Wednesday, May 9 | 8–9 a.m.
Professor, author, consultant and researcher, Sherry Turkle has spent the last 30 years researching the psychology of people’s relationships with technology. She is the Abby Rockefeller Mauzé Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology in the Program in Science, Technology and Society at MIT, as well as the founder and current director of the MIT Initiative on Technology and Self, a center of research and reflection on the evolving connections between people and artifacts.
Referred to by many as the "Margaret Mead of digital culture," Professor Turkle has investigated the intersection of digital technology and human relationships from the early days of personal computers to our current world of robotics, artificial intelligence, social networking and mobile connectivity. Her New York Times best-seller, “Reclaiming Conversation: The Power of Talk in the Digital Age” (Penguin Press, October 2015), focuses on the importance of conversation in digital cultures, including business and the professions. Her previous book, "Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other" (Basic Books, 2011), was a featured talk at TED2012, describing technology's influence on relationships between friends, lovers, parents and children, and new instabilities in how we understand privacy and community, intimacy and solitude.
Professor Turkle's exploration into our lives on the digital terrain shows how technological advancement doesn't just catalyze changes in what we do—it affects how we think. Her research also raises critical questions about technology's role in business productivity, asking whether multi-tasking actually leads to deteriorating performance in each of our tasks. Does our always connected state affect our ability to think, to be creative and to innovate?
Professor Turkle has been profiled in such publications as The New York Times, Scientific American, and WIRED. She is a featured media commentator on the effects of technology for CNN, NBC, ABC and NPR, including appearances on such programs as Nightline, 20/20 and The Colbert Report, and has been named a Harvard Centennial Medalist and a Ms. Magazine Woman of the Year. In 2014, she was named to American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Professor Turkle received a joint doctorate in sociology and personality psychology from Harvard University, and is a licensed clinical psychologist.
Prior to the Opening Plenary session, visit the foyer outside the ballroom at 7:30 a.m. for a networking breakfast to reconnect with old friends and meet new colleagues.