Tech for the elderly and the risk of a robot takeover

The World

In honor of all the silver foxes out there (and the people who love them), we dedicate this week’s tech segment to assistive technologies for older people.

Dr. Nick Terrafranca, medical director of MediSens (a spinoff of the UCLA Wireless Health Institute) develops inventions to increase independence and safety for seniors. He joins us to explain some of his inventions, including the SmartShoe, which uses fighter jet technology to help older people maintain their balance.

And Dr. Sherry Turkle is an MIT professor who researches robotics and their impact on people’s lives. She’s the author of “Simulation and Its Discontents.” She tells us about what kinds of assistive technologies are the best and worst, in her opinion (hint: robots that replace eldercare workers rank low on her list).

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