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Catherine: Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English.
I'm Catherine.
Rob: And hello, I'm Rob.
Catherine: Today we have another
technology topic.
Rob: Oh good! I love technology.
It makes things easier, it's fast and means I can
have gadgets.
Catherine: Do you think that technology
can actually do things better than humans?
Rob: For some things, yes. I think
cars that drive themselves will be safer than humans
but that will take away some of
the pleasure of driving. So I guess it
depends on what you mean by better.
Catherine: Good point, Rob. And that
actually ties in very closely with today's topic
which is technochauvinism.
Rob: What's that?
Catherine: We'll find out shortly, Rob, but
before we do, today's quiz question.
Artificial Intelligence, or A.I., is an area of
computer science that develops the
ability of computers to learn to do things
like solve problems or drive cars without crashing.
But in what decade was the
term 'Artificial Intelligence' coined?
Was it: a) the 1940s, b) the 1950s
or c) the 1960s?
Rob: I think it's quite a new expression
so I'll go for c) the 1960s.
Catherine: Good luck with that, Rob,
and we'll give you the answer later in the programme.
Now, let's get back to our
topic of technochauvinism.
Rob: I know what a chauvinist is.
It's someone who thinks that their country or
race or sex is better than others.
But how does this relate to technology?
Catherine: We're about to find out.
Meredith Broussard is Professor of Journalism at New York University
and she's written a book called Artificial Unintelligence.
She appeared on the BBC Radio 4 programme
“More or Less” to talk about it.
Listen carefully and find
out her definition of technochauvinism.
Meredith Broussard: Technochauvinism is
the idea that technology is always the highest and best solution.
So somehow over the past couple of decades
we got into the habit of
thinking that doing something with a computer
is always the best and most
objective way to do something and
that's simply not true.
Computers are not objective, they are
proxies for the people who make them.
Catherine: What is Meredith Broussard's
definition of technochauvinism?
Rob: It's this idea that using technology
is better than not using technology.
Catherine: She says that we have this idea
that a computer is objective.
Something that is objective is neutral, it doesn't have
an opinion, it's fair and it's unbiased
so it's the opposite of being a chauvinist.
But Meredith Broussard says this is not true.
Rob: She argues that computers are not
objective. They are proxies for the people that make them.
You might know the
word proxy when you are using your computer in one country
and want to look at something
that is only available in a different country.
You can use a piece of software
called a proxy to do that.
Catherine: But a proxy is also a person or
a thing that carries out your wishes and
your instructions for you.
So computers are only as smart or as
objective as the people that programme them.
Computers are proxies for their programmers.
Broussard says that believing too much in
Artificial Intelligence can make the world worse.
Let's hear a bit more. This time find out
what serious problems in society
does she think may be reflected in AI?
Meredith Broussard: It's a nuanced problem.
What we have is data on the world as it is
and we have serious problems with racism,
sexism, classism, ageism,
in the world right now so there is
no such thing as perfect data.
We also have a problem inside the tech world
where the creators of algorithms do not
have sufficient awareness of social issues
such that they can make good technology
that gets us closer to a world as it should be.
Rob: She said that society has problems
with racism, sexism, classism and ageism.
Catherine: And she says it's a nuanced problem.
A nuanced problem is not simple,
but it does have small and important areas
which may be hard to spot,
but they need to be considered.
Rob: And she also talked about
algorithms used to program these technological systems.
An algorithm is a set of instructions that
computers use to perform their tasks.
Essentially it's the rules that they use
to come up with their answers and
Broussard believes that technology will
reflect the views of those who create the algorithms.
Catherine: Next time you're using a piece
of software or your favourite app, you
might find yourself wondering if it's a
useful tool or does it contain these little
nuances that reflect the views of the developer.
Rob: Right, Catherine.
How about the answer to this week's question then?
Catherine: I asked in which decade was
the term 'Artificial Intelligence' coined.
Was it the 40s, the 50s or the 60s?
Rob: And I said the 60s.
Catherine: But it was actually the 1950s.
Never mind, Rob. Let's review today's vocabulary.
Rob: Well, we had a chauvinist - that's
someone who believes their country, race
or sex is better than any others.
Catherine: And this gives us technochauvinism,
the belief that a technological solution is
always a better solution to a problem.
Rob: Next - someone or something that is
objective is neutral, fair and balanced.
Catherine: A proxy is a piece of software
but also someone who does something for you, on your behalf.
A nuanced problem is a subtle
one, it's not a simple case of right or wrong,
in a nuanced problem there are small
but important things that you need to consider.
Rob: And an algorithm is a set of
software instructions for a computer system.
Catherine: Well, that's all we have time for today.
Goodbye for now.
Rob: Bye bye!
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【BBC 英語】六分鐘學會談論科技的限制 (Learn to talk about the limitations of technology in 6 minutes!)

1314 分類 收藏
Evangeline 發佈於 2018 年 7 月 23 日    Adeline 翻譯    Evangeline 審核
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