How does Nicholas Negroponte know his nonprofit, One Laptop per Child, is improving education in the Third World? When participating schools see their truancy rates drop to zero, he believes it's doing something right. In his Big Think interview, Negroponte also took on critics who insist that students must learn from print books because laptops are inherently distracting.

The founder and former director of MIT's Media Labs also provided a preview of some of the most extraordinary new technologies his colleagues are developing, including direct wireless communication with the cells of the human body. Turning to current events, he predicted whether the recent spat between Google and Rupert Murdoch represents the first sign of a more divided media landscape in the years to come.