BIL sort of formed out of a desire to shadow TED," says Eric Gradman, a roboticist who spoke at the first BIL, in 2008. For example, Mr. Gradman says, "TED often defaults to, 'How can we use neuroscience to help the sick?' and BIL says, 'How can we use those same technologies to make humans even more awesome?'
I'll be at the BIL conference this weekend. If you're around, come by and say hi!