Google hosted the second edition of its exclusive TED-like “Solve for X” gathering last week and today, the company posted some of the videos from the event. Just like last year, the point of Solve for X 2013 was to hear about moonshot ideas – the kind of proposals that, as Google puts it, “address a huge problem, suggest a radical solution that could work, and use some form of breakthrough technology to make it happen.”
Last year, our own Sarah Perez covered the launch of the updated website, which at that time didn’t include any of the new videos and features Google announced today.
In their blog post today, Solve for X hosts Megan Smith and Astro Teller write that these moonshot ideas “aim to make something 10x better, not just 10 percent,” and Google wants to celebrate the audacity of the moonshot attempt itself. This year, Solve for X featured the likes of Flaminia Catteruccia, who suggested a shift “in our approach to stopping the spread of Malaria” and Keith Black, who proposed a simple eye exam to diagnose Alzheimer’s 20 years before symptoms appear. The most science fiction-like proposal of this year’s crop probably came from Peter Diamandis’ and Eric Anderson’s asteroid mining company Planetary Resources.
Because of this, Google also updated the SolveForX.com website to turn it into a forum to encourage this kind of moonshot thinking. Anybody can now submit an idea. Google will review these ideas (which should be submitted in video form) and will post them to the site within about 48 hours.
Google also partnered with a number of other organizations, including X PRIZE, GE FOCUS FORWARD, TED, MIT Technology Review, Singularity University, and ASU’s Center for Science and the Imagination to cross-promote their videos on its own Solve for X site.