Wednesday, February 13, 2013

BETTER THAN HUMAN: WHY ROBOTS WILL - AND MUST - TAKE OUR JOBS



By: Kevin Kelly
Published: Wired Magazine; December 24, 2012; www.wired.com Alternatively, just google the title and writer’s name.
Level of Difficulty: ***
BEFORE YOU READ
Benefits of robotics and automation http://videos.mhi.org/the-benefits-of-robotics-and-automation
The Future of Robotics and Artificial Intelligence (Andrew Ng, Stanford University, STAN 2011)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AY4ajbu_G3k
QUESTIONS
1.       What was the impact of the automation in the 19th century on workers?
2.       What does “This deep automation” refer to and what new area will it impact as well?
3.       What will the advantage of having pill dispensing robots in pharmacies be to customers?
4.       In general, what kind of white collar work can be automated?
5.       What view do we need to be disabused of before examining robots?
6.       Modern day robots are not put to work in a restricted area cut off from the workers because………………………………………………………………… (There are two answers; find both)
7.       The modern industrial robots are cheaper in the long run because …………………………………….
8.       The initial cost of modern day robots like Baxter is low, which has the following advantage:
9.       Why would it be difficult to employ robots in fast food restraints at present?
10.   Read the example of the 787 jet. What is the reason for this state of affairs?
11.   Read the information concerning quadrant B. In general, what kind of jobs are we assigning to robots? Be brief and to the point. There are three answers; find them all.
12.   Read the paragraph beginning quadrant C. Find the topic sentence and concluding statement. Why have they been expressed the way they have?
13.   According to the writer, automation will continue at an accelerated pace because ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………
14.   What does “them” refer to in the phrase “that will make them possible?
15.   Although wave upon wave of new robots and automation make lots of new vocations possible, there is one thing these robots will never be able to do. It is ………………………….(There are three possible answers; find them all)
16.   Which sentence best summarizes the ideas expressed in the paragraph beginning “This post industrial…”?
17.   What does “it refer to in the phrase “Right now it seems unthinkable”?
18.   Having access to a robot will not guarantee success on its own; …………………………………….. will also be a factor.
19.   Currently, being a team player is considered an asset when applying for a job.  Will this be true in the future as well? Explain.
WRITING TASK

Write an essay discussing the positive effects of the extensive use of robots in business. Use the points below, which come out of the last paragraph of the text, the text itself and any notes you made while listening to the video you found.

·         Robots will take the jobs we’ve been doing and do them better
·         Robots will do jobs we can’t do at all
·         Robots will do jobs we never imagined needed to be done
·         Robots will help us discover new jobs for ourselves
·         Robots will let us focus on becoming more human than we are.
BETTER THAN HUMAN: WHY ROBOTS WILL – AND MUST – TAKE OUR JOBS KEY AND TEACHER’S NOTES
When I first found this text on Wired Magazine, I felt it looked rather tedious to be quite frank but then I read it! Discovering I was very wrong indeed, I prepared this task. The activity will need to be prefaced with a good topical video and a class discussion. Time will also need to be made for the writing task.
1.       Automation created hundreds of millions of jobs in entirely new fields for them.
2.       Automation (one won’t do) that is centered on artificial cognition, cheap sensors, machine learning and distributed smarts; knowledge work.
3.       Pharmacists can focus on patient consulting.
4.       The rote tasks. Of any information intensive job means white collar work so you don’t need it.
5.       The idea that they will be human like.
6.       They are not dangerous; they can perceive humans working near them and avoid injuring them.
7.       To train a robot you simply grab its arms and guide them in the correct motions and sequences and any worker is capable of this show and tell.
8.       Small time manufacturers can afford one.
9.       Because in a fast food place, you are not doing the same task very long; you are always changing things on the fly.
10.   We still tend to believe computers and robots can’t be trusted.
11.   Jobs we could never do; jobs we are unable to do; jobs humans can’t do
12.   The first sentence, the last sentence; he is arguing a point so he has to end up where he started.
13.   The bulk of new tasks created by automation are tasks only other automation can handle.
14.   The highest earning professions in the year 2050.
15.   Deciding what it is that humans want to do; asking the question what are humans for; dreaming up more answers to the question what should we do.
16.   The first sentence.
17.   Bots performing everything else that can be measured.
18.   Innovation in the organization, optimization and customization of the process of getting work done with bots and machines.
19.   No, you’ll be paid in the future based on how well you work with robots.

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