Robot Edward Snowden Was on Stage at TED

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
March 19 2014 10:42 AM

Robot Edward Snowden Was on Stage at TED

Edward Snowden made an appearance on the #TED2014 stage on March 18 via BEAM, a telepresence robot.
Edward Snowden made an appearance on the #TED2014 stage on March 18 via BEAM, a telepresence robot.

Photo courtesy Xprize

It's one thing to Hangout with Ed Snowden at SXSW, but TED 2014 gave him physical form. He still wasn't really there, of course, but he was controlling a BEAM telepresence robot from his undisclosed location in Russia. He navigated to his spot on stage and looked out at the audience.

The Snowden-bot talked with Chris Anderson about what it means to be a whistle-blower, where the conversation about NSA surveillance and Internet freedom should be going, and what was really revealed in documents about initiatives like PRISM. If the speaking engagements keep coming, it's only a matter of time before hologram Snowden speaks at a graduation.

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Photo by TED.

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Photo from TED.

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Lily Hay Newman is lead blogger for Future Tense.