Photos: James Duncan Davidson

TED Blog


The interspecies internet: Diana Reiss, Peter Gabriel, Neil Gershenfeld and Vint Cerf at TED2013

Posted by: Kate Torgovnick
February 28, 2013 at 8:13 pm EST

The internet connects people all over the world. But could the internet also connect us with dolphins, apes, elephants and other highly intelligent species?

In a bold talk in Session 10 of TED2013, four incredible thinkers come together to launch the idea of the interspecies internet. Each takes four minutes to talk, then passes the metaphorical baton, building the narrative in parts.

The talk begins with Diana Reiss, a cognitive psychologist who studies intelligence in animals. She shows us a video of an adorable dolphin twirling in the water. But the dolphin isn’t spinning playfully for the camera — the dolphin is watching itself in a two-way mirror.

“A dolphin has self-awareness,” says Reiss. “We used to think this was a uniquely human quality, but dolphins aren’t the only non-human animals to show self-recognition in a mirror. Great apes, our closest relatives, also show this ability.” Ditto for elephants and even magpies.

Read more: The interspecies internet: Peter Gabriel and Vint Cerf at TED2013 — TED Blog.

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