The Dangers of Automation
自動化科技的危險

語音播放:

It goes without saying that advancements in technology equal progress for humankind. As the machines and devices around us becomes more and more automatic, life gets easier and better, right?
不用說,科技進步等於人類的進步。我們周遭的機器與電子設備變得愈來愈自動化,生活也愈簡易、變得更好,對嗎?

Recently some experts have been warning that increased automation isn’t always beneficial. In some cases, it may even be hurting us.
最近有些專家發出警告,自動化的增加並不一定是有益的。在某些情況下,甚至可能會傷害我們。

語音播放:

One example is airplanes. These days, most aircraft are so automatic that they just about fly themselves. Pilots have become ‘watchers’ of the machine, sitting there to make sure everything runs smoothly. As a result, they are losing their skills. There have been at least two recent examples of pilots improperly reacting in emergency situations when they were forced to take control of the plane from the autopilot, causing hundreds to die.
其中一個例子是飛機。現代大部分的飛機都有自動駕駛。機師變成飛航器的「觀察員」,坐在那裡確保每個步驟都順利進行。結果,他們卻失去了開飛機的技術。至少有兩起最近案例都是在緊急情況發生時,當他們要關閉自動導航模式以控制飛機時,卻因為失誤而造成數百人死亡。

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Another example is the self-driving car. Google has already developed a car that drives on its own, and it is proving to be safer than cars with human drivers. However, the car has raised a lot of controversy. If the car does crash and kill somebody, who will be to blame? The car owner? The manufacturer? Google’s CEO?
另一個例子是自駕汽車。谷歌已經發展出可以自動駕駛的汽車,也證明比人類司機更加安全。然而,這台車輛卻引起相當大的爭議。假如汽車相撞而造成死亡,那麼罪責在何人呢?車主?製造商?還是谷歌的執行長?

語音播放:

Yet another danger of automation is that people will get lazy and lose touch with reality. The more the world around us becomes automatic, the less connection we have to our surroundings. If we rely on computers to do all the thinking for us, we stop using our brain. And what happens when the computer breaks or is wrong? Will we even notice? It may be time for us to stop putting so much blind faith in technology.
另一項自動科技帶來的危險就是,人們將會變得很懶惰、與現實脫節。我們周遭的世界愈是自動化,我們和環境的連結就愈小。假如我們仰賴電腦來為我們思考,我們就會停止動腦。當電腦壞掉或失誤時,會發生甚麼事呢?我們甚至會注意到嗎?該是我們停止對科技盲從的時間了。

Vocabulary 好字精選

1. automation (n) the process or fact of being more automatic  自動化技術,自動操作
Due to increased automation in the way doctors prescribe medicine, many of them are losing their skills in diagnosing patients.  
由於醫生診斷的自動化方法增加的關係,許多醫生喪失了診斷病患的技術。

2. beneficial (adj) of benefit to sb  有益的,有幫助的
The changes in the contract were beneficial to both parties.
合約的變更對兩方有益。

3. controversy (n) public disagreement over an issue  爭議,爭論
The recent decision to add some new holidays for blue collar workers has caused a lot of controversy.
近期藍領階層新增加休假日的決定已經造成許多爭議。

4. manufacturer (n) producer  製造商
Our company is the primary manufacturer of a small chip that is used in Macintosh laptops.
我們公司是麥金塔手提電腦裡使用的微晶片的主要製造商。

5. surroundings (n) environment  周遭環境
Try to be more aware of your surroundings while you are walking down the street.
走在街上時要試著留意周遭環境。

Phrases and Sentence Patterns 句型解析

1. tied to (phr) connected to  與…相關
Jim’s decision to quit is tied to his low wage.
Jim決定要離職的原因與他的低薪有關。

2. it comes as no surprise that (phr) it is not surprising that  毫不訝異
It came as no surprise that Jennie forgot my birthday. She always does. 
我毫不訝異Jennie忘記我的生日。她總是忘記。

3. join the ranks of (phr) to join a group, usually in a high/respected position  加入行列
Mark Zuckerberg has joined the ranks of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet as one of the richest people in America.
Mark Zuckerberg(馬克祖柏格)加入Bill Gates(比爾蓋茲)和Warren Buffet(華倫巴菲特)的行列成為美國最有錢的人之一。

Exercise 課後練習題

1. After the full ______________ of the doors in the school, many students kept forgetting and trying to push them open.
學校的門改成全自動門後,許多學生一直忘記,還企圖要把門推開。

2. While most technology is ____________ in some way, it could also have negative consequences.
大多的科技多少有益,但也有可能造成負面的結果。

3. There has been a lot of _______________ recently over immigration policies in the US.
美國最近的移民制度有很多爭議性。

4. Samsung Electronics, the ______________ of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7, rushed their production, which has resulted in the ‘exploding cellphone’ phenomenon.
Samsung Galaxy Note 7的製造商---三星電子產品公司推促產品的完成,結果造成手機爆炸現象。

5. Giant pandas prefer to live in natural, isolated ______________.
熊貓比較喜歡住在天然、與世隔絕的環境中。

6. ______________ I’ll be returning this T-shirt to the store. It ripped the first time I wore it!
不用說,我會將這件T恤退回店裡。我第一次穿衣服就破了!

7. Have you totally _______________ reality? You never look up from your smartphone screen!
你完全與現實脫節了嗎?你從來都沒有抬頭不看手機螢幕!

8. If we put too much _____________ in our devices, we no longer have control over our own lives.
假如我們對於電子裝置過於盲從,我們對自己的生活就再也無法掌控了。

解答:
1.automation
2.beneficial
3.controversy
4.manufacturer
5.surroundings
6.It goes without saying that
7.lost touch with
8.blind faith

Comprehension Questions 閱讀理解

1. Which of the following would the author agree with?
a. It is high time that we decrease our dependence on machines.     
b. It goes without saying that technological advances equal progress.
c. It is high time that we increase our dependence on machines.
d. It goes without saying that computers can improve our skills.

2. What is one ethical issue raised by Google’s driverless car?   
a. It’s not as safe as cars with human drivers.   
b. It’s unaffordable for most people.  
c. It isn’t actually fully automatic.
d. It causes confusion regarding responsibility.

解答:
1. 以下選項何者是作者所同意敘述?
a. 我們降低對機器的依賴性的時間到了。
b. 不用說,科技進步等於人類進步。
c. 我們增加對機器的依賴的時間到了。
d. 不用說,電腦可以增進我們的技術。

2. 谷歌的無人駕駛車所提出的道德議題為何?
a. 不比人類司機所開的車來的安全。
b. 大部份的人都負擔不起。
c. 其實不是全自動化。
d. 造成對於責任感的混淆。

 

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