Third round of talks from TEDxToronto 2014


Photo of Adam van Koeverden, courtesy of Andrew Williamson

We are so pleased to share the third round of talks from the sixth annual TEDxToronto conference.


David Fleet: Teaching Computers to See

Vision, and our understanding of what we see, is arguably the most complex of the human senses. Computer scientists have made incredible progress over the last twenty years within the realm of computer vision, but simply seeing isn’t enough. In this TEDxTalk, David Fleet explains that real value of computer vision lies in a machine’s ability to process what it sees and to draw conclusions and inferences from that data — in the same way that humans process visual information.  While we’ve all heard that “seeing is believing,” David Fleet asks, “How much of the brain’s phenomenal capacity to learn can we give to computers so that we can believe what they will see?”


Pantea Razzaghi: DIYBio: Unlock the Scientist in You

The future of medicine no longer rests solely in the hands of doctors and scientists. With the do-it-yourself biology movement, citizens from all walks of life are banding together to devise solutions for many of the medical conditions and diseases that plague societies around the world. Open science platforms like Synbiota provide us with access to pools of scientific knowledge, and allow contributors to expand upon formulae and data that already exists. In this TEDxTalk, Pantea Razzaghi presents the benefits of this new approach to science and suggests that perhaps a scientist exists within each of us.


Adam van Koeverden: The Pursuable Prime

Olympic athletes spend much of their youth training to become world champions. But what happens once suddenly you’ve achieved those goals, and after twenty years of pursuing your sport you no longer have the same stamina you once did? In this TEDxTalk, Olympic gold medalist and world champion sprint kayaker Adam van Koeverden discusses the key factors that motivated him to succeed from a young age, and reflects on the impact that those lessons have had on his more recent years in kayaking. How can athletes continue to participate in their sport beyond their physical prime and what can we learn from them?


John Cruickshank: Why We Can't Afford to Disengage from the News

In an era when social media and online publications are a primary source of news for so many, one might wonder if there is still a place for the newspaper amidst all the noise. In this TEDxTalk, John Cruickshank urges that traditional news sources must quickly find a way to re-engage younger populations to continue breeding an engaged society of socially and politically active citizens. He draws strong parallels between declining  interest in the news and the decrease in political participation amongst young people, and offers suggestions as to how we might break this cycle.

Read an excerpt from John's talk here in the Toronto Star.

The final round of talks and performances from TEDxToronto 2014 will be shared with you next week.


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