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TED BLOG Mind Mapping

TED Blog


Note-taking, doodles and sketches from TED2014

Do you think in pictures? These TED fans do — and they capture their thoughts in an idiosyncratic mix of words and text that parallels the way their thoughts flow.

Sharon Hwang posted this adorable video on Instagram, showing her thumbing through her notes from TED2014. She writes, “What an amazing week at TED! Leaving completely inspired, with a pile of notes scribbled.”


A group of “citizen journalists” jotted down their thoughts on the conference using OneNote Online, Microsoft’s group note-taking system. Below, Sheryl Connelly’s interpretation of Larry Page’s talk.


Also via OneNote, Grace Rodriguez remembers Ray Kurzweil’s talk.


In her talk from TED2011, Sunni Brown made the plea: “Doodlers, unite!” This year, she shared her visual recordings of TED2014 talks with LinkedIn. Below, see her capturing of a talk from Amanda Burden, New York City’s former director of city planning.


Collective Next has made a tradition of scribing TED conferences. Here, an interpretation of Jennifer Senior’s talk on parenting, created by Tricia Walker.


TED-Ed Animation Producer Jeremiah Dickey drew portraits of all the speakers he watched in his sketchbook. Below, his interpretations of Will Marshall and Louie Schwartzberg from Session 9, and  Mellody Hobson and Sarah Lewis from the start of session 10.


Translator Johanne Benoit-Gallagher, a painter who attended TEDActive, made these doodles while watching Allan Adams’ talk about black holes.Allan-Adams-doodle


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5 days of TED in one page5 days of TED in one page

Posted By Emily McManus

What does 5 days of TED feel like? As Lucy Farey-Jones says: “Upon my re-entry to the real world, friends, clients and folks at my firm say: ‘How was TED?’ And there is a big pause from me as my brain tries and fails to sum it up. It’s an impossible question to answer. It’s like […]

Cognitive computing

“Negropodamus” disses Internet of Things

“Negropodamus” disses Internet of Things, predicts knowledge pills

The founder of MIT MediaLab kicks off TED 2014.


VANCOUVER—TED’s 30th anniversary kicked off with MIT MediaLab founder Nicholas Negroponte, who took the stage to recount his 40-plus years of experience as a technology experimenter and visionary. You might say he was making the case to be Negropodamus. Indeed, his talk was appropriate, as Negroponte was one of the first presenters at the very first TED in 1984. He has a habit of making predictions—many of which do come true.

Negroponte stressed that innovation doesn’t happen on its own, and it doesn’t always come from companies. It’s hard to imagine now, but for the first few decades of modern computing, “computers weren’t yet for people,” Negroponte said. Computing for computing’s sake was all that mattered, and skepticism abounded when it came to thinking about how computers could really change lives. The late ’70s started a revolution in personal computing that few saw coming, but even that revolution was slow-paced when compared to the march of academic progress.

Even in the early days of the Internet revolution, Negroponte was mocked. Back in 1995, a Newsweekjournalist ridiculed him for suggesting that people would one day buy music and books over the Internet. We know how that worked out.

Slides playing behind Negroponte made his point for him, even as he rushed through a presentation that could never meet TED’s 20-minute time limit. The slides depicted early prototypes of a GPS system called “Backseat Driver” (which MIT foolishly did not patent, thinking it legally dangerous), early wearable computers (too cumbersome), and even a car fitted with a camera for building digital street maps (for LaserDisc, no less). The point was clear: many of the technologies that change our lives are dismissed or viewed as unimportant when they are first explored, often by researchers.

Negroponte recalled some of his early work on touch-based computing, dating back more than 30 years. Skeptics said that dirty hands would ruin screens, that big hands would mean the screen was obscured constantly, that the resolution would be too low, and that a human finger wouldn’t do well with more. Of course, touch and gestures are critical UI elements for all manner of computers today.

Yet technology is in some sense moving backward right now, dumbing things down and skewing innovation. Negroponte took an opportunity to bash the “Internet of Things” as it’s presently marketed, rightly noting that it’s often little more than putting “an oven control on your phone.” This is not innovation, he insisted. A “smart” appliance wouldn’t just be a display panel on your phone or tablet. A truly connected smart device can detect, on its own, that you’ve just put a chicken in the oven, and it should then know exactly how to prepare it, perhaps even to your liking. In his view, more work is needed in this area.

The matter most important to Negroponte is what made him a household name: a passion for bringing computing and the Internet to the masses. “The challenge,” he said, “is to connect the last billion people [on Earth]… and it’s very different from connecting the next billion.”

He flashed a slide called “Internet is a Human Right” but said nothing on the topic. He was clearly already out of time. TED curator Chris Anderson asked him for one more big prediction.

His whopper was a bit hard to swallow. In 30 years, Negroponte said, we’re going to be able to literally ingest information. Once information is in your bloodstream, some kind of mechanism could deposit the information in the brain. You could take a pill and learn English or the works of Shakespeare. He said little else on the subject, but Negroponte assured the audience that the idea is not as ridiculous as it seems.

In a way, it was the perfect way to end the talk. The audience was presented with something rather unlikely, and Negroponte had just spent the last 20 minutes showing us why we shouldn’t scoff.

Cognitive computing

One Quadrillion Gigabytes

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