DiscoverTED Radio HourScreen Time - Part I

Screen Time - Part I

Update: 2017-01-276


It's normal for us to always be glued to our screens. So how are they changing us, and how will they shape our future? This hour, TED speakers explore our ambivalent relationships with our screens. (Original broadcast date: September 11, 2015).

Following script is auto-generated by Speech to Text Technology:

support for this podcast in the following message come from rocket mortgage by Quicken loans lift the burden of getting a home loan with rocket mortgage and get a secure work transparent home loan approval in minutes skip the bank skip the waiting and go completely online at Quicken loans dot com slash ideas hate its guy here just a quick note to tell you what hard work and a bunch of new episodes but in the meantime take a listen to this one from the archives it's part one of our two part episode called screen time it's all about how our brains in our world our culture is changing really quickly because of our relationship to screens this is the Head Radio Hour each week groundbreaking had talked the Ted Technology Design at Stanford delivered and Ted conferences around the world gift of the human imagination we had to believe in impossible the true nature of reality beckons just beyond those talks those ideas adapted for radio NPR guy rise of the past few years corporations wanting to stage manage an announcement the unwelcome haven't turned to the corporate conference call this is where reporters can dial in and grab some quotes and write a story normally they are pretty boring but anyone listening to this call this is a call convened by Facebook in two thousand and fourteen the the Anyone listening heard a pretty amazing prediction the one for just a prediction about the future of screens on the facebook is reach an agreement to acquire skill of VR and virtual reality technology news so this is Mark second barrier on this conference call with reporters announcing that Facebook had bought for two billion dollars company that makes virtual reality headsets at this point a lot of Facebook investors are questioning that acquisition or asking questions like isn't virtual reality that thing that was supposed to happen back in the eighties that never took off and so Zuckerberg on this call was trying to justify to those investors why his company has spent two billion dollars in technology most people have never seen this is what he said the street every ten or fifteen years there's a manager who can tahan the weather now mobile history suggests that there will be more thoughtful and calm in the building to find His will not only he called the experience will also benefit financially and strategically packages of pas and friends like that were the impasse to saying anyone able to get in on the ground floor of new technology platforms like PC or the Internet or mobile devices changed the way we live in the their investors a boatload of money ok let's keep listening the the and now we're starting to get ready for tomorrow for the most exciting future platform of the modifying the secret of the immersive experiences populace can be one of the platform so basically this is Mark second birthday in March two thousand fourteen predicting that virtual reality goggles or the next smartphone the next internet the next thing that's going to transform our lives and quietly over the past few years a lot of other tech companies Microsoft Google Sony also been getting a lot of money on that same idea people are looking at this technology I think as some people think it's a novelty some people think it's a video game people are beginning to see it as a possible next up to cinema and think well we're all when talking about is an alternate version of human consciousness the The Mrs. Chris Melton he's a filmmaker his new company verse makes virtual reality films or films designed to be watched using those virtual reality goggles Chris has already put out a few early versions of those sums which you can watch her turn what you owe on a simple smartphone app that showed some of those films that's pretty cool to people around the NPR office like a cut on his knee wow whoa where did you guys get this it's not black they're looking at that's important it's how how they're seeing as how it is because the image you see changes cool depending on the direction you point the phone totally convincing it starts to feel as if you're not just watching the screen you're actually inside the technology the actually present in another place with other works to highlight the trial as we got here on this episode the technology behind our screens is moving really fast so fast in fact that we sometimes spend more time imagining how our screens will change in the future and really understanding how our screens are changing us right now you are always there and it keeps is there even if you're not actually there because it's so good at distracting us can click a button and get a dope a mean head and get some information something is blinking pay attention but it's not satisfying information most the time that I try to be healthy but I don't want to dictate my life but I think if things continue to go the way to go it's just going to get to watch the people you know I spent a lot of time in airports and I look around and everybody literally to a person is glued to their phone right now I can hear it on the the the show screen time part one of the two part Ted Radio Hour looking at this moment in history were starting to interact with their screens almost as much or sometimes even we do with other humans next week we're going to go inside the screen a place where a whole other version of the U lives again digital doppelganger which may be more real than the real you that this week was staying mainly outside the screen and start to ask what all this screen interaction is doing to us and our living more of our lives through the courts the studying of us are students and teachers all over the world consulting with the doctor for going shopping in a virtual store we can touch explore the product you're interested in putting on goggles this is really more often we talk about are we creating our eventual dystopian future and if that is the case and you are thinking the future really sorry Hye really sorry about that we'll hear more from Chris Milk later on about how virtual reality technology could change how we experience the world around us the firsts but every day screen technology is changing about us right now the eye just before start makes your phone is off off off nonsense is an island so then you can pick up all the buzz and I can get distracted by my own screen was talking about screamed Yeah exactly this is Amber's case she's an anthropologist actually to be precise in the sound a little weird with me be Amber is a cyborg anthropologist that's correct and there is a sub field of the anthropology of science which is the etymology of sight works and it looks and the relation between humans and technology how technology affects culture and how things change over time and how technology is such a big part of our lives now because Amber says to a certain extent we are all becoming cyber to explain that idea from the Ted stage the knot Robocop and you're not Terminator but your side boards every time you look at a computer screen one of your cell phone devices so what's a good definition for cyborg well traditional definition is an organism to which insurgents components have been added for the purpose of adapting to new environments that came from a nineteen sixty paper on space travel because of you think about it space is pretty awkward people aren't supposed to be there but humans are curious and they like to add things to the body so that they can go to the Alps one day and then become efficiency the next so let's look at the concept of traditional anthropology somebody goes to another country says how fascinating these people are how interesting their tools are curious the culture is and then they write a paper and maybe a few other anthropologists read it and we think it's very exotic well what's happening is that we've suddenly found a new species I was a suburb and apologists have suddenly said Oh wow now suddenly were new form of homo sapiens and and look at these fascinating cultures and look at these curious rituals that everybody is doing around around this technology that the clicking on things and staring at screens the In other words our screens are just another tool in the long line of human inventions that changed the way we live so think of stone tools or bronze arrows of the night those tools became so useful almost like extensions of our physical self almost like another limb I mean the hammers really an extension of your fist a knife is really an extension of your tooth and you can actually make that device so to speak outside of yourself and if it breaks you can just make a new one were the Savior saber toothed tiger and your tooth breaks you might not be able to eat something again right so having our devices outside of ourselves and being able to kind of switch them out depending on what we needed to do makes us incredibly versatile creatures and not long after we invented physical tools to extend what our bodies can do humans came up with mental tools to extend what our brains can do so are able to paint on the side of the cave wall and then that stores mental information outside of ourselves and that allows somebody else in the future to look at that and re absorb the information back into their brain death than we had pie or a sweet scrolls paper the printing press and loud for us to have an increase in the ability to take information outside of our sauce allow somebody to download it back into the ring but now you have Facebook and Twitter and all these different social networks and so we're just information information information but I think that the phones in a lot of these social interfaces are becoming so personal because not just a phone it's kind of a mental acts of skeleton is an external part of your brain and that's the thing rain it isn't just a phone and through it you have access to an infinite set of ideas yeah it's really a magic portal in that allows you to go into another dimension of space and time to learn your FedEx package was delivered Saturday two pm I mean literally you're going into different time zones reminder with the click of a button e mail John by ten pm GMT and so you're getting these messages from these different places all the time or federal judge orders and the kind of chopping up your experiences of Los Angeles reality mind are the key to your living in many different kind of social time zones the time zones are in Christ they raided your tweet the apps on your phone is commenting on your people texting year the people have left a voicemail at camp this was about then you can listen to because it's too noisy out up and down the side of this tree in the truck driving by CNN I mean really it's a mobile desktop and one of the problems is that it really demands all of your attention instead of lets you be human like your primary task as a human should be being human but when this device that demands all your attention it can interrupt other primary task for instance driving or just walking down the street I mean we saw of the video of the guy who was walking on the street texting and ran into a bear that is like right there the clash of of of the human dual reality the imagined reality in the objective reality right there on his iPhone and crashing into their right because walking on the street is often kind of boring place and so you can escape from it by going into a different type of plays this virtual reality that we have in our pockets has become often more real or at least attracted our attention more so even though it makes you temporarily superhuman actually gets read of a lot of the other sensory perception that you might need to rely on as an individual in society pfft pfft sold out charged a part of our brain to the device in our pocket now an apologist for Case returns in just a minute with this guy rise this episode screen time listening to the Ted Radio Hour from NPR o Hey Everyone Just a quick thanks to two of our sponsors who helped make this podcast possible first to Wordpress dot com You may only think about Wordpress for blogging but actually Wordpress powers over twenty percent of all websites they can power your small business website too with features to help you publish anything anywhere right now Wordpress dot com is offering you twenty seven percent off of the premium or Business Plan visit Wordpress dot com slash Radio Hour to create your small business website today thanks also to Whole Foods Market they believe in food that's naturally beautiful and fresh nourishing delicious and powerful so there are no artificial colors no artificial flavors no artificial preservatives no artificial sweeteners in any of the food they sell from the food they make fresh in their stores to food on the shelves to fresh fish meat and delicious snacks they don't sell it unless it meets their standards learn more whole foods market dot com slash real food it's the Ted Radio Hour from NPR and Guy rise show Today Screen Time Part One we're looking at how our interaction with screens is changing us and we were just hearing from an apologist Amber Case who studies how our screens increasingly are extensions of ourselves and because of that you have a second self here's more from her Ted talk whether you like it or not you're starting to show up online and people are interacting with their second self when you're not there and suddenly we have to start to maintain our second so you have to present yourself in digital life in some way that you would in your analog life so the same way that you wake up take a shower and didn't trust him to learn to do that for your digital self the problem is that a lot of people now especially adolescents have to go through to adolescents use to have to go through their primary one that's already awkward and then they have to go through their second self adolescence and that's even more awkward because there's an actual kind of history of what they've gone through online as what happens as we bring all that into the social space we end up checking our phones all the time three of the sort of thing called ambient intimacy is not that we're always connected everybody but anytime we can connect to anyone you want and so there are some psychological effects that happen with this one I'm really worried about is that people are taking time for mental reflection anymore and that they aren't slowing down and stopping been around all those people in the room all the time they are trying to compete for attention not just sitting there and really have no external inputs that is a time when there's a creation of self we can try and figure out who you really are and what you do that you can figure out how to present her second Sultan a legitimate way instead of just dealing with everything as it comes in and I have to do this I have to do this have to do this or if you look it's also affecting like ie lose my mind if I'm in a line and for some reason I don't have my smart phone with me you don't need to have you experience after experience at all the time now the issues that a lot of people are using the phone in a supermarket checkout line because as a human in an industrial society they're put on pas and the thing that re connects them to some sort of humanity is to take out the phone you see people using phones a lot in non place is something that you don't have any relation or history or identity Ann and the phone itself has more relation history and identity to you than an airport for instance or highway we often find people using their phones in these kind of inhuman places in order to get back some of the humanity that's been put on pas soo what do you do her daily from all that I like to go on road trips because it's like to go on road trips and bring paper maps and turn off my phone because I'm forced to be with myself forced to talk the person next to me and look outside or it feels really nice afterwards like when you're a kid and you have to experience real time like you feel like you're little bit more real again case she's a cyborg anthropologist you can check out her full talk at Ted that kind so if your screen or your device is like an extension of your mind it's also a way to convey your emotions become a Facebook post about a bad day or he can put an Instagram photo of a great day smiling but the thing is your screen can't really understand how you feel at least not yet I think building machines and devices that can sense your emotions I think with that type of technology instead of people like molding the social signals and then they disappear in cyberspace we have an opportunity to capture them this is Rafael CA you be she's a computer scientist who spent the past few years and I tease Media Lab and the idea that our devices could be built to detect emotions it came to our move from Cairo to Cambridge in the UK back in late nineteen nineties to work on her P. H. D. That was the first time I was basically away from home run I was in England by yourself thousands of miles away from anyone she knew and I was pretty lonely at the thought of these days and because she was in a new place where she didn't know anyone was actually spending most of her time with her laptop which wasn't much of a friend at all had absolutely what my emotional state wise and I could be happy or I could be stressed or frustrated and it would be completely oblivious so runners sitting there in England and she's wondering how to fix this but if i devices could sense how we felt and reacted accordingly just the way and emotionally intelligent friend what today more than fifteen years after she first asked this question I explained how she is getting closer to the answer here she is on the Ted stage the questions that me and my team to create technologies that can read and respond to our emotions and our starting point was the human face for human face happens to be one of the most powerful channels that we all use to communicate social and emotional states everything from enjoyment surprise empathy and curiosity in the most in science we call it eats facial muscle movement and action you met for example Action Unit twelveth it is a live quarter pole which is the main component of a smile another example is action unit for its the brow far Oh it's when you dry your eyes cross together in the cradle these textures and wrinkles we don't like them but it's a strong indicator of a negative emotion so we have about forty five of these action units and they combine to express hundreds of emotions teaching a computer to read the facial emotions is hard because these action units they can be fast they are subtle and they combine many different ways the show initially run and her team fed tens of thousands of photos of people smiling or frowning into a computer program so he could learn all these tiny little micro expressions today we have twelve billion examples of those expressions which makes the technology even better at detecting all the subtleties in our faces and so they've done is combine the program with a tiny camera can like the one already built into your smartphone and during her Ted talk Iran out of the volunteer names Chloe and I gave Chloe an iPad to hold up in forever face as he can see the algorithm has essentially found Chloe's face of this white bounding box and then it identifies the main feature points on your face eyebrows her eyes her mouth and her nose and it starts tracking how these facial muscles move over time so for example when you smile and then as he files this is the genuine smile it's great for you can see the green Fargo opposite corners move upwards and outwards in the create these wrinkles around your eyes and your cheeks I try like a subtle slant to see if the computer tracking it does recognize subtle smiles as well we fucked me hard to make that happen and it identifies these things and says OK you're smiling here and it maps it to an emotional state once Rhonda and her team perfect this technology she imagines all kinds of ways other scientists an engineers could build it into our lives for example you could send an email one day embedded with data and that how you're feeling as you wrote it or what your phone your laptop or maybe even nearing a bathroom read your face every day and imagine if all these devices talked each other and they can captured various aspects of your day of the day and we have a baseline for you so we know what's your norm and then we also know when you deviate from that norms your phone can save him the piano I've noticed that you haven't laughed for the past four days what's going on is there something I can do to help you know if it knows your humor profile for example in the oh my god the city has no idea what a great Buddhist can find content that is really funny the Stay hungry Stay foolish or inspiring as you graduate to begin anew I wish that for you the end it can suggest five minutes of meditation or dance music art dance music that took the the second to a lot of things once it understands what your patterns are and what your emotions are over time I think in five years down the our devices are going to have an emotion chat and we will it was like when we couldn't just found out our device and our device would say he didn't like that did you imagine if you're learning app sense that you're confused and slow down or you're bored so it's that up just like a great teacher what in the classroom in motion enabled wearable glasses can help individuals who are visually impaired meet the faces of others and can help individuals on the autism spectrum interpret emotion something that they really struck a less what if your wristwatch tracks your mood or your car sense that you're tired or perhaps your fridge knows that your stress so it oughta locks to prevent the babies today would like that yet what if and I was in came breads I had access to my real time ocean stream I could share that with my family back home in a very natural way I'm just like I would've if we were all in the same room together have you imagine all the scaly change us write because I know part of this makes me a little uncomfortable so we're very social animals and social beings and the only thing were changing is this paradigm in which we interact with technology rate we are becoming more and more digital were surrounded by a lot more highly connected intelligent devices and I don't think that that's going to change anytime soon like I don't see my daughter suddenly stopping taxing like that's going to be very hard and so I think the solution is not to curb our use of technology but instead embrace it and build empathy into that technology I think it's important that we learn is humans that our emotions continue to matter even in additional while the the cats running out the UB company is called perfect either you can check out her entire talk the two that come the the show today part one of the two parter were calling screen time this episode were looking at the ways we interact with our screens and how those interactions might be changing us to think about the human brain from very early age our brain responds to and is shaped by what we see and what we hear her eye In this idea has been studied by a lot of scientists including this one needs to be true for stock this time pediatrician and epidemiologist and the parent of two teenagers and a few years ago Dimitri did a study on new born babies just a day old a play the music like this Mozart and then he would analyze their breathing but we've learned is that babies even that one day a page will have discernible changes in the respiratory rate and breathing depending on what they're hearing so maybe listening to this actually will see that the reading pattern is slow and steady so like if you listen to Mozart it's like that's about right but in contrast he says he put on something that has a different save Stravinsky the with more minor chords the the the breathing pattern became more irregular and slightly faster than the very interesting thing was at the end of that second to Stravinsky we put Mozart back on then they see a return to the original breeding patterns I like the the help that isn't to say that one source of the views of another is preferable to the baby but we can say is that they are so attuned to their environment early on that they make such subtle distinctions even on their very first day of the now the idea here is the way our brains are stimulated matters especially when Rhiannon and our brains are being shaped by that stimulation but for most kids that stimulation is not Mozart it's not Stravinsky get screen time lots and lots of screen time here in the US for example the typical preschool child spends about four and half hours a day and from the screen and Dimitri has been researching what that means for those kids and for their future here's his Ted Talk Now we know from decades of research the two little stimulation early on is bad for brain development but the question we've had our lap for some time is what about too much is actually possible to over stimulate the developing brain or more properly to appropriately stimulate the developing brain in ways that are actually not beneficial or harmful and this is important because were technology rising child to today in a way that's unprecedented in nineteen seventy the average age at which children began to watch TV regularly was four years and today based on research that we've done it for months it's not just how morally they watch but how much they watch the typical child before the age of five is watching out for a half hours of TV a day that represents as much as forty percent of their waking hours the more the end all that's going to presumably he is cutting down and how often kids are interacting in the real world the simple truth is that we're all what they call a digital immigrants incredible thing to me is our children who
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Simple Solutions


How Art Changes Us


Maslow's Human Needs


Dialogue And Exchange


Press Play




Getting Organized


Citizen Science


Failure Is An Option


Future Consequences


The Power of Design






Fighting Cancer


Rethinking School


Shifting Time


Beyond Tolerance




Crisis And Response




Peering Into Space


Truth And Lies


A Better You




Disruptive Leadership


Wired For Altruism


7 Deadly Sins




How Things Spread


To Endure


How It All Began


Speaking Up


Building Better Cities


Painfully Funny


Open Source World


Decisions Decisions Decisions


Spoken And Unspoken


The Spirit Of Inquiry


Playing With Perceptions


Getting Better


Screen Time - Part II


Screen Time - Part I


The Five Senses




The Hero's Journey


Simply Happy


Believers And Doubters




Just A Little Nicer




Giving It Away


The Food We Eat




Democracy On Trial






The Meaning Of Work


How We Love




Amateur Hour




Big Data Revolution


The Act Of Listening


Slowing Down


Why We Lie


Brand Over Brain


Shifting Time


Failure Is An Option


The Fountain Of Youth


What Makes Us ... Us


Animals And Us


Growing Up




Trust and Consequences


Becoming Wise






The Power Of Design


Maslow's Human Needs


The Case For Optimism


Press Play


Beyond Tolerance


Solve For X


What Is Original?


Crisis and Response


The Unknown Brain




What We Fear


How Things Spread


Keeping Secrets


The Money Paradox


To Endure


In Search Of


Rethinking Death


7 Deadly Sins




Building Better Cities


What Is Beauty?


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Screen Time - Part I