Written by: Xuân Phi, 26/04/2021
Supported by: Ex-BC Examiner,27/04/2021
Question: Today different types of robots are developed which are good friends to us and help us both at home and work. Is this a positive or negative development?
(IELTS Academic – 24/04/2021)
The prevalence of robots both at home and in the workplace has drawn much debate recently. While some maintain that robots can serve as companions for those in need, I believe the development is negative on the whole considering the concomitant rising unemployment rate.
On the one hand, artificial companions can promote emotional and physical well-being for the elderly in particular. Clear evidence of this can be seen in the example of the Japanese caretaker robot “Hirokan”. This robot is equipped with the latest advances in artificial intelligence and is capable of conducting a thoughtful conversation with an elderly individual based on its in-depth analysis of his personality, interests and past events. These heart-warming conversations have proven effective in reducing loneliness, stress levels and the potential risk of depression among senior Japanese citizens. In addition, the robot also functions as a caregiver that can physically assist seniors in performing personal hygiene activities and provides additional stability for them when walking.
On the other hand, the delegation of various mechanical tasks to robots is likely to give rise to greater unemployment figures. Currently, large numbers of manual workers are being replaced by cutting-edge robotics systems in numerous factories around the world. For instance, thousands of Chinese assembly workers at FoxConn, a major manufacturer of Apple products, have recently been made redundant after the company adopted a fully automated process that minimizes the need for a skilled and unskilled human labor supply. This, in turn, has resulted in a rise in reported crimes including robbery, burglary and gambling as the jobless workers struggle to earn a living. As more companies worldwide have adopted similar approaches, automation has become an inevitability that has to be addressed with proactive corporate and governmental reform.
In conclusion, despite the positives of man-made companions for older segments of the population, I am firmly of the opinion that the increasing popularity of robots poses a serious threat to our workforce and society at large. Therefore, governments should enact laws to curb the rate of automisation, allowing workers to prepare for increased competition with robots.
Word count: 346
|Fear of retrenchment||Sự lo sợ cắt giảm lao động để tiết kiệm chi phí|
|Cash-strapped companies||Các công ty thiếu hụt tiền mặt|
|Self-propelled robot||Robot tự hành|
|Concomitant rising unemployment rate||Đi đôi với việc tăng tỉ lệ thất nghiệp|
|Cutting-edge robotics systems||Hệ thống robot hiện đại, tiên tiến|
|Promote emotional and physical well-being||Tăng cường sức khỏe tinh thần lẫn thể chất|
|Latest advances in artificial intelligence||Những tiến bộ mới nhất trong trí tuệ nhân tạo|
|Give rise to greater unemployment figures||Tăng số liệu thống kê về thất nghiệp|
|Adopted a fully automated process||Áp dụng quy trình hoàn toàn tự động|
|Strike up conversations||Bắt chuyện|
|Work without fatigue||Làm việc không mệt mỏi|
|Curb the rate of automisation||Hạn chế tỉ lệ tự động hóa|
|Proactive corporate and governmental reform||Tích cực cải cách doanh nghiệp và chính phủ|
|Older segments of the population||Phân khúc dân số già|
|Humanoid||Robot hình người|