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November 29, 2012

IAI TV to Rival TED with Intelligent Interaction

By Spear's

With its roster of leading thinkers, fierce debates and uncompromising editorial, IAI TV is set to rival TED, says Isabella Southby

With its roster of leading thinkers, fierce debates and uncompromising editorial, IAI TV is set to rival TED, says Isabella Southby

This month, IAI TV unveils its new-look site. The website, which hosts hundreds of philosophical debates online and enables visitors to watch content for free, is the brainchild of Hilary Lawson, director of the Institute of Art and Ideas. The philosopher, who has a background in broadcast journalism, set about creating a site with the tag line ‘philosophy for our times’ and one which, in the words of IAI TV organizers offers ‘cutting edge debate and talks from the world’s leading thinkers, free for everyone.’ 

So what makes it different to its major rival TED? Firstly, IAI TV is pioneering ‘intelligent interaction’, a completely original element that allows viewers to jump between sections of debate and interact with the material in new ways. More significantly, the site offers a far broader event format, with debates, solo talks, and a series of ‘in conversations’. It’s the debates, however, that really set it apart from the long-running American organisation. IAI speakers come together to thrash out ideas in a gloves-off arena. They tackle the big questions and offer new ways of thinking about them. At IAI TV, the focus is on shaping, not merely responding to, the 21st century intellectual landscape.

Read more: What is TED?

Content is regularly updated and celebrates philosophy in its broadest forms, spanning culture and society, metaphysics and language, politics and economics, science and technology, literature and film, ethics and religion, psychology and mind, human body and medicine, and art and music.

The site features the likes of Brian Eno, Ed Vaizey, Peter Singer, Mary Midgley, Phillip Blond, Ruth Padel, Terry Eagleton, Jez Butterworth, Richard Sennett, Philip Pullman, William Nicholson, Michael Eavis, Harry Eyres, Bianca Jagger, Michael Nyman, James Lovelock, Mark Haddon, Steven Pinker, Marc Quinn, David Aaronovitch, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Jesse Norman, Julia Peyton-Jones, Jake Chapman, Mark Vernon, Luce Irigaray and hundreds more.

Read more: The rise of the debating club

Current highlights include Bjorn Lomborg, Giles Fraser, Hilary Rose, Ziauddin Sardar, and Jonathan Derbyshire considering new notions of progress in ‘Uncharted Territory’. In ‘Global Futures’, Robert Skidelsky, Vince Cable and Will Hutton ask what lies in store for the global economy, while Rachel Armstrong, Steve Fuller, Susan Greenfield consider whether there is any real alternative to science in ‘Alchemy, Anarchy and Science’. Editor-in-Chief of Spear’s, William Cash, Laurie Penny, Peter York and Felicity Evans ask whether there should be limits to the political and cultural power of the super-rich in ‘The Global Aristocracy’.

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Elsewhere, David Berman, James Wilk and Rupert Sheldrake debate the system of peer review in ‘The Eureka Moment’ and Angie Hobbs, Craig Bourne, Jim Al-Khalili, and Raymond Tallis question how we should make sense of time in ‘Time’s Arrow’. In ‘Venus In Furs’, Andrea Beckmann, Minette Marrin and Rowan Pelling get to grips with accounts and depictions of violent sex, whilst in ‘The Best of Times?’, Edward Mortimer, Meghnad Desai and Stephen D. King consider global prosperity.

For more information, see

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