Writing Language

SAT Writing and Language Practice Test 3

Questions 1-11 refer to the following information.

Human Versus Machine

More and more of our lives are mechanized, and at some point, we have to start wondering, what's the limit of that mechanization? Many factory workers in the 19th century thought their jobs were 1 safe but we know now that they were wrong. Many people in 2 today's world believe there jobs are safe, but how safe are those jobs really?

Studies abound that ask whether man or machine is better at particular tasks, and the results are not always so obvious. Sure, a machine is obviously better 3 at say, welding huge pieces of steel together, but what would you say if someone told you people are more likely to open up to a machine than to a psychologist? Or that a machine could write a quicker, more efficient news story than an experienced reporter could?

These questions may seem overly pessimistic (or overly optimistic depending on 4 your point of view); however, some recent studies have been truly remarkable. Take Ellie, a computer program used primarily to diagnose patients with depression, 5 PTSD and, other mood disorders. Many patients found it easier to talk to "Ellie" than to a real 6 person: she didn't react in some of those seemingly judgmental ways that a person would, and her voice never 7 broke on top of that she could help psychologists to diagnose mental illnesses better than human observation could. She could detect facial movements or voice tones that a person might have not heard or ignored.

Whether Ellie is the way of the future is yet to be determined. We can't know right now, but there is no question that she raises some interesting questions, not only about 8 psychologists' method's but also about all of what we think are definitively human activities.

On the other side of the discussion, however, there's some evidence that humans may have the upper hand. In some of the more basic 9 tasks those learned before the age of about 10 humans have a huge upper hand. Computers can do the complex thinking, but one thing with which they have a lot of trouble is, paradoxically, simplicity. Sure, a computer can tell 10 your washer's and dryer's what a perfect washing and drying cycle is, but can it fold your laundry? Your GPS can tell you the fastest route to the next state, but can it tell you the prettiest way to go or the best restaurants along the way? Not without humans!

While the battle of man against machine rages 11 on. The questions will persist. No matter who wins, though, humans will almost assuredly find ways to adapt: that's something we've been doing for thousands of years, which is something that no computer can say.












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