Club Alpha

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  • 2018.10.12
  • Essay
  • 中&上級

AI is coming

AIの時代

AIの時代© Getty Images

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英文を見る

You can learn a lot from a dream, even when it’s about death. And even when that death is your own.

I had such a nightmare the other night. Who killed me? When and how did I die? I wish I could tell you, but I don’t have a clue – my subconscious mind revealed none of these answers. Instead, it chose to show me what happened after my passing.

I fully expected to find my wife and son grieving over me. But they didn’t. You see, at the very moment that my heart stopped, another me – a substitute me – stepped in to take my place. It was an exact physical copy guided by artificial intelligence. It had all my memories. It knew everything I did, and it had all of my quirks. Family and friends simply carried on their relationship with me – with this other me, that is.

Sounds pretty horrifying, doesn’t it? Strangely, this all seemed normal in the dream. In that universe – the one generated by my sleeping mind – it was not only me who ended life this way. Everyone did. Everyone lived on, sort of, through an artificial replacement.

So what was my subconscious trying to tell me? I’ll never know for sure, but I’d like to think it was sounding an alarm. Perhaps it was the age-old warning, “Be careful what you wish for.” Specifically, don’t wish for immortality, because this is what it’ll probably look like.

Or my mind could be cautioning me, in a broader sense, about artificial intelligence. Algorithms are already recommending vacation destinations for us. “Last summer it was Maui, two years ago it was Busan. Shall I book a flight to Europe? Berlin and Budapest are cheap at the moment.” AI also decides our media diet. And it’s practically answering our email, proposing responses like “Got it” and “Me too!” These were all tasks that we used to do ourselves, or at least with the help of people close to us. Of course, we can always say no to AI, but as it gets better and better at “helping” us, won’t we become less willing and less likely to resist these offers?

Before you say no, how many of you switch off your car navigation device so that you can enjoy driving to new unknown places? I thought so.

AI is great. It’s convenient and makes life easier, and we can enjoy that. But it wants to be part of everything we do, from cradle to grave and maybe even beyond. And if we let it, it will be. Fortunately, the threat is pretty easy to detect. I figured it out, anyway. One night with my eyes closed.

重要ボキャブラリーを見る

reveal
(動)~を明らかにする
◆reveal the source of information(情報源を明かす)
◆I promised Nancy that I’d never reveal her secret to anyone.
(彼女の秘密を誰にも明かさないと、私はナンシーに約束した)

artificial
(形)人工の、人工的な
◆artificial sweetener(人工甘味料)
◆This robot uses artificial intelligence to have natural conversations with people.
(このロボットは人工知能を使って人と自然な会話をする)

quirk
(名)奇妙な癖
◆Ricardo has an annoying quirk of tapping his foot on the ground when he sits in a chair.
(リカルドはイスに座ると床をドンドンと足踏みする厄介な癖がある)

generate
(動)~を生成する、~を生む
◆generate profit(利益を生む)
◆We’ll have a brainstorming meeting next week to generate some new ideas for our company’s business.
(社の事業の新しいアイデアを出すため、来週ブレスト会議を開く)
☞generator(名)発電機、発生器

age-old
(形)昔からよく言う、大昔からの
◆This village has an age-old autumn festival that has continued every year for the past 500 years.
(この村には過去500年にわたって毎年続いている昔ながらの秋祭りがある)

immortality
(名)不死、永遠の命
◆Although the actor passed away many years ago, he achieved immortality through his movies.
(その俳優は何年も前に亡くなったが、映画を通して不朽の名声を得た)

practically
(副)事実上、実際には
◆That shop isn’t a convenience store, but it is practically open 24 hours a day.
(あの店はコンビニエンスストアではないが、実際には24時間営業している)
☞practical(形)実際の、実践的な

resist
(動)~に抵抗する、耐える
◆air resistance(空気抵抗)
◆It was really difficult for me to resist eating sweets while I was on a diet.
(ダイエット中に甘いものを食べるのを我慢するのは本当に大変だった)
☞resistance(名)抵抗

detect
(動)~に気付く、~を見つける
◆This device can detect the amount of alcohol in your blood.
(この装置は血中アルコール量を検出することができる)
☞detection(名)発見、発覚
detective(名)探偵、刑事

和訳を見る

Listening Comprehension Check

Q1. What did the writer dream about?

  • A) Coming back to life after dying.
  • B) Having an artificial intelligence replacement after dying.
  • C) Becoming immortal and never dying.

正解を見る

正解は、B
Having an artificial intelligence replacement after death.

Vocabulary Review Quiz

Q1. I wish I could tell you, but I don’t have a clue ― my subconscious mind ( ) none of these answers.

  • A) reminded
  • B) revealed
  • C) repeated

正解を見る

正解は、B
revealed

Q2. It was an exact physical copy guided by ( ) intelligence.

  • A) artificial
  • B) antique
  • C) alleviated

正解を見る

正解は、A
artificial

Q3. It knew everything I did, and it had all of my ( ).

  • A) quills
  • B) quakes
  • C) quirks

正解を見る

正解は、C
quirks

Q4. In that universe ― the one ( ) by my sleeping mind ― it was not only me who ended life this way.

  • A) generated
  • B) generous
  • C) gently

正解を見る

正解は、A
generated

Q5. Perhaps it was the ( ) warning, “Be care-ful what you wish for.”

  • A) aged
  • B) age-old
  • C) old-age

正解を見る

正解は、B
age-old

Q6. Specifically, don’t wish for ( ), because this is what it’ll probably look like.

  • A) imminent
  • B) immaculate
  • C) immortality

正解を見る

正解は、C
immortality

Q7. And it’s ( ) answering our email, proposing responses like “Got it” and “Me too!”

  • A) practically
  • B) perfect
  • C) partition

正解を見る

正解は、A
practically

Q8. Of course, we can always say no to AI, but as it gets better and better at “helping” us, won’t we become less willing and less likely to ( ) these offers?

  • A) register
  • B) resist
  • C) reuse

正解を見る

正解は、B
resist

Q9. Fortunately, the threat is pretty easy to ( ).

  • A) deal
  • B) decide
  • C) detect

正解を見る

正解は、C
detect

Speaking practice

Q1. Humans rely on AI too much? Yes or no, and why or why not?※この問題に解答はありません

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