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  • 試題題型【閱讀理解 Section B】
Coming to An Office Near You 
    The effect of today's technology on tomorrow's jobs will be immense - and no country is ready for it.
[A] Innovation, the elixir (靈丹妙藥) of progress, has always cost people their jobs. In the Industrial Revolution artisan (工匠) weavers were swept aside by the mechanical loom. Over the past 30 years the digital revolution has displaced many of the mid-skill jobs that supported 20th-century middle-class life. Typists, ticket agents, bank tellers and many production-line jobs have been dispensed with, just as the weavers were.
[B] For those, including this newspaper, who believe that technological progress has made the world a better place, such churn (攪動) is a natural part of rising prosperity. Although innovation kills some jobs, it creates new and better ones, as a more productive society becomes richer and its wealthier inhabitants demand more goods and services. A hundred years ago one in three American workers was employed on a farm. Today less than 2% of them produce far more food. The millions freed from the land did not become jobless, but found better-paid work as the economy grew more sophisticated. Today the pool of secretaries has shrunk, but there are ever more computer programmers and web designers.
[C] Optimism remains the right starting-point, but for workers the dislocating (擾亂) effects of technology may make themselves evident faster than its benefits. Even if new jobs and wonderful products emerge, in the short term income gaps will widen, causing huge social dislocation and perhaps even changing politics. Technology's impact will feel like a tornado (龍卷風), hitting the rich world first, but eventually sweeping through poorer countries too. No government is prepared for it.
[D] Why be worried? It is partly just a matter of history repeating itself. In the early part of the Industrial Revolution the rewards of increasing productivity went disproportionately to capital;later on, labour reaped most of the benefits. The pattern today is similar. The prosperity brought by the digital revolution has gone overwhelmingly to the owners of capital and the highest-skilled workers. Over the past three decades, labour's share of output has shrunk globally from 64% to 59%. Meanwhile, the share of income going to the top 1% in America has risen from around 9% in the 1970s to 22% today. Unemployment is at alarming levels in much of the rich world, and not just for cyclical reasons. In 2000,65% of working-age Americans were in work; since then the proportion has fallen, during good years as well as bad, to the current level of 59%.
[E] Worse, it seems likely that this wave of technological disruption to the job market has only just started. From driverless cars to clever household gadgets, innovations that already exist could destroy lots of jobs that have hitherto (迄今) been untouched. The public sector is one obvious target: it has proved singularly resistant to tech-driven reinvention. But the step change in what computers can do will have a powerful effect on middle-class jobs in the private sector too.
[F] Until now the jobs most vulnerable to machines were those that involved routine, repetitive tasks. But thanks to the rise in processing power and the ubiquity (無處不在) of digitised information ("big data"), computers are increasingly able to perform complicated tasks more cheaply and effectively than people. Clever industrial robots can quickly "learn" a set of human actions. Services may be even more vulnerable. Computers can already detect intruders (入侵者) in a closed-circuit camera picture more reliably than a human can. By comparing reams of financial or biometric data, they can often diagnose fraud or illness more accurately than any number of accountants or doctors. One recent study by academics at Oxford University suggests that 47% of today's jobs could be automated in the next two decades.
[G] At the same time, the digital revolution is transforming the process of innovation itself, as our special report explains. Thanks to off-the-shelf code from the Intemet and platforms that host services (such as Amazon's cloud computinG., provide distribution (Apple's app storE. And offer marketing (FacebooK., the number of digital start-ups has exploded. Just as computer-games designers invented a product that humanity never knew it needed but now cannot do without, so these firms will no doubt dream up new goods and services to employ millions.But for now they are singularly light on workers. When Instagram, a popular photo-sharing site, was sold to Facebook for about $1 billion in 2012, it had 30m customers and employed 13 people. Kodak, which filed for bankruptcy a few months earlier, employed 145,000 people in its heyday (全盛期).
[H] The problem is one of timing as much as anything. Google now employs 46,000 people. But it takes years for new industries to grow, whereas the disruption a start up causes to incumbents (現任者) is felt sooner. Airbnb may turn homeowners with spare rooms into entrepreneurs, but it poses a direct threat to the lower end of the hotel business -- a massive employer.
[I] If this analysis is halfway correct, the social effects will be huge. Many of the jobs most at risk are lower down the ladder, whereas the skills that are least vulnerable to automation tend to be higher up, so median wages are likely to remain depressed for some time and income gaps are likely to widen.
[J] Anger about rising inequality is bound to grow, but politicians will find it hard to address the problem. Shunning (避開) progress would be as useless now as the Luddites' protests against mechanised looms were in the 1810s, because any country that tried to stop would be left behind by competitors eager to embrace new technology. The freedom to raise taxes on the rich to punitive (懲罰性的) levels will be similarly constrained by the mobility of capital and highly skilled labour.
[K] The main way in which governments can help their people through this dislocation is through education systems. One of the reasons for the improvement in workers' fortunes in the latter part of the Industrial Revolution was because schools were built to educate them -- a dramatic change at the time. Now those schools themselves need to be changed, to foster the creativity that humans will need to set them apart from computers. There should be less rote-learning and more critical thinking. Technology itself will help, whether through MOOCs (massive open online courses) or even video games that simulate the skills needed for work.
[L] The definition of "a state education" may also change. Far more money should be spent on pre-schooling, since the cognitive abilities and social skills that children learn in their first few years define much of their future potential. And adults will need continuous education. State education may well involve a year of study to be taken later in life, perhaps in stages.
[M] Yet however well people are taught, their abilities will remain unequal, and in a world which is increasingly polarized (兩極化) economically, many will find their job prospects dimmed and wages squeezed. The best way of helping them is not, as many on the left seem to think, to push up minimum wages. Jacking (提高) up the floor too far would accelerate the shift from human workers to computers. Better to top up low wages with public money so that anyone who works has a reasonable income, through a bold expansion of the tax credits that countries such as America and Britain use.
[N] Innovation has brought great benefits to humanity. Nobody in their right mind would want to return to the world of handloom weavers. But the benefits of technological progress are unevenly distributed, especially in the early stages of each new wave, and it is up to governments to spread them. In the 19th century it took the threat of revolution to bring about progressive reforms. Today's governments would do well to start making the changes needed before their people get angry.
1.[選詞填空]To prepare students for this digital revolution, schools need to be changed to foster creativity and critical thinking in learning.
    • 解題思路:[K]段第3、4句提到,現在,這些學校本身也需要改變,以培養創造力,讓人類區別于計算機。學習中應該少一些死記硬背,多一些批判性思維。由此可知,學校應該改變,培養創造力和批判性思維。題目是對原文兩句話信息的整合。
    2.[選詞填空]Digital revolution will influence jobs both in the public sector and the private sector.
      • 解題思路:[E]段最后兩句提到,公共部門顯然是目標之一……但計算機帶來的階躍變化也將極大影響私營部門的中產階級工作崗位。結合該段第l句說的“科技對就業市場的破壞性浪潮可能才剛剛開始”可知,“公共部門顯然是目標之一”指的是數字革命對公共部門工作崗位的影響.由此可知,公共部門和私營部門的工作崗位都會受到數字革命的影響:題目是對[E]段最后兩句的概括。
      3.[選詞填空]If a country deliberately avoided technological progress, it would be left behind by countries that eagerly accept new technology.
        • 解題思路:[J]段第2句提到,避免進步就像l9世紀l0年代勒德分子反對機械織布機那樣無用,因為任何試圖停止前進的國家都會落后于渴望獲得新技術的競爭對手:題目是對該句提到的原因的同義轉述,其中的a country deliberately avoided technological progress對應any country that tried to stop,eagerly accept new technology對應eager to embrace new technology。
        4.[選詞填空]Computers may replace people in complicated tasks for doing these tasks more cheaply and effectively than people.
          • 解題思路:[F]段第2句后半句提到,計算機越來越有能力以低于人力的成本、高于人力的效率來執行復雜任務。由此可推斷,由于成本更低、效率更高,計算機可能會取代人力去執行復雜任務。題目是在對原文進行合理推斷的基礎上得出的結論.
          5.[選詞填空]For now the number of workers tends to be very small in most new digital companies.
            • 解題思路:[G]段第2句提到,數字初創公司的數量已經激增:第4句提到,但目前它們所聘請的員工卻都極少。第4句的they指代的是digital start.ups(數字初創公司),由此可知,目前大多數數字初創公司的員工數量都很少。題目是對第4句的同義轉述,其中的new digital companies對應第4句的they,即digital start-ups。
            6.[選詞填空]Today the owners of capital and the highest-skilled workers get most of the benefits of the digital revolution.
              • 解題思路:[D]段第5句提到,數字革命帶來的繁榮大部分被資本所有者和擁有最高技能的工人所分享。也就是說,資本所有者和擁有最高技能的工人得到的數字革命的好處最多。題目是對該句的同義轉述。
              7.[選詞填空]The effects of technology will spread from the rich countries to poorer countries.
                • 解題思路:[C]段第3句提到,科技的影響就像是龍卷風,首先沖擊富裕世界,但最終也會席卷并不富裕的國家。也就是說,科技的影響會從富裕國家擴展到不富裕的國家。題目是對該句的同義轉述,其中的the effects of technology對應該句的technology’s impact.
                8.[選詞填空]To help low-skilled workers, topping up their income with public money is a better way than pushing up minimum wages.
                  • 解題思路:[M]段第2句提到,幫助他們最好的辦法并不是像許多左派認為的那樣調高最低工資。第4句提到,更好的做法是……用政府收入補貼低工資。由此可知,在幫助低技能工人增加收入方面,政府收入補貼低工資的方法比調高最低工資更好。題目是對原文兩句話信息的整合。
                  9.[選詞填空]Innovation kills some jobs but creates new and better jobs as the society becomes more prosperous.
                    • 解題思路:[B]段第2句提到,雖然創新消滅了一些工作崗位,但隨著社會生產力的提高,社會財富日益增加,富裕起來的居民需要更多的商品和服務,更新更好的工作機會也隨之出現了。題目是對該句的同義轉述,其中的as the society becomes more prosperous對應該句中的as a more productive society becomes richer。
                    10.[選詞填空]The government should invest more money in education, especially the critical pre-school education.
                      • 解題思路:[L]段第2句提到,學前教育的資金投入應該增加,因為兒童在最初幾年里獲得的認知能力和社交能力決定了他們未來大部分的潛力:接下來的兩句還提到,成人將需要繼續教育。國家教育也可能包括在成人離開學校后進行的為期一年或分為幾個階段的教育。由此可推斷出,國家應該加大教育投資,尤其是學前教育。題目是在對原文信息進行合理推斷的基礎上得出的結論。
                      • 參考答案:K,E,J,F,G,D,C,M,B,L