turned his ever-searching brain on an array of subjects, with surprising results.

Why you should listen

Danny Hillis is an inventor, scientist, author and engineer. While completing his doctorate at MIT, he pioneered the concept of parallel computers that is now the basis for most supercomputers, as well as the RAID array. He holds over 100 US patents, covering parallel computers, disk arrays, forgery prevention methods and various electronic and mechanical devices, and he has recently been working on problems in medicine as well. He is also the designer of a 10,000-year mechanical clock, and he gave a TED Talk in 1994 that is practically prophetic. Throughout his career, Hillis has worked at places like Disney and now Applied Minds, always looking for the next fascinating problem.

What others say

“We're at a point in time which is analogous to when single-celled organisms were turning into multi-celled organisms. So we're the amoebas.” — Danny Hillis

More news and ideas from Danny Hillis

Live from TED2017

Planet, Protection: The talks of Session 6 of TED2017

April 26, 2017

Polar ice doesn’t care who’s in the White House. It just melts. In the sixth session of TED2017, hosted by TED’s Head Curator Chris Anderson, we hear blunt talk on climate change — taking a 30,000-foot view from the clouds and examining some market-based solutions for cleaning the planet. Below, recaps of the talks from Session 6, in […]

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Live from TED2016

‘An impish sage’: Remembering Marvin Minsky onstage at TED2016

February 17, 2016

Onstage at TED this evening, Danny Hillis spoke a few words to remember his friend, the artificial intelligence researcher, cognitive scientist and longtime TEDster Marvin Minsky, who died in late January of this year. As Hillis looked out into the audience, he wondered “how many of you he challenged or irritated or made laugh…” Once Minsky’s student, Hillis recalled: […]

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