2020-2-29 English Reading.

For years, the U. S. has experienced a shortage of registered nurses. The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that while the number of nurses will increase by 19 percent by 2022, demand will grow faster than supply, and that there will be over one million unfilled nursing jobs by then.

number of nurses 注册护士

So what’s the solution? Robots.

Japan is ahead of the curve when it comes to this trend. Toyohashi University of Technology has developed Terapio, a robotic medical cart that can make hospital rounds, deliver medications and other items, and retrieve records. It follows a specific individual, such as a doctor or nurse, who can use it to record and access patient data. This type of robot will likely be one of the first to be implemented in hospitals because it has fairly minimal patient contact.
ahead of the curve走在前列
individual个体  个人
likely 可能的
fairly 相当的、公平的、简直的,注意一词多义


Robots capable of social engagement help with loneliness as well as cognitive functioning, but the robot itself doesn’t have to engage directly—it can serve as an intermediary for human communication. Telepresence robots such as MantaroBot, Vgo, and Giraff can be controlled through a computer, smartphone, or tablet, allowing family members or doctors to remotely monitor patients or Skype them, often via a screen where the robot’s ‘ face’ would be. If you can’t get to the nursing home to visit grandma, you can use a telepresence robot to hang out with her. A 2016 study found that users had a “consistently positive attitude” about the Giraff robot’s ability to enhance communication and decrease feelings of loneliness.
Robots capable of social engagement   具有社交能力的机器人social engagement社交能力
engage 参与 涉及 从事
intermediary 中介

A robot’s appearance affects its ability to successfully interact with humans, which is why the RIKEN-TRI Collaboration Center for Human-Interactive Robot Research decided to develop a robotic nurse that looks like a huge teddy bear. RIBA (Robot for Interactive Body Assistance), also known as ‘Robear’, can help patients into and out of wheelchairs and beds with its strong arms.
appearance 外观

On the less cute and more scary side there is Actroid F, which is so human-like that some patients may not know the difference. This conversational robot companion has cameras in its eyes, which allow it to track patients and use appropriate facial expressions and body language in its interactions. During a month- long hospital trial, researchers asked 70 patients how they felt being around the robot and “only three or four said they didn’t like having it around.”
appropriate 适当的
facial expressions 面部表情

It’s important to note that robotic nurses don’t decide courses of treatment or make diagnoses (though robot doctors and surgeons may not be far off). Instead, they perform routine and laborious tasks, freeing nurses up to attend to patients with immediate needs. This is one industry where it seems the integration of robots will lead to collaboration, not replacement.

2020-2-28 English Reading.

While human achievements in mathematics continue to reach new levels of complexity, many of us who aren’t mathematicians at heart (or engineers by trade) may struggle to remember the last time we used calculus (微积分).
struggle to remember 很难记起

It’s a fact not lost on American educators, who amid rising math failure rates are debating how math can better meet the real-life needs of students. Should we change the way math is taught in schools, or eliminate some courses entirely?
eliminate 消除
entirely 完全地

Andrew Hacker, Queens College political science professor, thinks that advanced algebra and other higher-level math should be cut from curricula in favor of courses with more routine usefulness, like statistics.
in favor of preferring to choose someone or something that you believe is better

We hear on all sides that we’re not teaching enough mathematics, and the Chinese are running rings around us,” Hacker says. “I’m suggesting we’re teaching too much mathematics to too many people. . . not everybody has to know calculus. If you’re going to become an aeronautical (航空的)engineer, fine. But most of us aren’t.”

Instead, Hacker is pushing for more courses like the one he teaches at Queens College: Numeracy 101. There, his students of “citizen statistics” learn to analyze public information like the federal budget and corporate reports. Such courses, Hacker argues, are a remedy for the numerical illiteracy of adults who have completed high-level math like algebra but are unable to calculate the price of, say, a carpet by area.

Hacker’s argument has met with opposition from other math educators who say what’s needed is to help students develop a better relationship with math earlier, rather than teaching them less math altogether.

Maria Droujkova is a founder of Natural Math, and has taught basic calculus concepts to 5-year-olds. For Droujkova, high-level math is important, and what it could use in American classrooms is an injection of childlike wonder.
最后一句:(在课堂上的) 作用 是 注射剂(of孩子们的好奇心)
injection 注射剂、注射、充血

“Make mathematics more available,” Droujkova says. “Redesign it so it’s more accessible to more kinds of people: young children, adults who worry about it, adults who may have had bad experiences. “

Pamela Harris, a lecturer at the University of Texas at Austin, has a similar perspective. Harris says that American education is suffering from an epidemic of “fake math”一an emphasis on rote memorization (死记硬背)of formulas and steps, rather than an understanding of how math can influence the ways we see the world.
epidemic 流行的 泛滥的

Andrew Hacker, for the record, remains skeptical.
remains skeptical 持怀疑态度

“I’m going to leave it to those who are in mathematics to work out the ways to make their subject interesting and exciting so students want to take it,” Hacker says. “All that I ask is that alternatives be offered instead of putting all of us on the road to calculus.
alternatives be offered 提供备选方案

2020-2-27 English Reading.

On Jan. 9, 2007, Steve Jobs formally announced Apple’s “revolutionary mobile phone”—a device that combined the functionality of an iPod, phone and Internet communication into a single unit, navigated by touch.

It was a huge milestone in the development of smartphones, which are now owned by a majority of American adults and are increasingly common across the globe.

As smartphones have multiplied, so have questions about their impact on how we live and how we work. Often the advantages of convenient, mobile technology are both obvious and taken for granted, leaving more subtle topics for concerned discussion:Are smartphones disturbing children’s sleep? Is an inability to get away from work having a negative impact on health? And what are the implications for privacy?

But today, on the 10th anniversary of the iPhone, let’s take a moment to consider a less obvious advantage: the potential for smartphone technology to revolutionize behavioral science. That’s because, for the first time in human history, a large proportion of the species is in continuous contact with technology that can record key features of an individual’s behavior and environment.
obvious 明显的
revolutionize 革新
proportion 大部分

Researchers have already begun to use smartphones in social scientific research, either to query people regularly as they engage in their normal lives or to record activity using the device’s built-in sensors. These studies are confirming, challenging and extending what’s been found using more traditional approaches, in which people report how they behaved in real life or participate in relatively short and artificial laboratory-based tasks.
engage in 参与、从事
as they engage in their normal lives 当他们从事正常生活时
either … or … 表示或者或者

neither … nor …表示既不也不

Such studies are just first steps. As more data are collected and methods for analysis improve, researchers will be in a better position to identify how different experiences, behaviors and environments relate to each other and evolve over time, with the potential to improve people’s productivity and wellbeing in a variety of domains. Beyond revealing population-wide patterns, the right combination of data and analysis can also help individuals identify unique characteristics of their own behavior, including conditions that could indicate the need for some form of intervention—such as an unusual increase in behaviors that signal a period of depression. Smartphone-based data collection comes at an appropriate time in the evolution of psychological science. Today, the field is in transition, moving away from a focus on laboratory studies with undergraduate participants towards more complex, real-world situations studied with more diverse groups of people. Smartphones offer new tools for achieving these ambitions, providing rich data about everyday behaviors in a variety of contexts.
evolve 发展、演变
revealing 揭示
indicate 表明
intervention 干涉、介入
depression 抑郁
appropriate 适当
unusual increase in behaviors 异常的增加of行为

the field is in transition 这个领域正在转型
in a variety of contexts 在各种情况下
how different experiences, behaviors and environments relate to each other and evolve over time 不同的经历、行为、环境如何随着时间的流逝互相影响

2020-2-26 English Reading.

Children with attention problems in early childhood were 40% less likely to graduate from high school, says a new study from Duke University.

The study included 386 kindergarteners from schools in the Fast Track Project, a multi-site clinical trial in the U. S. that in 1991 began tracking how children developed across their lives.
clinical trial 临床试验

With this study, researchers examined early academic attention and socio-emotional skills and how each contributed to academic success into young adulthood.
early academic attention 早期学习注意力

They found that early attention skills were the most consistent predictor of academic success, and that likability by peers also had a modest effect on academic performance.
most consistent predictor 最一致的预测
peers 同辈
这里的 likability by peers 和上文的 socio-emotional skills 对应,大概就是比较会做关系、和同辈|同行之间关系比较好

By fifth grade, children with early attention difficulties had lower grades and reading achievement scores than their peers. As fifth-graders, children with early attention problems obtained average reading scores at least 3% lower than their contemporaries’ and grades at least 8% lower than those of their peers. This was after controlling for IQ, socio-economic status and academic skills at school entry.

Although these may not seem like large effects, the impact of early attention problems continued throughout the children’s academic careers. Lower reading achievement scores and grades in fifth grade contributed to reduced grades in middle school and thereby contributed to a 40% lower high school graduation rate.

“The children we identified as having attention difficulties were not diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (注意力缺乏多动症)(ADHD), although some may have had the disorder. Our findings suggest that even more modest attention difficulties can increase the risk of negative academic outcomes”, said David Rabiner, an associate dean of Duke’s Trinity College of Arts & Sciences, whose research has focused on ADHD and interventions to improve academic performance in children with attention difficulties.

Social acceptance by peers in early childhood also predicted grades in fifth grade. Children not as liked by their first-grade peers had slightly lower grades in fifth grade, while those with higher social acceptance had higher grades.

“This study shows the importance of so-called ‘non-cognitive’ or soft skills in contributing to children’s positive peer relationships, which, in turn, contribute to their academic success, ” said Kenneth Dodge, director of the Duke Center for Child and Family Policy.

The results highlight the need to develop effective early interventions to help those with attention problems stay on track academically and for educators to encourage positive peer relationships, the researchers said.


We’re learning that student success requires a more comprehensive approach, one that incorporates not only academic skills but also social, self-regulatory and attention skills, ” Dodge said. “If we neglect any of these areas, the child’s development lags. If we attend to these areas, a child’s success may reinforce itself with positive feedback loops. “

2020-2-25 English Reading.

Professor Stephen Hawking has warned that the creation of powerful artificial intelligence (AI) will be either the best, or the worst thing, ever to happen to humanity“, and praised the creation of an academic institute dedicated to researching the future of intelligence as “crucial to the future of our civilisation and our species”.
praise 赞扬
creation of an academic institute 建立学术机构
dedicated 专用
dedicated to researching the future of intelligence 专用于研究未来的智能

praised the (creation of an academic institute) (dedicated to researching the future of intelligence) as “crucial to the future of our civilisation and our species”.

Hawking was speaking at the opening of the Leverhulme Centre for the Future of Inteelgence (LCFI) at Cambridge University, a multi-disciplinary institute that will attempt to tackle some of the open-ended questions raised by the rapid pace of development in AI research. “We spend a great deal of time studying history,” Hawking said, “which, let’s face it, is mostly the history of stupidity. So it’s a welcome change that people are studying instead the future of intelligence.”
multi-disciplinary 多学科的

While the world-renowned physicist has often been cautious about AI, rising concerns that humanity could be the architect of its own destruction if it creates a super-intelligence with a will of its own, he was also quick to highlight the positives that AI research can bring. “The potential benefits of creating intelligence are huge,” he said. “We cannot predict what we might achieve when our own minds are amplified by AI. Perhaps with the tools of this new technological revolution, we will be able to undo some of the damage done to the natural world by the last one—industrialisation. And surely we will aim to finally eradicate disease and poverty. And every aspect of our lives will be transformed. In short, success in creating AI could be the biggest event in the history of our civilisation.”|
amplifie 放大
architect of its own destruction 自身毁灭的建筑师

Huw Price, the centre’s academic director and the Bertrand Russell professor of philosophy at Cambridge University, where Hawking is also an academic, said that the centre came about partially as a result of the university’s Centre for Existential Risk. That institute examined a wider range of potential problems for humanity, while the LCFI has a narrow focus.
examined 在这里是研究的意思
narrow focus. 很窄的关注领域

AI pioneer Margaret Boden, professor of cognitive science at the University of Sussex, praised the progress of such discussions. As recently as 2009, she said, the topic wasn’t taken seriously, even among AI researchers. “AI is hugely exciting,” she said, “but it has limitations, which present grave dangers given uncritical use.”
As recently as 直到最近

The academic community is not alone in warning about the potential dangers of AI as well as the potential benefits. A number of pioneers from the technology industry, most famously the entrepreneur Elon Musk, have also expressed their concerns about the damage that a super-intelligent AI could do to humanity.
as well as 以及、同时 、同级比较 常用来连接两个并列的成分
as well
   I am going to London and my sister is going as well(=going,too).
   I not only play the guitar,I sing as well(=I also sing ).

2020-2-24 English Reading.

The market for products designed specifically for older adults could reach $30 billion by next year, and startups (初创公司) want in on the action. What they sometimes lack is feedback from the people who they hope will use their products. So Brookdale, the country’s largest owner of retirement communities, has been inviting a few select entrepreneurs just to move in for a few days, show off their products and hear what the residents have to say.

That’s what brought Dayle Rodriguez, 28, all the way from England to the dining room of Brookdale South Bay in Torrance, California. Rodriguez is the community and marketing manager for a company called Sentab. The startup’s product, SentabTV, enables older adults who may not be comfortable with computers to access email, video chat and social media using just their televisions and a remote control.

brought: bring·ing. to carry, convey, conduct, or cause (someone or something) to come with, to, or toward the speaker

“It’s nothing new, it’s nothing too complicated and it’s natural because lots of people have TV remotes,” says Rodriguez.

But none of that is the topic of conversation in the Brookdale dining room. Instead, Rodriguez solicits residents’ advice on what he should get on his cheeseburger and how he should spend the afternoon. Playing cards was on the agenda, as well as learning to play mahjong (麻将).

Rodriguez says it’s important that residents here don’t feel like he’s selling them something. I’ve had more feedback in a passive approach,” he says. “Playing pool, playing cards, having dinner, having lunch,” all work better “than going through a survey of question. When they get to know me and to trust me, knowing for sure I’m not selling them something—there’ll be more honest feedback from them.”
residents 居民

Rodriguez is just the seventh entrepreneur to move into one of Brookdale’s 1, 100 senior living communities. Other new products in the program have included a kind of full-blow dryer and specially designed clothing that allows people with disabilities to dress and undress themselves.

Mary Lou Busch, 93, agree to try the Sentab system. She tells Rodriguez that it might be good for someone, but not for her.

“I have the computer and FaceTime, which I talk with my family on,” she explains. She also has an iPad and a smartphone. “So I do pretty much everything I need to do.”

To be fair, if Rodriguez had wanted feedback from some more technophobic (害怕技术的) seniors, he might have ended up in the wrong Brookdale community. This one is located in the heart of Southern California’s aerospace corridor. Many residents have backgrounds in engineering, business and academic circles.
corridor 走廊 hexi corridor河西走廊

But Rodriguez says he’s still learning something important by moving into this Brookdale community: “People are more tech-proficient than we thought.”

And besides, where else would he learn to play mahjong?


2020-2-23 English Reading.

Effective Friday, Screen Actors Guild-American Federation of Television and Radio Artists ( SAG-AFTRA) has declared a strike against 11 video game publishers over games that went into production after Feb.17, 2015. The companies include some of the heavyweights of the industry, like Electronic Arts Productions, Insomniac Games, Activision and Disney.
Effective Friday 周五生效!!!
strike 罢工

The strike comes in light of an unsuccessful 19 months of negotiations after the existing labor contract known as the Interactive Media Agreement expired in late 2014. Overall, the strike is an effort to provide more secondary compensation along with other concerns, such as transparency upon hiring talent and on-set (制作中) safety precautions.
in light of 根据、鉴于
known as the 被称为
compensation 补偿
transparency upon hiring talent 招聘人才的透明度
precautions 预防 防护措施

The video gaming industry has ballooned in recent years. The Los Angeles Times reports that the industry is in the midst of an intense increase in cash flow. In 2015, gaming produced $ 23.5 billion in domestic revenue.
in the midst of 在…中间
intense increase 剧烈增长
domestic 本国的、国内的

But SAG-AFTRA says voice actors don’t receive residuals (追加酬金) for their gaming work. Instead, they receive a fixed rate, which is typically about $ 825 for a standard four-hour vocal session. So the voice actors are pushing for the idea of secondary compensation- –a performance bonus every time a game sells 2 million copies or downloads, or reaches 2 million subscribers, with a cap at 8 million.
fixed rate 固定的比率
a performance bonus 效绩奖金
subscribers 订阅人、用户
with a cap 上限

It’s a very small number of games that would trigger this secondary compensation issue,” said voice actor Crispin Freeman, who’s a member of the union’s negotiating committee. This is an important aspect of what it means to be a freelance (从事自由职业的) performer , who isn’t regularly employed every single day working on projects.

Another major complaint from the actors is the secrecy of the industry. I can’t imagine if there’s any other acting job in the world where you don’t know what show you’re in, when you’re hired,” says voice actor Keythe Farley, who chairs the SAG-AFTRA negotiating committee.
hire 雇佣

“And yet that happens every day in the video game world,” Farley told reporters during a press conference Friday. “I was a main character in Fallout 4, a character by the name of Kellogg, and I never knew that I was doing vocal recording for that game throughout the year and a half.
reporters 记者
press conference 新闻发布会

Scott Witlin, the lawyer representing the video game companies, says voice actors “represent less than one tenth of 1 percent of the work that goes into making a video game.” So “even though they’re the top craftsmen in their field,” Witlin says, “if we pay them under a vastly different system than the people who do the 99.9 percent of the work, that’s going to create far more problems for the video game companies.”
lawyer representing 法务代表
even though 即使
craftsmen 匠人
vastly different 极大地不同

2020-2-22 English Reading

In a few decades, artificial intelligence (AI) will surpass many of the abilities that we believe make us special. This is a grand challenge for our age and it may require an “irrational” response.
in a few decades,在数十年后 in a few days 过几天;不日;在几天后

One of the most significant pieces of news from the US in early 2017 was the efforts of Google to make autonomous driving a reality. According to a report, Google’s self-driving cars clocked 1,023,330 km, and required human intervention 124 times. That is one intervention about every 8,047 km of autonomous driving. But even more impressive is the progress in just a single year: human interventions fell from 0.8 times per thousand miles to 0.2, a 400% improvement. With such progress, Google’s cars will easily surpass my own driving ability later this year.
even more 更
even more impressive 更令人印象深刻的

Driving once seemed to be a very human skill. But we said that about chess, too. Then a computer beat the human world champion, repeatedly. The board game Go(围棋)took over from chess as a new test for human thinking in 2016, when a computer beat one of the world’s leading professional Go players.

With computers conquering what used to be deeply human tasks, what will it mean in the future to be human? I worry about my six-year-old son. What will his place bе in a world where machines beat us in one area after another? He’ll never calculate faster, never drive better, or even fly more safely. Actually, it all comes down to a fairly simple question: What’s so special about us? It can’t be skills like arithmetic, which machines already excel in. So far, machines have a pretty hard time emulating creativity, arbitrary enough not to be predicted by a computer, and yet more than simple randomness.
随着计算机征服着曾经深入人类自身的任务,人类的未来还有啥意义?我很担心我六岁的儿子,他在这个 (机器在一个又一个领域中打败了了我们的) 世界中将会处于什么一个位置。他不会计算的更快,开车也不能更好,甚至开飞机也不能更安全。事实上,所有这一切都可以归结为一个相当简单的问题:我们有什么特殊的?这肯定不能是算术技能,机器已经非常擅长了。迄今为止,机器都非常难于去模仿创造力,因为他足够多变,以至于计算机无法预测,而且不仅仅是简单的随机性。
it all come down to:所有的一切都归结为
excel 擅长 excel in在某方面擅长

Perhaps, if we continue to improve information-processing machines, well soon have helpful rational assistants. So we must aim to complement the rationality of the machine, rather than to compete with it. If I’m right, we should foster a creative spirit because a dose of illogical creativity will complement the rationality of the machine. Unfortunately, however, our education system has not caught up to the approaching reality. Indeed, our schools and universities are structured to mould pupils to be mostly obedient servants of rationality, and to develop outdated skills in interacting with outdated machines. We need to help our children learn how to best work with smart computers to improve human decision-making. But most of all we need to keep the long-term perspective in mind: that even if computers will outsmart us, we can still be the most creative. Because if we aren’t, we won’t be providing much value in future ecosystems,and that may put in question the foundation for our existence.

如果我是对的,那么我们应该发展创造性精神,因为不合逻辑的创造性将会是机器的逻辑性的一个互补。不幸的是我们的教育系统没有赶上这即将来临的事实。确实,我们的学校和大学是结构化的,去让学生培养成理性和逻辑的仆人,去发展与过时的机器交互的过时的技能。我们需要帮助孩子们学习如何与智慧的计算机工作而改善人类的决策,我们需要一个长远的眼光:即使计算机比我们更聪明,我们依然can be最有创造性的,因为如果我们不这样,我们在未来的生态系统中就没有价值,我们的存在也会受到质疑。
soon 很快、不久之后
assistants 助手
illogical 没有逻辑的
caught up 赶上
improve human decision-making 改善人类决策
to mould pupils 这里的 mould 是霉菌、发霉的意思,这里取其中的:to try to change or influence someone这个意思,例句He kept trying to mould me into something he wanted me to be.
put in question 提出质疑

2020-2-21 English Reading

When I re-entered the full-time workforce a few years ago after a decade of solitary self-employment, there was one thing I was looking forward to the most: the opportunity to have work friends once again.
这里面 a few years ago after a decade of solitary self-employment 不是主要内容,是对当时时间节点的补充说明 to have work friends once again用于修饰opportunity

It wasn’t until I entered the corporate world that I realized, for me at least, being friends with colleagues didn’t emerge as a priority at all.
这里要注意, It wasn’t until I entered the corporate world that I realizedIt wasn’t that I realized.是主句,意思是我没有意识到,后面that代指I realized,然后前面的wasn’t 是对这个that的否定。我没有意识到,直到我进入企业,意思就是直到我进入企业之后我才意识到。


This is surprising when you consider the prevailing emphasis by scholars and trainers and managers on the importance of cultivating close interpersonal relationships at work.
要记住emphasis on xxx
This is surprising当你想到这么多专家学者和管理人员都很强调培养密切的人际关系的重要性at work.
So much research has explored the way in which collegial ties can help overcome a range of workplace issues affecting productivity and the quality of work output such as team-based conflict, jealousy, undermining, anger, and more.

Perhaps my expectations of lunches, water-cooler gossip and caring, deep-and-meaningful conversations were a legacy of the last time I was in that kind of office environment.
expectations 是期望的意思 ,主干:我的期望是遗留下的,其中期望被一系列定语修饰,后面的都是补充说明是我上一次在这种工作环境下留下的。
Whereas now, as I near the end of my fourth decade, I realize work can be fully functional and entirely fulfilling without needing to be best mates with the people sitting next to you.

In an academic analysis just published in the profoundly-respected Journal of Management, researchers have looked at the concept of “indifferent relationships”. It’s a simple term that encapsulates the fact that relationships at work can reasonably be non-intimate, inconsequential, unimportant and even, dare I say it, disposable or substitutable.

Indifferent relationships are neither positive nor negative. The limited research conducted thus far indicates they’re especially dominant among those who value independence over cooperation, and harmony over confrontation.
研究表明,他们(Indifferent relationships)在这些人中占据主导地位,这些人更独立更和谐。
limited  和 conducted 都是 research 的修饰词,表示 进行的有限研究 ,迄今为止 thus far 是个补语。
thus far是迄今为止的意思
Indifference is also the preferred option among those who are socially lazy. Maintaining relationships over the long term takes effort. For some of us, too much effort .
Indifference 也是懒与社交的人的首选
too much effort . 太费力了

As noted above, indifferent relationships may not always be the most helpful approach in resolving some of the issues that pop up at work. But there are nonetheless several empirically proven benefits. One of those is efficiency. Less time chatting and socializing means more time working and(产出).
就像上面说的, indifferent relationships 不总是能帮助解决问题,但,经验证明,还是有一些好处的。其中之一就是效率,……
empirically 经验的
proven 证明

The other is self-esteem. As human beings, we’re primed to compare ourselves to each other in what is an anxiety-inducing phenomenon. Apparently, we look down on acquaintances more so than friends. Since the former is most common among those inclined towards indifferent relationships, their predominance can bolster individuals’ sense of self-worth.
显然,我们更看不起 acquaintances 一些(相对于 friends ),因为在 indifferent 中 acquaintances 比 friends 多一点,所以我们可以加强自我价值感(这个作者是什么鬼逻辑)
predominance 优势
bolster 加强

Ego aside, a third advantage is that the emotional neutrality of indifferent relationships has been found to enhance critical evaluation, to strengthen one’s focus on task resolution, and to gain greater access to valuable information. None of that might be as fun as after-work socializing but, hey, I’ll take it anyway.
Ego 自我