This is not the world we once knew. The world is controlled by computers. Men and women can be seen, but they are following the orders given to them by machines.
Does this scenario sound familiar? You have probably read something like it in magazines or science – fiction books, or seen it in films. Why is the theme so popular? One of the reasons is undoubtedly that it reflects the fears of many people: fear of the unknown, fear of what is not understood, or, at least, fear of something that is partially comprehended. This fear is perhaps not very different from the way witches and black cats were feared in the Middle Ages.
The fact is that every day it seems that computers take control of another area of our lives. Some factory jobs are now done by robots and the robots in turn are controlled by computers. Our bank accounts are managed by computers. At the airport, our tickets are issued and our seats are assigned by a computer. Certainly, many of these operations are made more efficient by computers, but our admiration is sometimes combined with feelings of insecurity. And this insecurity is caused by the fact that we don’t know how computers do these things, and we really don’t know what they might do next.
But we can find out how computers work, and once we understand them we can use computers instead of worrying about being used by them.
1. Write a title in English which best summarises the text, and justify your answer in order to show that you have understood the global meaning of the text. (Minimum 25 words, maximum 40 words)
2. Explain in English the meaning of the following expressions as used in the text
b) Feelings of insecurity: This means that / This happens when / We have this feeling when ... we do not feel secure / safe.
3. Complete the second sentence of each pair so that it has the same meaning as the first one.
a) Computers are controlling our lives.
- Our lives are being controlled by computers.b) You have probably read something like it in magazines.
- It is likely that you have read something like it in magazines.
4. Answer the following questions in your own words. The information must be taken from the text.
a) In what ways is the world being dominated by computers?
Computers dominate the world because they control robots, our bank accounts and other things. They do a lot of the work in factories and airports, where they give us our tickets and the number of our seat in the aeroplane.
b) Why do some people fear computers?
5. Do you think that computers make the world less human? Explain your answer. (Minimum 100 words, maximum 120 words)
I do not think this sentence is true. On the contrary, the world is less human because of other things, such as wars, guns and pollution, which are happening in places where there aren’t any computers, for example in Africa. Computers, I believe, can help us to be more efficient, to live better and to do our jobs faster and better. For example, cars work much better nowadays because everything in them works with mini-computers and chips. We can communicate with our friends with them on the Internet, learn anything we want, and besides computers also give us a lot of fun when we play games.