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A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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The development of automated machines that can take the place of humans

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Inventing the Future

How Do We Build Ethical Robots?

3 months ago

What's the Latest Development? Researchers from several universities, including Tufts, Brown, and Rensselaer Polytechnic, will join with the US Navy on a multi-year project designed to answer a simple question: Can we build robots who are able to distinguish between right and wrong? To do this ...

Inventing the Future

The Swarmbots Have Arrived

11 months ago

What's the Latest Development? MIT scientist John Romanishin has done what some said couldn't be done: He has created a mini-cube robot that has no external moving parts yet can move, climb, leap, and -- most importantly -- work together with its fellows to create larger shapes. The motion comes ...

Inventing the Future

A Drone That Brings Wi-Fi To You

12 months ago

What's the Latest Development? Adam Conway may make his living as a product manager at network company Aerohive, but in college his major was robotics, so tinkering with robots is how he spends some of his free time. A couple of years ago he decided to build a drone using a quadrotor frame, and ...

Inventing the Future

New To The Cloud: Your House Keys

about 1 year ago

What's the Latest Development? Debuting this week at selected Manhattan 7-Elevens is KeyMe, a kiosk service that allows users to get copies of their keys at any hour of the day or night. If a customer just wants a duplicate, the kiosk will scan it and produce a new key for a few dollars. It also ...