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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.

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Today's Big Idea: Humanizing Technology

The Big Idea for Wednesday, May 23, 2012

A promising new computer-brain interface has allowed a paralyzed woman in a lab to sip coffee. A silicon chip records her thoughts and a robot arm does the rest of the work. 

What is the significance of this development?

For people with physical disabilities, this offers the hope that one day they will be able to perform routine tasks with the aid of technology. That means sipping coffee, dressing themselves, or even driving a car.

Technology also offers the possibility of changing the lives of people without physical disabilities. In what ways can technology merge with human biology to make us happier, healthier, and live longer, more fulfilling lives? 

Big Think explores this question and others in a series called Humanizing Technology


  1. 1 Thought Control: Paralyzed Woman Sips Coffee with Brain-Computer Interface and Robotic Arm
    Daniel Honan Humanizing Technology
  2. 2 #32: Implant Memory Chips in Our Brains
    Caroline Rothstein Dangerous Ideas
  3. 3 Could We Learn Skills "Matrix"-Style?
    Michio Kaku
  4. 4 Finding Your Inner Cyborg
    Big Think Editors IdeaFeed

Today's Big Idea: Humanizin...

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