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"Only the hand can tell where it's tender, where the patient winces." — Abraham Verghese (TED)

Is The Human Hand Our Best Technology?

by NPR/TED Staff
Feb 26, 2013 (TED Radio Hour)

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Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Do We Need Humans?

About Abraham Verghese's TEDTalk

Modern medicine is in danger of losing a powerful, old-fashioned tool: human touch. Physician and writer Abraham Verghese describes our strange new world where patients are data points, and calls for a return to the traditional physical exam.

About Abraham Verghese

In our era of the patient-as-data-point, Abraham Verghese believes in the old-fashioned physical exam, the bedside chat, the power of informed observation. Before he finished medical school, Abraham Verghese spent a year on the other end of the medical pecking order, as a hospital orderly. Moving unseen through the wards, he saw the patients with new eyes, as human beings rather than collections of illnesses. The experience has informed his work as a doctor — and as a writer. "Imagining the Patient's Experience" was the motto of the Center for Medical Humanities & Ethics, which he founded at the University of Texas San Antonio, where he brought a deep-seated empathy. He's now a professor for the Theory and Practice of Medicine at Stanford, where his old-fashioned weekly rounds have inspired a new initiative, the Stanford 25, teaching 25 fundamental physical exam skills and their diagnostic benefits to interns. He's also the author of a number of books, including his most recent, Cutting For Stone.

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Andrew McAfee speaking at TEDxBoston. (TED)

Are Droids Taking Our Jobs?

by NPR/TED Staff
Feb 26, 2013 (TED Radio Hour)

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Part 3 of the TED Radio Hour episode Do We Need Humans?

About Andrew McAfee's TEDTalk

Robots and algorithms can now build cars, write articles, and translate texts — all work that once required a human. So what will we humans do for work? Andrew McAfee looks at recent labor data to say: We ain't seen nothing yet.

About Andrew McAfee

Andrew McAfee studies how information technology affects businesses and society. McAfee's research investigates how IT changes the way companies perform, organize themselves and compete. At a higher level, his work also investigates how computerization affects competition, society, the economy and the workforce. He's a principal research scientist at the Center for Digital Business at the MIT Sloan School of Management. His books include Enterprise 2.0 and Race Against the Machine (with Erik Brynjolfsson).

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Cynthia Breazeal speaks during TEDWomen. (TED)

Will Man's Best Friend Be A Robot?

by NPR/TED Staff
Feb 26, 2013 (TED Radio Hour)

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Cynthia Breazeal speaking at TEDWomen conference.

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Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Do We Need Humans?

About Cynthia Breazeal's TEDTalk

Why do we use robots on Mars, but not in our living rooms? Cynthia Breazeal realized the key was training robots to interact with people. Now she builds robots that teach, learn — and play.

About Cynthia Breazeal

Cynthia Breazeal founded and directs the Personal Robots Group at MIT's Media Lab. Her research focuses on developing the principles and technologies for building personal robots that are socially intelligent — that interact and communicate with people in human-centric terms, work with humans as peers, and learn from people as an apprentice.

She has developed some of the world's most famous robotic creatures, ranging from small hexapod robots to highly expressive humanoids, including the social robot Kismet and the expressive robot Leonardo. Her recent work investigates the impact of social robots on helping people of all ages to achieve personal goals that contribute to quality of life, in domains such as physical performance, learning and education, health, and family communication and play over distance. She's also the author of Biologically Inspired Intelligent Robots.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Sherry Turkle is concerned about how our devices are changing us, as human beings. (TED)

Are We Plugged-In, Connected, But Alone?

by NPR/TED Staff
Feb 26, 2013 (TED Radio Hour)

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Cynthia Breazeal speaking at TEDWomen conference.

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Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Do We Need Humans?

About Sherry Turkle's TEDTalk

As we expect more from technology, do we expect less from each other? Sherry Turkle looks at how devices and online personas are redefining human connection. She says we need to really think about the kinds of connections we want to have.

About Sherry Turkle

Sherry Turkle studies how technology is shaping our modern relationships with others, with ourselves, with it. Described as the "Margaret Mead of digital culture," Turkle is currently focusing on the world of social media and sociable robots. In her most recent book, Alone Together: Why We Expect More From Technology and Less From Each Other, Turkle argues that the social media we encounter on a daily basis are confronting us with a moment of temptation.

Drawn by the illusion of companionship without the demands of intimacy, we confuse postings and online sharing with authentic communication. We are drawn to sacrifice conversation for mere connection. But Turkle suggests that digital technology is still in its infancy and there is ample time for us to reshape how we build it and use it. She is a professor in the Program in Science, Technology and Society at MIT and the founder and director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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