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


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

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


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

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


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

Virtual Coaching For The Conversationally Challenged

June 14, 2013, 8:30 PM

What's the Latest Development?

A team of developers at the MIT Media Lab has created a software system, My Automated Conversation Coach (MACH), that people can use in the privacy of their homes to practice their conversational skills. The system uses the computer's webcam to note facial expressions, head movements, and eye contact, and it uses the microphone to capture many different details about the user's voice, including pitch, speed, and what words they use. Even better, it provides feedback, which team leader M. Ehsan Hoque says is more effective than a human's "because it's objective."

What's the Big Idea?

The National Institute of Mental Health reports that about 15 million American adults struggle with social phobias, among them public speaking. A conversation simulator like MACH could allow these people to overcome their fears. Tests involving MIT juniors who participated in two separate simulated job interviews showed that those who practiced with MACH in between the interviews and received detailed feedback showed "statistically significant improvement" in their performance. A video describing the system noted that it could also be used to practice speaking different languages as well as how to perform on a date.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

Read it at Phys.org


Virtual Coaching For The Co...

Newsletter: Share: