This post was written by an external contributor. Here, Aayushi Sharma lists her favourite short TED talks that give her a quick hit of inspiration.
For as long as I can remember, TED talks have been a part of my life. Growing up watching these videos, and even attending a TEDx event a few years ago, has helped develop my perspective of the world. Talks on science, politics, law, fashion and even poetry have inspired me to do the one thing TED talks were designed for – spread ideas.
However, with pressure of final year, taking on new projects over the last few months, and just general procrastination (hehe, oops), I did not spend nearly as much time as I could have watching such talks. So to stop myself from binge-watching TV and scrolling through Instagram, I decided to spend 10 minutes watching something interesting. Below is a list of some of the videos I watched over the week. These talks, not longer than 10 minutes, have inspired me to try out something new, but have also been great alternatives to procrastinating. Enjoy!
In this TED talk, Matt Cutts talks about trying something you have been just haven’t got around to doing. His plan is simple, choose a task and do it for 30 days only. This talk inspires people to think of setting easy, achievable tasks that can be completed within this one month period.
According to researchers a decade ago, asking computers to differentiate between dogs and cats was almost impossible. In this talk, Joseph Redmon discusses how computer vision systems can now tell the difference between object with greater than 99% accuracy.
He presents an open-source system called You Only Look Once (YOLO) which is able to detect and identify objects in images and videos, in real time. This is an extremely interesting talk for those looking to see how computer vision systems can be used in the future for applications like self-driving cars, robotics and even cancer detection.
You cannot see them, but they are everywhere. Tiny microscopic organisms that live in and around you. They can be found on your cheeks, under your sofa and in the soil in your backyard. The idea of having tiny creatures everywhere may make you uncomfortable.
However, according to microbiologist Anne Madden, these microscopes provide potential sources of new technologies and medicines waiting to be discovered. This is an excellent talk for those who are interested in learning about how humans can learn from and use microbes to innovate and improve our lives.
In this talk, Adam Alter shows us how screens have changed the way we spend our personal time. He describes why we spend hours looking at our phones, tablets and computers. He also explains the psychology behind using certain apps and emotions related to it. Finally, he gives tips on what we can do to reduce our tech addictions and live a more fulfilled life.
Andy Puddicombe makes us question the last time we did absolutely nothing (not even talking, texting or thinking), and relates this to meditation. His aim is to describe how mindfulness can change our lives by experiencing the present moment for 10 minutes a day.
Chinese is an extremely difficult language to learn. However, if taught in the right manner, learning to read the often complex characters of its written language may become less difficult. ShaoLan Hsueh teaches us the eight characters which act as the building blocks to create lots of Chinese characters. By recognising these simple symbols and their meanings, we will be able to understand more complex concepts, thereby making Chinese less difficult for learn for foreigners.
In this hilarious talk, Sebastian Wernicke, statistically analyses TEDTalks based on the data available on the TED website. He then reverse engineers his analysis to create ‘the ultimate TEDTalk’. A must watch for those who are looking for something lighthearted and funny!