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READING PASSAGE 1

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 1-13 which are based on Reading Passage 1 below.

Man or Machine

A

During July 2003, the Museum of Science in Cambridge, Massachusetts exhibited what Honda calls ‘the world’s most advanced humanoid robot’, ASIMO (the Advanced Step in Innovative Mobility). Honda’s brainchild is on tour in North America and delighting audiences wherever it goes. After 17 years in the making, ASIMO stands at four feet tall, weighs around 115 pounds and looks like a child in an astronaut’s suit. Though it is difficult to see ASIMO’s face at a distance, on closer inspection it has a smile and two large ‘eyes’ that conceal cameras. The robot cannot work autonomously – its actions are ‘remote-controlled’ by scientist through the computer in its backpack. Yet watching AIMIO perform at a show in Massachusetts it seemed uncannily human. The audience cheered as ASIMO walked forwards and backwards, side to side and up and downstairs. After the show, a number of people told me that they would like robots to play more of a role in daily life – one even said that the robot would be like ‘another person’.

B

While the Japanese have made huge strides in solving some of the engineering problems of human kinetics and bipedal movements, for the past 10 years scientists at MIT’s former Artificial Intelligence (AI) lab (recently renamed the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, CSAIL) have been making robots that can behave like humans and interact with humans. One of MIT’s robots, Kismet, is an anthropomorphic head and has two eyes (complete with eyelids), ears, a mouth, and eyebrows. It has several facial expressions, including happy, sad, frightened and disgusted. Human interlocutors are able to read some of the robot’s facial expressions, and often change their behavior towards the machine as a result – for example, playing with it when it appears ‘sad’. Kismet is now in MIT’s museum, but the ideas developed here continue to be explored in new robots.

C

Cog (short for Cognition) is another pioneering project from MIT’s former AI lab. Cog has a head, eyes, two arms, hands and a torso – and its proportions were originally measured from the body of a researcher in the lab. The work on Cog has been used to test theories of embodiment and developmental robotics, particularly getting a robot to develop intelligence by responding to its environment via sensors, and to learn through these types of interactions.

D

MIT is getting furthest down the road to creating human-like and interactive robots. Some scientists argue that ASIMO is a great engineering feat but not an intelligent machine – because it is unable to interact autonomously with unpredictabilities in its environment in meaningful ways, and learn from experience. Robots like Cog and Kismet and new robots at MIT’s CSAIL and media lab, however, are beginning to do this.

E

These are exciting developments. Creating a machine that can walk, make gestures and learn from its environment is an amazing achievement. And watch this space: these achievements are likely rapidly to be improved upon. Humanoid robots could have a plethora of uses in society, helping to free people from everyday tasks. In Japan, for example, there is an aim to create robots that can do the tasks similar to an average human and also act in more sophisticated situations as firefighters, astronauts or medical assistants to the elderly in the workplace and in homes – partly in order to counterbalance the effects of an ageing population.

F

Such robots say much about the way in which we view humanity, and they bring out the best and worst of us. On one hand, these developments express human creativity – our ability to invent, experiment, and to extend our control over the world. On the other hand, the aim to create a robot like a human being is spurred on by dehumanized ideas – by the sense that human companionship can be substituted by machines; that humans lose their humanity when they interact with technology; or that we a little more than surface and ritual behaviors, that can be simulated with metal and electrical circuits.

 

Questions 1-6

Reading passage 1 has six paragraphs, A-F.

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter, A-F, in boxes 1-6 on your answer sheet.

NB  You may use any letter more than once

1   different ways of using robots

2   a robot whose body has the same proportion as that of an adult

3   the fact that human can be copied and replaced by robots

4   a comparison between ASIMO for Honda and other robots

5   the pros and cons of creating robots

6   a robot that has eyebrows

Questions 7-13

Complete the following summary of the paragraphs of Reading Passage 1.

Using NO MORE THAN TWO WORDS from the Reading Passage for each answer.

Write your answers in boxes 7-13 on your answer sheet.

In 2003, Massachusetts displayed a robot named ASIMO which was invented by Honda, after a period of 7……………………… in the making. The operating information is stored in the computer in its 8……………………… so that scientists can control ASIMO’s movement. While Japan is making great progress, MIT is developing robots that are human-like and can 9………………………. Humans. What is special about Kismet is that it has different 10……………………… which can be read by human interlocutors. 11……………………… is another robot from MIT, whose body’s proportion is the same as an adult. By responding to the surroundings through 12……………………., it could develop its 13…………………………

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READING PASSAGE 2

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 14-26 which are based on Reading Passage 2 below. 

Photovoltaics on the rooftop

A natural choice for powering the family home

A

In the past, urban homeowners have not always had much choice in the way electricity is supplied to their homes. Now, however, there is a choice, and a rapidly increasing number of households worldwide are choosing the solar energy option. Solar energy, the conversion of sunlight into energy, is made possible through the use of ‘photovoltaics’, which are simple appliances that fit onto the roof of a house.

B

The photovoltaics-powered home remains connected to the power lines, but no storage is required on-site, only a box of electronics (the inverter) to the interface between the photovoltaics and the grid network. Figure 1 illustrates the system. During the day, when the home may not be using much electricity, excess power from the solar array is fed back to the grid, to factories and offices that need daytime power. At night, power flows the opposite way. The grid network effectively provides storage. If the demand for electricity is well matched to when the sun shines, solar energy is especially valuable. This occurs in places like California in the US and Japan, where air-conditioning loads for offices and factories are large but heating loads for homes are small.

C

The first systematic exploration of the use of photovoltaics on homes began in the US during the 1970s. A well-conceived program started with the sitting of a number of residential experiment stations’ at selected locations around the country, representing different climatic zones. These stations contained a number of ‘dummy’ houses, each with different solar-energy system design. Homes within the communities close to these stations were monitored to see how well their energy use matched the energy generated by the stations’ dummy roofs. A change in US government priorities in the early 1980s halted this program.

D

With the US effort dropping away, the Japanese Sunshine Project came to the fore. A large residential test station was installed on Rokko Island beginning in 1986. This installation consists of 18 ‘dummy’ homes. Each equipped with its own 2-5 kilowatt photovoltaic system (about 20 – 50 square meters for each system). Some of these simulated homes have their own electrical appliances inside, such as TV sets, refrigerators and air conditioning units, which switch on and off under computer control providing a lavish lifestyle for the non-existent occupants. For the other systems, electronics simulate these household loads. This test station has allowed being explored in a systematic way, under well-controlled test conditions. With no insurmountable problems identified, the Japanese have used the experience gained from this station to begin their own massive residential photovoltaics campaign.

E

Meanwhile, Germany began a very important ‘1,000 roof program’ in 1990, aimed at installing photovoltaics on the roofs of 1,000 private homes. Large federal and regional government subsidies were involved, accounting in most cases for 70% of the total system costs. The program proved immensely popular, forcing its extension to over 2,000 homes scattered across Germany. The success of this program stimulated other European countries to launch a similar program.

F

Japan’s ‘one million roof program’ was prompted by the experience gained in the Rokko Island test site and the success of the German 1,000 roof program. The initially quoted aims of the Japanese New Energy Development Organization were to have 70,000 homes equipped with the photovoltaics by the year 2000, on the way to 1 million by 2010. The program made a modest start in 1994 when 539 systems were installed with a government subsidy of 50 percent. Under this program, entire new suburban developments are using photovoltaics.

G

This is good news, not only for the photovoltaic industry but for everyone concerned with the environment. The use of fossil fuels to generate electricity is not only costly in financial terms, but also in terms of environmental damage. Gases produced by the burning of fossil fuels in the production of electricity are a major contributor to the greenhouse effect. To deal with this problem, many governments are now proposing stringent targets on the amount of greenhouse gas emissions permitted. These targets mean that all sources of greenhouse gas emissions including residential electricity use will receive closer attention in the future.

H

It is likely that in the future, governments will develop building codes that attempt to constrain the energy demands of new housing. For example, the use of photovoltaics or the equivalent may be stipulated to lessen demands on the grid network and hence reduce fossil fuel emissions. Approvals for building renovations may also be conditional upon taking such energy-saving measures. If this were to happen, everyone would benefit. Although there is an initial cost in attaching the system to the rooftop, the householder’s outlay is soon compensated with the savings on energy bills. In addition, everyone living on the planet stands to gain from the more benign environmental impact.

 

Photovoltaics on the family home 

 Residential use of photovoltaics – by day excess power is sent to the grid, and by night power is supplied to the home.

 

  

Questions 14-19

The Reading Passage 2 has nine paragraphs A-H

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct letter A-H, in boxes 14-19 on your answer sheet.

NB  You may use any letter more than once.

14   examples of countries where electricity use is greater during the day than at night

15   a detailed description of an experiment that led to photovoltaics being promoted throughout the country

16   the negative effects of using conventional means of generating electricity

17   an explanation of the photovoltaic system.

18   the long-term benefits of using photovoltaics

19   a reference to wealthy countries being prepared to help less wealthy countries have access to photovoltaics

 

Questions 20-26

Do the following statements agree with the information given in Reading Passage 2?

In boxes 20-26 on your answer sheet, write

TRUE               if the statement is true

FALSE              if the statement is false

NOT GIVEN    if the information is not given in the passage

20   Photovoltaics are used to store electricity.

21   Since the 1970s, the US government has provided continuous support for the use of photovoltaics on homes.

22   The solar-powered house on Rokko Island is uninhabited.

23   In 1994, the Japanese government was providing half the money required for installing photovoltaics on homes.

24   Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Australia all have strict goals with regard to greenhouse gas emissions.

25   Residential electricity use is the major source of greenhouse gas emission.

26   Energy-saving measures must now be included in the design of all new homes and improvements to buildings.

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READING PASSAGE 3

You should spend about 20 minutes on Questions 27-40 which are based on Reading Passage 3 below.

What Are Dreams?

A

Thousands of years ago, dreams were seen as messages from the gods, and in many cultures, they are still considered prophetic. In ancient Greece, sick people slept at the temples of Asclepius, the god of medicine, in order to receive dreams that would heal them. Modern dream science really begins at the end of the 19th century with Sigmund Feud, who theorized that dreams were the expression of unconscious desires often stemming from childhood. He believed that exploring these hidden emotions through analysis could help cure mental illness. The Freudian model of psychoanalysis dominated until the 1970s when new research into the chemistry of the brain showed that emotional problems could have biological or chemical roots, as well as environmental ones. In other words, we weren’t sick just because of something our mothers did (or didn’t do), but because of some imbalance that might be cured with medication.

B

After Freud, the most important event in dream science was the discovery in the early 1950s of a phase of sleep characterized by intense brain activity and rapid eye movement (REM). People awakened in the midst of REM sleep reported vivid dreams, which led researchers to conclude that most dreaming took place during REM. Using the electroencephalograph (EEG), researchers could see that brain activity during REM resembled that of the waking brain. That old them that a lot more was going on at night than anyone had suspected. But what, exactly?

C

Scientists still don’t know for sure, although they have lots of theories. On one side are scientists like Harvard’s Allan Hobson, who believes that dreams are essentially random. In the 1970s, Hobson and his colleague Robert McCarley proposed what they called the “activation-synthesis hypothesis’” which describes how dreams are formed by nerve signals sent out during REM sleep from a small area at the base of the brain called the pons. These signals, the researchers said, activate the images that we call dreams. That put a crimp in dream research; if dreams were meaningless nocturnal firings, what was the point of studying them?

D

Adult humans spend about a quarter of their sleep time in REM, much of it dreaming. During that time, the body is essentially paralyzed but the brain is buzzing. Scientists using PET and fMRI technology to watch the dreaming brain have found that one of the most active areas during REM is the limbic system, which controls our emotions. Much less active is the prefrontal cortex, which is associated with logical thinking. That could explain why dreams in REM sleep often lack a coherent storyline (some researchers have also found that people dream in non-REM sleep as well, although those dreams generally are less vivid.) Another active part of the brain in REM sleep is the anterior cingulate cortex, which detects discrepancies. Eric Nofzinger, director of the Sleep Neuroimaging Program at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, thinks that could be why people often figure out thorny problems in their dreams. “As if the brain surveys the internal milieu and tries to figure out what it should be doing, and whether our actions conflict with who we are,” he says.

E

These may seem like vital mental functions, but no one has yet been able to say that REM sleep or dreaming is essential to life or even sanity. MAO inhibitors, an older class of antidepressants, essentially block REM sleep without any detectable effects, although people do get a “REM rebound” – extra REM – if they stop the medication. That’s also true of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) like Prozac, which reduce dreaming by a third to a half. Even permanently losing the ability to dream doesn’t have to be disabling. Israeli researcher Peretz Lavie has been observing a patient named Yuval Chamtzani, who was injured by a fragment of shrapnel that penetrated his brain when he was 19. As a result, he gets no REM sleep and doesn’t remember any dreams. But Lavie says that Chamtzani, now 55, “is probably the most normal person I know and one of the most successful ones.” He’s a lawyer, a painter and the editor of a puzzle column in a popular Israeli newspaper.

F

The mystery of REM sleep is that even though it may not be essential, it is ubiquitous – at least in mammals and birds. But that doesn’t mean all mammals and birds dream (or if they do, they’re certainly not – talking about it). Some researchers think REM may have evolved for physiological reasons. “One thing that’s unique about mammals and birds is that they regulate body temperature”, says neuroscientist Jerry Siegel, director of UCLA’s Center for Sleep Research. “There’s no good evidence that any coldblooded animal has REM sleep.” REM sleep heats up the brain and non-REM cools it off, Siegel says, and that could mean that the changing sleep cycles allow the brain to repair itself. “It seems likely that REM sleep is filling a basic physiological function and that dreams are a kind of epiphenomenon,” Siegel says – an extraneous byproduct; like foam on beer.

G

Whatever the function of dreams at night, they clearly can play a role in therapy during the day. The University of Maryland’s Clara Hill, who has studied the use of dreams in therapy, says that dreams are a ‘backdoor’, into a patient’s thinking. “Dreams reveal stuff about you that you didn’t know was there,” she says. The therapists she trains to work with patients’ dreams are, in essence, heirs to Freud, using dream imagery to uncover hidden emotions and feelings. Dreams provide clues to the nature of the more serious mental illness. Schizophrenics, for example, have poor-quality dreams, usually about objects rather than people. “If you’re going to understand human behavior,” says Rosalind Cartwright, a chairman of psychology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, “here’s a big piece of it. Dreaming is our own storytelling time – to help us know who we are, where we’re going and how we’re going to get there.” Cartwright has been studying depression in divorced men and women, and she is finding that “good dreamers,” people who have vivid dreams with strong storylines, are less likely to remain depressed. She thinks that dreaming helps diffuse strong emotions. “Dreaming is a mental-health activity,” she says.

 

 

Questions 27-31

Reading Passage 3 has seven paragraphs, A-G.

Which paragraph contains the following information?

Write the correct number, A-G, in boxes 27-31 on your answer sheet.

27   Reference of an artist’s dreams who has versatile talents

28   The dream actually happens to many animals

29   Dreams are related to benefit and happiness

30   advanced scientific technology applied in the investigation of the REM stage.

31   questioning concern raised about the usefulness of investigation on dreams

Questions 32-34

Choose the correct letter, A, B, C or D.

Write your answers in boxes 33-45 on your answer sheet.

32   What were dreams regarded as by ancient people?

A   superstitious and unreliable

B   communication with gods and chance to predict the future

C   medical relief for children with an ill desire

D   rules to follow as they fell asleep in a temple

33   According to Paragraph D, which part of the brain controls reasoning?

A   anterior cingulate cortex

B   internal cortex

C   limbic system

D   prefrontal cortex

34   What can we conclude when the author cited a reference for dreams in animals?

A   Brain temperature rises when REM pattern happens.

B   The reason why mammals are warm-blooded

C   mammals are bound to appear with more frequent REM.

D   REM makes people want to drink beer with more foam.

Questions 35-40

Look at the following people and the list of statements below.

Match each statement with the correct person, A-G.

Write the correct letter, A-G, in boxes 35-40 on your answer sheet.

List of people

A          Sigmund Freud

B          Allan Hobson (Harvard)

C          Robert McCarley

D         Eric Nofzinger

E          Jerry Siegel

F          Clara Hill

G         Rosalind Cartwright

35   Dreams sometimes come along with REM as no more than a trivial attachment

36   Exploring patients’ dreams would be beneficial for treatment as it reveals the unconscious thinking

37   Dreams help people cope with the difficulties they meet in the daytime

38   Decoding dreams would provide a reminder to human desire in the early days

39   Dreams are a body function to control strong emotion

40   Dreams seem to be as randomly occurring and have limited research significance.

Passage 1

1. E

2. C

3. F

4. D

5. F

6. B

7. 17 years

8. backpack

9. interact with

10. facial expressions

11. Cog/ Cognition

12. sensors

13. intelligence

Passage 2

14. B

15. D

16. H

17. B

18. I

19. E

20. FALSE

21. FALSE

22. TRUE

23. TRUE

24. NOT GIVEN

25. NOT GIVEN

26. FALSE

Passage 3

27. E

28. F

29. G

30. D

31. C

32. B

33. D

34. A

35. E

36. F

37. D

38. A

39. G

40. B

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