Free Daily Reads 2022: Article 118

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Article Title: To automate is human


Article Summary

This article deals with whether we humans are supreme unique species on earth and analysis various factors that make us unique or not.The author starts giving an example of Soviet scientist Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov used artificial insemination to breed a ‘humanze’ but failed . This poses a question of whether humans are a creature apart, above all other life, or whether we’re just one more animal in a mad scientist’s menagerie. To answer this He feels that We have lost our exclusive position in the animal kingdom because we underestimated our cousins.Scientists concoct a new, intelligent task for the chimps, and they do it before passing down these tasks to other primates, who usually also manage to complete them . We become a bit less unique and a bit more animal with each finding.

The author gives various examples of culture or empathy in animals but the evidence threatening to refute human exceptionalism was always waved off as an insufficiently ‘pure’ example of the phenomenon in question. He emphasises through his examples that although It took longer, but animals eventually caught up . Another uniqueness of the human race against other species is the language but the author refutes to this as it is narrowly defined about grammatical language. It does not cover all communication, nor even the ability to convey abstract information as animals too communicate all the time . Even some intelligent animals can be coaxed to manipulate auditory signals that are similar to us .

The author states that the only field where no other animal has entered is the field of Artificial intelligence . He further describes how human tools evolved and gave us a superior edge over other species and also how we have made machines to dump our load of work on them .

The author concludes that as we stand on the precipice of a revolution in AI, many are bracing for a huge upheaval in our economic and political systems as this new form of automation redefines what it means to work.

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Words to Learn from this article:

Quandaries: a state of perplexity or uncertainty over what to do in a difficult situation

Disquieting: inducing feelings of anxiety or worry

Burgeoning: begin to grow or increase rapidly; flourish

Transcedence: existence or experience beyond the normal or physical level

Hubristic: excessively proud or self-confident

Shibboleth: a custom, principle, or belief distinguishing a particular class or group of people, especially a long-standing one regarded as outmoded or no longer important

Baulk: hesitate or be unwilling to accept an idea or undertaking

Anvil: a heavy iron block with a flat top and concave sides, on which metal can be hammered and shaped

Ineptly: without skill or aptitude for a particular task or assignment; maladroit

Coax: persuade (someone) gradually or gently to do something

Bot: a robot

Trajectory: the path followed by a projectile flying or an object moving under the action of given forces

Trebuchet: a machine used in medieval siege warfare for hurling large stones or other missiles

Penchant: a strong or habitual liking for something or tendency to do something

Slur: speak (words) indistinctly so that the sounds run into one another

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