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Questão 2 5944706PUC-Rio 2020
How robot carers could be the future for lonely elderly people
Alessandro Di Nuovo
December 6, 2018
The film Robot and Frank imagined a near-future
where robots could do almost everything humans
could. The elderly title character was given a “robot
butler” to help him continue living on his own. The
robot was capable of everything from cooking and
 cleaning to socializing and, it turned out, burglary. This
kind of science fiction may turn out to be remarkably
prescient. As growing numbers of elderly people
require care, researchers believe that robots could be
 one way to address the overwhelming demand. But
even though robots might be able to provide care and,
in some cases, social interaction, many wonder if they
really are the right solution to this uniquely human
 Loneliness and social isolation are already
problems for many seniors and are even linked to
cognitive decline and a higher death rate. With the
population of seniors expected to rise, many worry
that experiences of loneliness will increase, especially
 if access to care is even more limited.
But despite concerns, early studies already show
that social robots – autonomous robots trained to
interact and communicate with humans – really could
address issues of care and social interaction. The
 majority of robotics researchers are largely in favour
of introducing robotic technology on a wider scale
and believe it could reduce loneliness and increase
independence in elderly patients. The Japanese
government even supports introducing robots in
 care homes to solve the country’s ageing population
problem. However, many strongly recommend
carefully balancing the care benefits against the
A class of social robots – mobile robotic
 telepresence systems (MRTs) – have already been
shown to generate positive social interactions with
elderly patients. MRTs are essentially video screens
on wheels raised to head height that can be controlled
remotely using a simple smartphone app. They allow
 relatives and social workers to “visit” elderly people
more often, even if they live in rural or distant places.
Elderly patients don’t need to operate the device,
leaving them free to interact with their social worker
or family. Communication still happens through a
 computer screen, but the robot’s physical presence
mimics face-to-face interaction for elderly people.
Research has shown that people reacted more
positively when talking with someone through an MRT
than through a regular video call or computer avatar –
 especially lonely people. However, MRTs still require
a human operator, which limits the amount of social
interaction seniors can have daily.
To tackle this, developers worldwide have
started creating robot companions programmed with
 advanced artificial intelligence (AI), which can interact
with people on their own. Some examples include
pet-like companion robots, including Aibo and Paro,
which are made by Japanese developers, and MiRo,
which is manufactured in the UK. Other humanoid
 robots, such as the Care-O-bot and Pepper, are able
to provide more complex and comprehensive care.
Though “pet” robots offer limited interaction, they
have proved as effective – or even more so – than
real pets in reducing loneliness for elderly people in
 care homes. Robotic dogs introduced in one UK care
home this year were reported to bring happiness and
comfort to residents.
On the other hand, humanoid robots are already
advanced enough to provide much-needed care to
 elderly people. These robots can pick things up and
move independently, and have a more natural, human
way of interacting, for example, using arm and hand
gestures. More advanced versions have additional
sensors and devices, including touchscreens. Many
 elderly people, finding the touchscreens hard to use,
preferred giving spoken commands to the robot and
reading its response off the screen. But for those with
age-related hearing loss or vision impairment, having
the option to use the touchscreen was indispensable.
 Humanoid robots are still being developed, so their
capabilities are still limited. Moreover, studies of
humanoid robots have mainly focused on evaluating
how well the technology functions without really
considering the social impact. There is also a general
 assumption that it will naturally reduce loneliness.
Though research into social robots is just
beginning, we do know they can provide some solutions
to the challenges mounted by ageing populations, and
could even help reduce social isolation and loneliness.
 At this point, humans are still better in providing care
and social contact to the elderly, but robots might
be able to fill any gaps, especially as technologies
continue to improve. However, before social robots
can be fully integrated into care homes, researchers
 and service providers must address public anxiety
and make it clear that robots are designed to assist
social workers, not replace them. As long as humans
remain in full control to prevent any danger, robots
might well be the future of care.
Available at:https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgetsand-tech/features/robot-carer-elderly-people-lonelinessageing-population-care-homes-a8659801.html. Retrieved on: July 2, 2019. Adapted.
In the fragment “This kind of science fiction may turn out to be remarkably prescient.” (lines 6-8), the expression turn out to be can be replaced, without change in meaning, by
Questão 7 1363475EFOMM 1° Dia 2019
Choose the correct alternative to complete the paragraph below.
Fatal accident during mooring operation on deck
During the mooring operation, the forward spring line _________________ beneath the berth fender and ________________ tightened up without awareness of the risk. Suddenly, the taut rope ___________ from beneath the berth fender and ________________ on the OS causing his death.
(Abridged from https://safety4sea.com/fatal-accident-mooringoperation-deck/)
Questão 20 211574FAMERP 2018
Can plants hear?
Flora may be able to detect the sounds of flowing water or munching insects
Pseudoscientific claims that music helps plants grow have been made for decades, despite evidence that is shaky at best. Yet new research suggests some flora may be capable of sensing sounds, such as the gurgle of water through a pipe or the buzzing of insects.
In a recent study, Monica Gagliano, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Western Australia, and her colleagues placed pea seedlings in pots shaped like an upside-down Y. One arm of each pot was placed in either a tray of water or a coiled plastic tube through which water flowed; the other arm had dry soil. The roots grew toward the arm of the pipe with the fluid, regardless of whether it was easily accessible or hidden inside the tubing. “They just knew the water was there, even if the only thing to detect was the sound of it flowing inside the pipe,” Gagliano says. Yet when the seedlings were given a choice between the water tube and some moistened soil, their roots favored the latter. She hypothesizes that these plants use sound waves to detect water at a distance but follow moisture gradients to home in on their target when it is closer.
The research, reported earlier this year in Oecologia, is not the first to suggest flora can detect and interpret sounds. A 2014 study showed the rock cress Arabidopsis can distinguish between caterpillar chewing sounds and wind vibrations – the plant produced more chemical toxins after “hearing” a recording of feeding insects. “We tend to underestimate plants because their responses are usually less visible to us. But leaves turn out to be extremely sensitive vibration detectors,” says lead study author Heidi M. Appel, an environmental scientist now at the University of Toledo.
(Marta Zaraska. www.scientificamerican.com, 17.05.2017.)
O trecho do terceiro parágrafo “But leaves turn out to be extremely sensitive vibrations detectors” indica que as folhas
Questão 31 399040EEAR 2018/1
Read the cartoon and answer question
“I find the easiest way to expand my vocabulary is to make up words.”
The phrasal verb “make up” in this cartoon can be replaced by:
Questão 41 1076246EFOMM 2017
Pidgins and creoles
A pidgin is a system of communication which
has grown up among people who do not share a
common language, but who want to talk to each other,
for trading or other reasons. Pidgins have been
 variously called ‘makeshift’, ‘marginal’, or ‘mixed’
languages. They have a limited vocabulary, a reduced
grammatical structure, and a much narrower range of
functions, compared to the languages which gave rise
to them. They are the native language of no one, but
 they are nonetheless a main means of communication
for millions of people, and a major focus of interest to
those who study the way languages change.
It is essential to avoid the stereotype of a
pidgin language, as perpetrated over the years in
 generations of children’s comics and films. The ‘Me
Tarzan, you Jane’ image is far from the reality. A
pidgin is not a language which has broken down; nor
is it the result of baby talk, laziness, corruption,
primitive thought processes, or mental deficiency. On
 the contrary: pidgins are demonstrably creative
adaptations of natural languages, with a structure and
rules of their own. Along with creoles, they are
evidence of a fundamental process of linguistic
change, as languages come into contact with each
 other, producing new varieties whose structures and
uses contract and expand. They provide the clearest
evidence of language being created and shaped by
society for its own ends, as people adapt to new social
circumstances. This emphasis on processes of change
 is reflected in the terms pidginization and
Most pidgins are based on European
languages – English, French, Spanish, Dutch, and
Portuguese – reflecting the history of colonialism.
 However, this observation may be the result only of
our ignorance of the languages used in parts of
Africa, South America, or South-east Asia, where
situations of language contact are frequent. One of
the best-known non-European pidgins is Chinook
 Jargon, once used for trading by American Indians in
north-west USA. Another is Sango, a pidginized
variety of Ngbandi, spoken widely in west-central
Because of their limited function, pidgin
 languages usually do not last for very long –
sometimes for only a few years, and rarely for more
than a century. They die when the original reason for
communication diminishes or disappears, as
communities move apart, or one community learns
 the language of the other. (Alternatively, the pidgin
may develop into a creole.) The pidgin French which
was used in Vietnam all but disappeared when the
French left; similarly, the pidgin English which
appeared during the American Vietnam campaign
 virtually disappeared as soon as the war was over. But
there are exceptions. The pidgin known as
Mediterranean Lingua Franca, or Sabir, began in the
Middle Ages and lasted until the 20th century.
Some pidgins have become so useful as a
 means of communication between languages that they
have developed a more formal role, as regular
auxiliary languages. They may even be given official
status by a community, as lingua francas. These cases
are known as ‘expanded pidgins’, because of the way
 in which they have added extra forms to cope with the
needs of their users, and have come to be used in a
much wider range of situations than previously. In
time, these languages may come to be used on the
radio, in the press, and may even develop a literature
 of their own. Some of the most widely used expanded
pidgins are Krio (in Sierra Leone), Nigerian Pidgin
English, and Bislama (in Vanuatu). In Papua New
Guinea, the local pidgin (Tok Pisin) is the most
widely used language in the country.
(CRYSTAL, David. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language, 3rd ed., 2010, p.344).
In line 65, “(...) they have added extra forms to cope with the needs of their users (...)”, the phrasal verb in bold is closest in meaning to:
Questão 34 1813176EN 2° Dia 2017
Which is the correct option to complete the sentence below?
Abandoned dog now works at a petrol station
Buying petrol is generally a trivial activity. You fill your car, head into the shop, possibly pick a Kit-Kat or motoring atlas, pay the cashier then set for your destination. Wouldn't the whole process be more enjoyable if there was a dog to brighten up your visit?
(Adapted from hip :/Amww.telegraph.co.uk/pets/news-features/dog abandoned-petrol-station-now-works-petrol-station/)
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