Tech

The Must-See TED Talks of 2015

Published On 12/23/2015 Published On 12/23/2015

These days it kinda feels like everyone and their next-door neighbor thinks they're qualified and/or interesting enough to give a TED Talk. Nevertheless, there are still plenty of thought-provoking ideas coming out of the wildly expensive multi-annual conferences. And sure, you have plenty more to do than binge-watch every single speech given on a TED stage in 2015, but do yourself a favor and devour these nine bangers from the past year. Brace yourself, you might even learn something.

Screenshot via TED.com

How virtual reality can create the ultimate empathy machine

Length: 10:16
Prolific music-video director Chris Milk, who's collaborated with everyone from Kanye to Arcade Fire, discusses the power of up-and-coming immersive virtual-reality tech in helping people better understand the world, and in particular, the plight of the less fortunate.
WATCH IT NOW
 

The mathematics of love

Length: 16:56
Complexity theorist Hannah Fry goes deep on the ways we look for love, and gives three mathematically verified tips for finding your perfect match.
WATCH IT NOW
 

Magical houses, made of bamboo

Length: 10:17
Sustainable designer Elora Hardy showcases her triumphs of architecture -- a series of wildly twisting, turning, and downright Escherian eco-friendly bamboo homes built in Bali.
WATCH IT NOW

Screenshot via TED.com

How I use sonar to navigate the world

Length: 13:03
Avid This American Life listeners may have already heard of Daniel Kish, a man who's been blind since childhood and mastered the art of echolocation, but in this talk he discusses in detail how exactly he trained himself to "see" just like bats do by clicking his tongue and observing the differences in sound as it bounces off nearby objects.
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What happens when our computers get smarter than we are?

Length: 16:31
Philosopher and technologist Nick Bostrom outlines just how close we are to achieving startling advances in artificial intelligence, and warns of how carefully we must tread going down that road. 
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What if 3D printing was 100X faster?

Length: 10:45
In this talk, chemist-cum-inventor Joseph DeSimone posits that the way we currently 3D print objects is painfully slow, and proposes a more innovative method -- inspired by Terminator 2 -- that could potentially speed up the process by 25 to 100 times.
WATCH IT NOW

Screenshot via TED.com

How to control someone else's arm with your brain

Length: 5:52
In an eye-opening overview of brain science and its future potential, neuroscientist Greg Gage conducts a wild-and-weird trick with an inexpensive DIY kit that transforms one audience member into the puppet master of another.
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The price of shame

Length: 22:26
Hey, remember Monica Lewinsky? Yeah, her. Well, she's back, and talking about what it's like to be humiliated in front of the entire world. It's a thoughtful if not foreboding breakdown of online bullying's wrecking power.
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Everything you think you know about addiction is wrong

Length: 14:42
Addiction sucks, and we're probably screwing up how we treat it in a huge way. At least that's what journalist Johann Hari thinks, and he explains exactly why in his eye-opening talk.
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Joe McGauley is a senior writer for Thrillist. He only recently figured out what TED stands for (it's Technology, Entertainment, and Design).

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