2.en.9 Back to the Future

Mankind has always wondered what the future might have ahead for us. For some the future conjures apocaliptical images of disaster and destruction while others look forward  to a better life. In this lesson we are going to reflect about our worries or expectations about what the future may bring to us and a famous  physicist and futurist , Dr. Michio Kaku, will share his ideas about robots with us.

Why Back to the Future? Well, Back to the Future is the title of an American science fiction adventure comedy film which was directed by Robert Zemeckis and produced by Steven Spielberg in 1985. The film tells the story of Marty McFly, a teenager who is accidentally sent back in time from 1985 to 1955. He meets his future-parents in high school and accidentally attracts his future mother’s romantic interest. Marty must repair the damage to history by causing his parents-to-be to fall in love, and with the help of scientist Dr. Emmett “Doc” Brown, he must find a way to return to 1985.

Unfortunately we won’t have time to watch the film, but I’ve thought we could start with something light before we delve into the deep thoughts of our future lives. Watch the video of a famous song from the 1950s: Que sera sera (Whatever will be, will be) in which a young girl asks herself about her future. The song won an Oscar in 1956 when it was used as soundtrack in a well known film. Try to find the answer to the following questions:

a. What film was it?

b. Who directed it?

c.Who sang the song in the film?

d.What role does the song play in the film?

Now listen to a modern version of the song by the American group Pink Martini and try to complete the missing words:

1. When I was just a ……………….. girl

I asked my mother what will I be

Will I be ………………..

Will I be rich

Here’s what she said to me

Que sera sera

Whatever will be will be

The future’s not ……………….. to see

Que sera sera

Que sera sera

2. When I was just a child in school

I asked my teacher what should I ………………..

Should I paint pictures

Should I sing songs

This was her ……………….. reply

Que sera sera

Whatever will be will be

The future’s not ………………..to see

Que sera sera

3. When I grew up and fell in love

I asked my ……………….. what lies ahead

Will there be ……………….. day after day

Here’s what my sweetheart said

Que sera sera

Whatever will be will be

The future’s not ………………..to see

Que sera sera

Okay, it might not have been the most exciting of songs, but it was only an excuse to talk about the future.

In fact, we have been talking about future plans and predictions and we have already learnt about this American physicist, Dr. Michio Kaku. Dr. Kaku works in the field of theoretical physics, just as Einstein, and he has devoted much of his time to think about how things will be different for us in the future. If you’re interested you can visit his website:

Banner

Well, today we are only going to explore some of Dr. Kaku’s ideas. He’s been considering about the possibility of developing robots to a point in which they could get ideas about killing humans. Well, let’s hope this will never happen. Indeed, he mentions the Three Laws of Robotics which were devised  in 1942 by a famous science-fiction author. These laws would prevent any robot from doing harm to a human.

a. Who was this writer?

b. One of his stories was made into a film in 2004 with Will Smith in it. What film was it?

c. Try to complete the Three Laws:

  1. A robot may not ………………………… a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to ………………………….
  2. A robot must ………………………… the orders given to it by human beings, except where such orders would …………………………with the First Law.
  3. A robot must ………………………… its own existence as long as such protection does not …………………………with the First or Second Laws.

Nevertheless, it seems that things could get a bit dangerous according to Dr. Kaku, so we better do something to keep safe. Now, watch the following video in which Dr. Kaku shares his ideas about the possibility of robots killing humans and answer the questions below:

Say whether these are True or False (and don’t forget to provide evidence from the clip)

a) The reported asked the experts gathered at the conference about the possibility of robots beings as intelligent as humans.

b) The experts gave quite different answers.

c) Nowadays, computers triple their power every 18 months.

d) Silicon is the best material for chips as it is stable at high temperatures.

e) Substitutes for silicon, such as DNA or protein chips will be in use in the next decades.

f) Computer machines are as intelligent as dogs now.

g) if computer machines were as intelligent as monkeys, we could be in danger.

h) Dr. Kaku thinks a possible solution to murderous robots would be to use defective circuits.

Advertisements

Deixa un comentari

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

Esteu comentant fent servir el compte WordPress.com. Log Out / Canvia )

Twitter picture

Esteu comentant fent servir el compte Twitter. Log Out / Canvia )

Facebook photo

Esteu comentant fent servir el compte Facebook. Log Out / Canvia )

Google+ photo

Esteu comentant fent servir el compte Google+. Log Out / Canvia )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: