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As told to Aunt Bonnie: Julia Sweeney wraps up TED2014

As told to Aunt Bonnie: Julia Sweeney wraps up TED2014

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In a naked grab for the new TED/XPRIZE, Julia Sweeney has spent the last day and a half building an AI. It rolls onstage to give a convincing simulacrum of a TED Talk — until Sweeney herself runs out from backstage to chastise the rogue intelligence. She’s actually here to wrap up TED2014, in her []

The top 10 words of TED2014, according to Erin McKean

The top 10 words of TED2014, according to Erin McKean

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A surprise superquick talk from wordnik Erin McKean, who reads from her magic notebook the top 10 words of this TED. The full list follows; here are four highlights: tokamak, a doughnut-shaped fusion reactor whose name comes from a transliteration of the Russian токамак. rockism, which Mark Ronson describes as “like racism, but for rock music.” []

In case you missed it: Day 4 of TED2014

In case you missed it: Day 4 of TED2014

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The wild ride continues on March 20, 2014: Day 4 at TED2014. Here are some highlights from this Thursday: NSA deputy director Richard Ledgett responds to Edward Snowden The day after Edward Snowden made a surprise visit to the TED stage via telepresence robot, the morning opened on a buzzing but tense note with Richard Ledgett joining []

Misdeeds do not define you: Shaka Senghor at TED2014

Misdeeds do not define you: Shaka Senghor at TED2014

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Writer, teacher and MIT Media Fellow Shaka Senghor gives the last talk of Session 10: Passion at TED2014, and he starts with a literal bang: When he was 19, he shot and killed another man. At the time, he was a young drug dealer “with a quick temper and a semi-automatic pistol.” Speaking to us []

Why I wear the burka: Masarat Daud at TED2014

Why I wear the burka: Masarat Daud at TED2014

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Masarat Daud wears the burka — but she didn’t always. As a younger woman at university in Dubai, she thought: “People would think I was so religious, no one would want to be friends with me!” She wore western clothes, to the amusement of her parents. But her mother began suggesting she wear the burka, []

The NSA responds to Edward Snowden’s interview at TED

The NSA responds to Edward Snowden’s interview at TED

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Rick Ledgett is the deputy director of the National Security Agency. He’s here to give a response to Edward Snowden’s onstage/virtual appearance at TED earlier in the week. (See the talk, Here’s how we take back the Internet.) On Tuesday, the former NSA sysadmin made the case for open government and private lives, arguing that “we []

The hierarchy in your brain: Ray Kurzweil at TED2014

The hierarchy in your brain: Ray Kurzweil at TED2014

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Ray Kurzweil returns to the TED stage to explain his new (kind of old) theory of the mind. He first wrote his theory as a paper 50 years ago, but today there’s a plethora of new evidence to support it. First, a refresher on the story of the neocortex, which means “new rind.” Two hundred []

Why does the world exist? An epic poem by Jim Holt at TED2014

Why does the world exist? An epic poem by Jim Holt at TED2014

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Philosopher and writer Jim Holt skips right past the dumb quibbling questions and right to the heart of the great existential mystery: Why something, instead of nothing? Why does the universe exist? And why are we in it? The super-ultimate why question. The greatest thinkers have obsessed over the question of existence: Wittgenstein said it’s []