Could robots replace us at work? 機器人能代替我們工作嗎?

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現在,人工智能可以幫助我們消除一些枯燥的、重複性的工作。機器人技術的進步與發展著實讓人驚嘆,但與此同時,我們又有了新的擔憂:我們會被機器人取代嗎?本文介紹目前已投入工作中的機器人。

詞彙:technology 技術

If you’re in a job performing tedious tasks, you might think that a robot could do the work instead. But perhaps we underestimate how much technology already helps with the activities that we would otherwise have to do.  And as artificial intelligence progresses we might find it replaces us in the workplace altogether.

For now, robotic technology is providing a helping hand for businesses, particularly in manufacturing, assisting humans in performing work more efficiently and sometimes more accurately. For online shopping, for example, robots have become essential in giant warehouses. They sort and move millions of objects of all different shapes and sizes, although humans are still needed to pick and distribute the goods.

The advancement of robotics in the workplace is good for some businesses; the ones who research, develop, build and use them. The British government estimates that by 2035, artificial intelligence could add around £630bn to the UK economy. But there are still tasks that robots can’t yet do, and that’s the challenge for companies such as Automata. Its co-founder, Suryansh Chandra, told the BBC that his technology will eliminate boring, repetitive jobs that humans don’t like and aren’t very good at, and also create new ones that are likely to replace them.

It seems inevitable that robots will eventually be able to do more and more of the jobs that are currently performed by humans, so should we be worried by the rise of the machines? Some experts fear hundreds of thousands of jobs could disappear as robots replace human workers. A report by the OECD suggests that 14% of jobs are “at high risk of automation” and 32% of jobs could be “radically transformed“, with the manufacturing sector at the highest risk.

But as complete automation is some way off, for now we’ll have to work side-by-side with our robot colleagues – and manage to get along with them before they learn to kick us out of the door!

詞彙表

robot 機器人
artificial intelligence 人工智能
robotic 像機器人的
a helping hand 幫助,助(人)一臂之力
efficiently 有效地
accurately 準確地
essential 必不可少的
sort 挑揀,分類
distribute 分送
advancement 發展
robotics 機器人技術
research 研究
develop 開發
eliminate 消除
repetitive 重複的
inevitable 不可避免的
automation 自動化
transformed 被徹底改變

測驗與練習

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。

1. In which location do robots help with online shopping?

2. True or false? The development of robotics is bad for business.

3. Which business sector is thought to be at most risk from automation?

4. According to some, how will artificial intelligence affect the human workforce?

5. According to the article, how soon will full automation of the workplace happen?

2. 選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. The new system in the canteen is working very _______ – I no longer have to queue for a sandwich!

efficient                          efficiently                        efficientley               efficients

2. Because of the _______ in medical research, more and more people with cancer now survive and live a long and healthy life.

automation                    accurately                        transformed            advancement

3. Climate change experts say it’s now _______ that the ice caps will melt and sea levels will rise.

inevitable                       essential                          research                  accurately

4.  The car industry is cutting its workforce due to _______.

automation                    automatic                        automobiles             automations

5. My doctor has told me to _______ any dairy products from my diet.

research                        essential                          eliminate                  transform

答案

1.  閱讀課文並回答問題。  

1. In which location do robots help with online shopping?
For online shopping, robots have become essential in giant warehouses.

2. True or false? The development of robotics is bad for business.
False. The advancement of robotics in the workplace is good for some businesses; the ones who research, develop and build and use them.

3. Which business sector is thought to be at most risk from automation?
A report by the OECD suggests that 14% of jobs are “at high risk of automation” and 32% of jobs could be “radically transformed”, with the manufacturing sector at the highest risk.

4. According to some, how will artificial intelligence affect the human workforce?
Some experts fear hundreds of thousands of jobs could disappear as robots replace human workers.

5. According to the article, how soon will full automation of the workplace happen?
Not very soon. Complete automation is some way off.

2 選擇意思恰當的單詞或詞組來完成下列句子。

1. The new system in the canteen is working very efficiently – I no longer have to queue for a sandwich!

2. Because of the advancement in medical research, more and more people with cancer now survive and live a long and healthy life.

3. Climate change experts say it’s now inevitable that the ice caps will melt and sea levels will rise.

4. The car industry is cutting its workforce due to automation.

5. My doctor has told me to eliminate any dairy products from my diet.