90. Reading Skills Comprehension: INVENTION OF COMPUTERS

By | February 24, 2020

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INVENTION OF COMPUTERS

1. One of the greatest advances in modern technology has been the invention of computers. They are already widely used in industry 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 on the close of this present century towards a situation when a computer will be as much part of man’s daily life as, a telephone or a calculator.

2. 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 accidents, or they can count a number of times the word ‘and’ has been used in the Bible. Because they work accurately and at high speeds, they save research workers years of hard work. 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 far more leisure than they do today. The coming of automation is bound to have important social consequences.

3. 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 be able to operate. Then can never, as it were, lead independent lives or ‘rule the world’ by making decisions of their own.

4. Sir Leon said that in the 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. It is impossible to assess the importance of a machine of this sort, for many international misunderstandings are caused simply through our failure to understand each other. Computers will also be used in ordinary public hospitals. By providing a machine with a patient’s systems, a doctor will be able to diagnose the nature of his illness. Similarly, machines could be used to keep a check on a patient’s health record and bring it up to date. Doctors will, therefore, have immediate access to a great many facts which will help them in their work. Book-keepers and accountants, too, could be relieved of dull clerical work, for the tedious task of compiling and checking lists of figures could be done entirely by machines. Computers will also be able to tell the exact age a man is going to live with the help of his blood picture. Computers are the efficient servant’s man has ever had and there is no limit to the way they can be used to improve our lives.

with a flourish—sweeping gesture. used to attract attention.                          

Questions

1. Answer the following questions as briefly as possible :

a) Why does the writer call computers one of the greatest advances in modern technology?

b) What is automation?

c) How does automation help human-beings?

d) Mention two areas wherein computers can be effectively used, according to the writer.

e) Though computers are capable of learning from their mistakes and improving on their performance they will never be able to replace the man. Why?

2. Find words in the passage which convey a similar meaning as the following :

a) estimate

b) complex

c) monotonous

 Answers

1.a) There is hardly any sphere of human life where computers are not playing an important role. That is why the writer calls them one of the greatest advances in modem technology.

b)Automation means getting machines to work for us.

c)Automation helps human beings by creating more leisure for them.

d) Computers can be effectively used in the areas of medical diagnosis and book-keeping.

e) Computers can work only under directions from man. That is why they will never be able to replace the man.

2. a) estimate -assess.

b) complex- complicated.

c) monotonous -dull.

Download the above Passage in PDF Worksheet (Printable)

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