What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

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.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos

1

Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers

2

Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge

3

Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more
Close

Inbox (∞): Email Is Broken. Let Your AI Assistant Help.

May 27, 2014, 1:06 PM
Inbox

What's the Latest?

New software applications that aim to organize your inbox take different approaches to simplifying how you send and receive mail. Pluto, designed by two Harvard students, allows you to delete email once it's been sent, preventing the need for an additional email for small tweaks in content. Shortmail, partly inspired by Twitter, limits the length of emails to just 500 words. The Mailbox app allows users to “snooze” emails so they can reappear later at a more convenient time. Office tools like Basecamp and Slack separate workplace communication out of your email, which allows for less multitasking. 

What's the Big Idea?

The reason massive inboxes cause stress has to do with our psychology. Having large amounts of unfinished tasks causes anxiety, and sadly, we have difficulty distinguishing between essential tasks and hundreds of pesky emails. Programmers looking for a more substantial fix predict that artificial intelligence will hold the key to a well-managed inbox. A personal AI inbox assistant, not far from the kind recently seen in the film Her, could prioritize which emails need answering the soonest and group like emails requiring a single response. Google's "priority inbox" already organizes emails according to senders you know and senders you don't. 

Read more at BBC Future

More from the Big Idea for Wednesday, May 28 2014

Smarter Email

Have you mastered the elusive "zero inbox"? Do you shudder to think of how many hours a day you spend on email? Do you find that people are more cooperative when you chat face-to-face than over cy... Read More…

 

Inbox (∞): Email Is Broken....

Newsletter: Share: