• Lydia Serrant

Top 5 Ted Talks About Tech

From world domination to your daily commute, everyone is talking about how Technology is changing the game, and no one is talking about it more so than the experts at TED.

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If you have never heard of TED then, where have you been? TED is probably one of the most influential platforms around, especially in the arena of academia and big ideas. TED has taken lectures and presentations that are usually reserved for students, academics and professionals, and broadcast them straight into our living rooms in bite-sized chunks, for free!

Ted has had its share of controversies, such as the banned TEDx talks that actually ended up going viral….but thanks to platforms like TED, even the most niche ideas have a chance to go beyond their usual audience of experts, and reach the ears of casual listeners.

So, with that I searched (well, watched) a whole ton of TED videos and found the ones I believe to be the most relevant to our changing and challenging times. Experts in Business, Mental Health, Media and Science are all talking about the next big thing, Tech. And how it is going to transform our lives over the next 5 to 50 years.

Some innovations sound super cool, others sound super terrifying…either way they are definitely worth a watch. Check out my Top 5 must watch TED Talks all about Tech.

5. Chuck Nice: A Funny Look at the Unintended Consequences of Technology

Kicking off our Top 5 is a short but comical presentation by Chuck Nice on the unintended social, biological and medical consequences of technology.

As a well-known comedian, Chuck Nice has lent his comical perspective to many scientific podcasts and talk shows such as Neil De Grasse Tyson’s popular podcast StarTalk.

In his 10-minute presentation, chuck takes us on a hilarious journey through the side-effects of using technology to date, make friends and procreate.

Humour is Chucks intention here, but nonetheless he cuts to the core of societal issues and delivers a message about the importance of maintaining our humanity. Definitely worth a watch if your interested in how technology is affecting us in weird and wonderful ways, without the heavy technical discussion.

4. Amit Malik: Why Technology Will Enable Better Mental Health

Coming in at number 4 is Amit Maliks interesting and informative take on the role of technology in mental health access and assessment.

Dr Malik is one of just 4,000 psychiatrists delivering Mental Health services in India, and he is working to combat the countries increasing mental health pandemic. His talk is heavily weighted on the context of mental health service provision and the role of stigma in Indian societies, but toward the end of the talk he highlights how key developments in tech are helping to target vulnerable groups and fill the gap.

A genuinely interesting watch and I’d definitely recommend to medical professionals who are interested in targeting hard to reach groups with innovative new ideas, and patients that are wondering how their home computer can help them manage their mental health.

3. Sylvian Duranton: How Humans and AI Can Work Together to Create Better Business

If you’re concerned about machines taking human jobs then not so fast, Sylvian Duranton takes just under 15 minutes to explain why companies who rely solely on AI for daily tasks are making a huge mistake.

From the operating table to the catwalk, machines and AI are certainly making their presence known. But whilst technology may be threatening the employment sector, relying solely on algorithms to make decisions can have dire consequences that put companies and even lives at risk.

Duranton argues for a balanced approach to team building. Treating AI less as a tool and more like a colleague will not only help sustain the jobs we already have, but maximise efficiency and minimise human error. Certainly, worth a listen if you’re in business and looking for ways AI can help you cut costs without sacrificing jobs.

2.Nick Bostrum: What Happens When Computers Get Smarter Than We Are?

Probably the number one doomsday question – what will our creation think of us when they become smarter than we are?

Arguably, computers are already smarter, however they are trapped within the physical confines of the user interface in which they have been programmed. Nick Bostrum doesn’t mean to be a Dooms-dayer, but he certainly brings some valid points to the table about the direction we are taking with tech, and the real consequences of algorithms driven solely by logic.

This talk runs for just over 16-minutes and I promise, you will be gripped from start to finish. Bostrum discusses the potential problems we will face when AI matures and finally figures out that we are the primary problem on this planet. Fear not, he also has some practical ideas to ensure that our robot counterparts work with us, not against us. Will the future of AI bring Utopia or Dystopia to the human experience?

1. Supasorn Suwajanakorn: Fake Videos of Real People – and how to Spot them

And reaching the number 1 spot of our Top 5 Technical TED List is Supasorn Suwajanakorns eye-opening and show stopping demonstration of fake videos and how they are made to entertain and deceive.

Fake news has been a real problem in recent times and the technology that enables cyber criminals to manipulate images and video is becoming more and more advanced. Thankfully, we have experts like Suwajanakorn on our side who is taking the initiative to beat cyber-fraudsters at their own game.

This talk is short, but sweet. The audience is walked through how technology learns to imitate not only faces, but voices as well. Definitely worth 7 minutes of your time, this useful TED talk will make you more aware and able to spot a Deep Fake.

5 points to whoever spots the Fake Barack Obama!

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