Humans Can Never Be Broken

Upgrade is a story about the humanity bound up inside our new human evolution.

It’s also a story that needs a lot of research.  I’ve plugged myself into a broad spectrum of science to try and see where the trends are taking us — robotics, bionics, neural mapping, brain injury repair, stem cell research, machine learning.  It’s a lot of fun reading about this stuff, and makes me almost wish I taken a more hard-sciences background approach to life.  But the one that really hits where it feels good is this TEDTalk by Hugh Herr.

The blurb doesn’t really do it justice: Hugh Herr is building the next generation of bionic limbs, robotic prosthetics inspired by nature’s own designs. Herr lost both legs in a climbing accident 30 years ago; now, as the head of the MIT Media Lab’s Biomechatronics group, he shows his incredible technology in a talk that’s both technical and deeply personal — with the help of ballroom dancer Adrianne Haslet-Davis, who lost her left leg in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, and performs again for the first time on the TED stage.

What does it justice is his closing comments: We will not be cowed.  We will not be frightened.  Humans can never be broken.