This Hacker Built a Vending Machine for Crows as an Ingenious Response to a Cocktail Party Argument

The Lesson: A strange experiment in wildlife behavior turned into a jaw-dropping lesson on the importance of reassessing our predispositions towards new ideas. In this presentation, Joshua Klein talks about how building a vending machine for crows has helped to teach people about the empowerment of embracing diversity—particularly biological diversity—as we navigate the ever-changing world together with our animal counterparts.

Notable Excerpt: “It turns out, we’ve been finding more and more that crows are really intelligent. Their brains are in the same proportion as chimpanzee brains are. There’s all kinds of anecdotes for the different kinds of intelligence they have. For example, in Sweden, crows will wait for fishermen to drop lines through holes in the ice. And when the fishermen move off, the crows fly down, reel up the lines, and eat the fish or the bait. It’s pretty annoying for the fishermen.”

The Speaker: Joshua Klein is a fervent hacker of all things—including animals and people and the way they behave. After years of pursuing his fascination for crows, he created a vending machine that mutually benefits him and his feathered friends by training them to collect coins in exchange for peanuts. His CrowBox design has tremendous implications for human-animal relationships in the future—and you can even build your own CrowBox using the free, open source instructions on his website.

Podcast: TED is a nonprofit devoted to spreading ideas in the form of short, powerful talks and ideas delivered in 18 minutes or less. TED began in 1984 as a conference where Technology, Entertainment and Design converged; today, it covers every topic ranging from science and business to global issues and current events in more than 100 languages. To learn more about TED, check out their website, TED Talks library, Facebook, or YouTube channel.

(WATCH the incredible lecture below)

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