One of the greatest advances in modern technology has been the invention of computers. They are widely used in industries and in universities. Now there is hardly any sphere of human life where computers have not been pressed into service of man. We are heading fast towards the day when a computer will be as much part of man's daily life as a telephone or a calculator.
Computers are capable of doing extremely complicated work in all branches of learning. They can solve the most complex mathematical problems or put thousands of unrelated facts in order. These machines can be put to varied uses. For instance, they can provide information on the best way to prevent traffic jams. This whole process by which machines can be used to work for us has been called 'automation'. In the future 'automation' may enable human beings to enjoy more leisure than they do today. The coming of automation is bound to have important social consequences.
Some years ago an expert on automation, Sir Leon Bagrit, pointed out that it was a mistake to believe that these machines could 'think'. There is no possibility that human beings will be "controlled by machines". Though computers are capable of learning from their mistakes and improving on their performance, they need detailed instructions from human beings to operate. They can never, as it were, lead independent lives or "rule the world" by making decisions of their own.
Sir Leon said that in future, computers would be developed which would be small enough to carry in the pocket. Ordinary people would then be able to use them to obtain valuable information. Computers could be plugged into a national network and be used like radios. For instance, people going on holiday could be informed about weather conditions. Car drivers can be given alternative routes when there are traffic jams. It will also be possible to make tiny translating machines. This will enable people who do not share a common language to talk to each other without any difficulty or to read foreign publications.
a) What is the greatest advancement in modern technology?
b) What complicated works are computers capable of doing?
c) Write one use of computers.
d) Explain automation.
e) Why can't computers lead independent lives or rule the world?
f) How would computers as translating machines help people?
g) What was the prediction of Sir Leon about computers in the future?
h) How can computers help people going on holiday?
a) One of the greatest advancements in modern technology is the invention of computers.
b) Computers are capable of doing complicated works such as solving the most complex mathematical problems and putting thousands of unrelated facts in order.
c) Computers can provide information of the best way to prevent traffic jams.
d) The process by which computers can be used to work for humans is called automation.
e) As computers cannot make decisions of their own and need detailed instructions from human beings to operate, they can never lead independent lives or rule the world.
f) As translating machines, computers will help people who do not share a common language to talk to each other without any difficulty or to read foreign publications.
g) Sir Leon predicted that in future computers would be developed which would be small enough to carry in the pocket and that ordinary people would be able to use them to obtain valuable information. It may also be possible to plug them into a national network and use them like radios.
h) Computers can help people going on holiday by informing them about weather conditions.