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1. In 1637 the French philosopher-mathematician René Descartes predicted that it would never be possible to make a machine that thinks as humans do. In 1950, the British mathematician and computer pioneer Alan Turing declared that one day there would be a machine that could duplicate human intelligence in every way and prove it by passing a specialized test. In this test, a computer and a human hidden from view would be asked random identical questions. If the computer were successful, the questioner would be unable to distinguish the machine from the person by the answers.

2. Inspired by Turing's theory, the first conference on AI convened at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire in 1956. Soon afterwards an AI laboratory was started at Massachusetts Institute of Technology by John McCarthy and Marvin Minsky, two of the nation's leading AI proponents. McCarthy also invented the AI computer language, Lisp; but by the early 1990s AI itself had not been achieved. However, logic programs called expert systems allow computers to “make decisions” by interpreting data and selecting from among alternatives. Technicians can run programs used in complex medical diagnosis, language translation, mineral exploration, and even computer design.

3. Machinery can outperform humans physically. So, too, can computers outperform mental functions in limited areas—notably in the speed of mathematical calculations. For example, the fastest computers developed are able to perform roughly 10 billion calculations per second. But making more powerful computers will probably not be the way to create a machine capable of passing the Turing test. Computer programs operate according to set procedures, or logic steps, called algorithms. In addition, most computers do serial processing: operations of recognition and computation are performed one at a time. The brain works in a manner called parallel processing, performing operations simultaneously. To achieve simulated parallel processing, some supercomputers have been made with multiple processors to follow several algorithms at the same time.

4. Critics of this approach insist that solving a computation does not indicate understanding, something a person who solved a problem would have. Human reasoning is not based solely on rules of logic. It involves perception, awareness, emotional preferences, values, evaluating experience, the ability to generalize and weigh options, and more. Some proponents of AI have, therefore, suggested that computers should be patterned after the human brain, which essentially consists of a network of nerve cells.

5. Employing what its program creators referred to as “reasoning power,” a computer at the Argonne National Laboratory in Illinois in December 1996 developed a proof for a mathematical problem that had been hypothesized more than 60 years ago but never proved. The significance of the event lay not in the nature of the proven postulate, but in the ability of the computer to reason through a mathematical problem, and not to simply solve the problem by following a specific program, or set of instructions. One scientist connected with the project likened the computer's reasoning process to human creativity, and some speculated that the development was a major step forward in the development of artificial intelligence.


V. Say whether the following statements are true or false.

1. Alan Turing assumed that there would be a device that would be able to surpass human intelligence.

2. John McCarthy and Marvin Minsky are propagandists of AI.


AI had been developed by the early 1990s.

4. AI can outperform humans physically and mentally.

5. Most computers cannot perform serial processing.

6. Rules of logic are the only thing human reasoning is based on.

7. Human brain works similar to successive processing.

8. In December 1986 a computer succeeded in solving a mathematical problem hypothesized about 60 years ago.


VI. Complete the following sentences choosing the most suitable variant.

1. Rene Descartes was the French … .

a) physicist-mathematician b) philosopher-mathematician

c) philosopher-logician

2. The first conference on AI convened at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire in … .

a) 1965 b) 1955 c) 1956

3. An AI laboratory was organized at Massachusetts Institute of … .

a) Radioengineering b) Communications c) Technology

4. The AI computer language was invented by … .

a) Rene Descartes b) Alan Turing c) McCarthy

5. Machinery can outperform humans … .

a) physically b) emotionally c) mentally

6. Computer programs operate according to … .

a) unset procedures b) logic steps c) emotional responses

7. Serial processing is performed by … .

a) some computers b) most computers c) few computers

8. Human brain performs operations … .

a) simultaneously b) in succession of actions

c) according to logic steps

9. Some scientists suggested that computers should be patterned after …

a) the human body b) the human brain c) the human emotions


VII. Read the second sentence of the text and mark pauses. Divide it into sense groups, find out the means of connection between these sense groups and between the words in each group.


VIII. In paragraphs 2 and 3 find English equivalents of the following words and word combinations.

Математические вычисления, одновременно, подходящий, достигать, в одно время, компьютерное проектирование, защитник, вдохновлять, обработка данных, грубо, следовать, объяснять данные, улучшать, физически, логические программы.


IX. Read paragraphs 1 and 4 and answer the questions.

1. Who predicted that it would never be possible to make a machine that thinks as humans do?

2. What did British mathematician and computer pioneer Alan Turing declare in 1950?

3. What was a specialized test suggested by Alan Turing?

4. What is the difference between human reasoning and solving a computation?

5. What did Al’s proponents suggest?


X. In paragraph 5 find information about the significance of the development of the computer at the Argone National Laboratory in Illinois in December 1996.


XI. Make an outline of the text.


XII. Speak about the development of the computer intelligence.


Part B



Look through the list of English words and their Russian equivalents facilitating reading text B.

tiny - очень маленький, крошечный

assembly line - сборочный конвейер

welding - сварка

replace – заменять, замещать

hazardous - опасный, рискованный

handling - обращение ( с чем-л.), умение обращаться;

handicapped - физически или умственно неполноценный


II. Define the meaning of the “x” words.

invention: invent –изобретение: X

perform: performance - выполнять: Х

operation: operate - работа: Х

increasing: increase – возрастающий: Х

manipulate: manipulator – умело обращаться: Х

technically: technician - технически: Х

constructive: construct – конструктивный: Х

house: housing – помещать: Х

development: develop – развитие: Х

possible: possibility – возможный: Х

III. Complete the sentences with the given words:

development of computer, kind of task, industrial robots, replace, can be used, a researcher, a human brain.

1. The problems of workers being replaced by….

2. Computers are likely to remain … without the ability to think or create for a long time.

3. A true android would also have to house or …to the computer.

4. The most important invention of 20th –century was….

5. Robots are very often used in our days in ….

6. The first robot …. a researcher from America Victor Scheinman.

7. Pressure –sensitive “skins” are developed for….


IV. Choose:

a) nouns

1) industrial, industry, industrious, industrially

2) selective, selected, select, selection

3) exploration, explorative, exploratory, explore

4) calculating, calculated, calculable, calculation

5) indicate, indicated, indicative, indication


b) adjectives

1) specialist, specialize, specialization, special

2) humanism, humanitarian, humanize, human

3) logic, logical, logician, logistical

4) significance, signification significant, signify

5) instruction, instructional, instruct, instructor


c) verbs

1) development, develop, developmental, developer

2) declaratory, declaration, declare, declared

3) perform, performance, performer, performing

4) solvable, solvability, solution, solve

5.) connected, connection, connect, connective


V. Read the following text and entitle it.

1. The most important 20th-century development, for automation and for robots in particular, was the invention of the computer. When the transistor made tiny computers possible, they could be put in individual machine tools. Modern industrial robots arose from this linking of computer with machine. By means of a computer, a correctly designed machine tool can be programmed to perform more than one kind of task. If it is given a complex manipulator arm, its abilities can be enormously increased. The first such robot was designed by Victor Scheinman, a researcher at the Artificial Intelligence Laboratory of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Mass. It was followed in the mid-1970s by the production of so-called “programmable universal manipulators for assembly” (PUMAs) by General Motors and then by other manufacturers in the United States.

2. The majority of the industrial robots in use in the world today are found in Japan; at least one Japanese factory uses an assembly line of robots to make still more robots.

3. Most of the robots in large automobile and airplane factories are used for welding, spray-painting, and other operations where humans would require expensive ventilating systems. The problem of workers being replaced by industrial robots is only part of the issue of automation as a whole, and individual robots on an assembly line are often regarded by workers in the familiar way that they think of their family car.

4. Current work on industrial robots is devoted to increasing their sensitivity to the work environment. Computer-linked television cameras serve as eyes, and pressure-sensitive “skins” are being developed for manipulator grippers. Many other kinds of sensors can also be placed on robots.

5. Robots are also used in many ways in scientific research, particularly in the handling of radioactive or other hazardous materials.

Many other highly automated systems are also often considered as robots. These include the probes that have landed on and tested the soils of the moon, Venus, and Mars, and guided missiles of the military.

6. None of these robots bears much resemblance to the androids of fiction. Although it would be technically possible to construct a robot that was humanlike in outward form, true androids are still only a distant possibility. For example, even the apparently simple act of walking on two legs is very hard for computer-controlled mechanical systems to duplicate. In fact, the most stable “walker” thus far devised is a six-legged system. A true android would also have to house or be linked to the computer–equivalent of a human brain. Yet despite some claims made for the future development of “artificial intelligence,” computers are likely to remain calculating machines without the ability to think or create for a long time.

7. Research into developing mobile, autonomous robots is of great value. It advances robotics, aids the comparative study of mechanical and biological systems, and can be used for such purposes as devising robot aids for the handicapped.


VI. Say if the following statements are true or false. Correct the false statements.

1. The first industrial robot was designed by Narvin Minsky.

2. Robots are used for spray –painting.

3. Robots can test the soils of the moon.

4. It would be technically impossible to construct a robot that was humanlike in out word form.

5. The majority of industrial robots we can find in Russia.

6. The most important event of 20th century was the invention of the automobile.

7. To walk on two legs is very easy for computer-controlled mechanical systems.

8. Research into developing mobile, autonomous computers is of great value.

9. Correctly designed machine tool can perform more than one kind of task.


VII. Divide the text into logical parts and find the topical sentences in each part.


VIII. Give a short summary of text B.

Part C


I. Look through the list of English words and their Russian equivalents facilitating reading text B:

adjustment 1) приспособление, регулирование, регулировка;

appropriate 1) подходящий, соответствующий (to, for)

2) свойственный, присущий ( to )

automaton автомат

craftsman мастер, ремесленник, квалифицированный рабочий devise разрабатывать, продумывать ( планы, идеи), изобретать

distinguish различить; проводить различие, различать

incorporate соединять(ся), объединять(ся)

limb конечность (человека или животного)

marvel чудо, диво; предмет удивления

medieval средневековый

rebellion восстание; бунт, мятеж


II. Look at the title. What do you think this reading will be about? Read the text and define its main idea.



1. The word robot comes from the Czech writer Karel Chapek's 1921 play ‘R.U.R.' (which stands for “Rossum's Universal Robots”), in which mechanical beings manufactured to be slaves for humanity rise up in rebellion and kill their creators. Thus the fictional image of robots is often dramatic and sometimes troubling, expressing the fears that people may have of a mechanized world over which they cannot maintain control.

The history of real robots is rarely as dramatic, but where developments in robotics may lead remains to be seen.

2. Robots exist today. They are used in a relatively small number of factories located in highly industrialized countries such as the United States, Germany, and Japan. Robots are also being used for scientific research, in military programs, and as educational tools, and they are being developed to aid people who have lost the use of their limbs. These devices, however, are for the most part quite different from or humanlike robots, and other robots of fiction. They rarely take human form, they perform only a limited number of set tasks, and they do not have minds of their own. In fact, it is often hard to distinguish between devices called robots and other modern automated systems.

3. Although the term robot did not come into use until the 20th century, the idea of mechanical beings is much older. Ancient myths and tales described walking statues and other marvels in human and animal form. Such objects were products of the imagination and nothing more, but some of the cleverly mechanized figures also mentioned in early writings could well have been made. Such figures, called automatons, have long been popular.

4. For several centuries, automatons were as close as people came to constructing true robots. European church towers provide fascinating examples of clockwork figures from medieval times, and automatons were also devised in China. By the 18th century, a number of extremely clever automatons became quite famous for a while. Swiss craftsman Pierre Jacquet-Droz, for example, built mechanical dolls that could draw a simple figure or play music on a miniature organ. Clockwork figures of this sort are rarely made any longer, but many of the “robots” built today for promotional or other purposes are still basically automatons. They may incorporate technological advances such as radio control, but for the most part they can only perform a set routine of entertaining but otherwise useless actions.

5. Modern robots used in workplaces arose more directly from the Industrial Revolution and the systems for mass production to which it led. As factories developed, more and more machine tools were built that could perform some simple, precise routine over and over again on an assembly line. The trend toward increasing automation of production processes proceeded through the development of machines that were more versatile and needed less tending. One basic principle involved in this development was what is known as feedback, in which part of a machine's output is used as input to the machine as well, so that it can make appropriate adjustments to changing operating conditions.


III. Read the text and answer the following questions:

1. Where does the word robot come from? 2. Where are robots used today? 3. What are robots used for? 4. When did the term robot come into use? 5. What is automaton?


IV. Which paragraph contains the information about the mechanical dolls in ancient times.


V. Find the place in paragraph 2 containing the information about the usage of robots for many purposes.

VI. Give the main points of the text in 5-6 sentences.

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