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11 of the best Ted Talks on technology

Learn about Google's driverless cars, tech-inspired democracy, and how we'll survive on Mars

The man behind Linux

Who is it?

Linus Torvalds, the founder of computer operating system Linux

What's it about?

Torvalds touts the benefits of open source software, describing how opening up his project to thousands of other people led to improvements he had not imagined.

Key quote

"It didn't even start by people contributing code, it was more that people started contributing ideas."

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How a driverless car sees the road

Who is it?

Chris Urmson, director of Google's self-driving car programme

What's it about?

Urmson espouses the benefits of driverless cars, and how to get around the problem that as cars get smarter, drivers get more irresponsible.

Key quote

"My oldest son is 11, and that means in four and a half years, he's going to be able to get his driver's license. My team and I are committed to making sure that doesn't happen."

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The wonderful and terrifying implications of computers that can learn

Who is it?

Jeremy Howard, data scientist and founder of machine learning company Enlitic

What's it about?

The consequences, both good and bad, of teaching computers to learn for themselves

Key quote

"We now know that computers can learn, and computers can learn to do things that we actually sometimes don't know how to do ourselves, or maybe can do them better than us."

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How we'll find life on other planets

Who is it?

Aomawa Shields, astronomer and astrobiologist

What's it about?

Examining distant planets' atmospheres helps us identify the signs of habitable planets

Key quote

"Trying to measure the atmospheric composition of an exoplanet passing in front of its host star is hard. It's like trying to see a fruit fly passing in front of a car's headlight."

Watch the talk

Continue reading for talks about women in tech, teaching kids how to code, and how technology can improve democracy

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