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.

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

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Today's Big Idea: Man Vs. Machine

The Big Idea for Wednesday, July 18, 2012

As kids, we expected to one day drive a flying car. Or own a personal jetpack. For decades, we've been hearing that work will be replaced with leisure time as soon as a robot housekeeper comes on the market. But none of us flies to work, and we all do our own cooking and cleaning. What happened? Why have so few of the predictions made about technology come true?

First, we don't have enough investors willing to take risks on the kind of long-term investment that such development requires. We've also been looking at the problem in the wrong way. As David Eagleman told Big Think in a recent interview, "if we want to solve the AI problem we need to approach it in the same way Mother Nature did" -- that is, developing overlapping, flexible solutions rather than focusing on a single one. 

But there's still hope. The groundbreaking discoveries are still happening at an amazing pace. The trick is figuring out how to bring them to life.


  1. 1 What Happened to the Future?
    Megan Erickson Think Tank
  2. 2 Four Technologies That Could Revolutionize The Way We Live
    Nicholas Clairmont Think Tank
  3. 3 What Went Wrong With AI?
    Jonathan Fowler and Elizabeth Rodd Big Think TV
  4. 4 Michio Kaku: The Energy of the Future
    Megan Erickson Re-Envision

Today's Big Idea: Man Vs. M...

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