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Textverständnis und Analyse: Sachtext "Talking, Walking Objects" by. C. Diana


Hinweis: Die Prozentangaben in Klammern zeigt die Gewichtung der einzelnen Aufgaben.

  1. Outline the information on what robotic objects have been programmed to do and why this might be dangerous. (30 %)
  2. Describe both illustrations (Text B) and choose one to be published with the article. Explain your choice, referring to ideas in Text A. (30 %)



The application possibilities of robotic objects are almost infinite. Simon the robot, for instance, is an experiment to find out how people and machines can share their daily lives (ll.2f). Not only is it able to listen to speech and to give the corresponding answer (ll.7f.), but also to apply gestures to express emotions (ll.8f.) and to use several senses to act like a human (ll.13f.). Furthermore, it distinguishes and reacts to different colours lighting up its ears accordingly (l.10).
Other examples are Siri, an application by Apple for iPhones which is a personal assistant recognizing the user’s voice and talking to them (ll.23f.) and Autom, a personal coach motivating people who want to lose weight and communicating with them on an emotional level (ll.27f.).
In a nutshell, robots are designed to provide us with feedback, guidance and small favours in our daily lives (ll.29f.)

Notwithstanding the positive intentions mentioned above, there are also several concerns about the employment of robotic objects. Firstly, they can be used to manipulate people to behave in a way they usually would not do such as purchasing specific items or consuming different types of goods (ll.32-25). And secondly, robotic objects constitute a security risk because they do not possess any protection against hackers. Thus, potential thieves could use the inbuilt cameras to spy on your home (ll.36-39).

(223 words)


Picture 1 shows Simon, the humanoid robot mentioned in the text. In the centre there is a white robot and the background is entirely black. It has a human head with eyes and nose but the mouth is missing. Instead of hair it is wearing a helmet and two blue antennas come out of its head representing the ears. The robot has a pensive posture holding its head in one of its hands. Moreover, the facial expression is likeable due to the half-closed eyes, the snub nose and the implied smile.

In picture 2 you can see Autom, the robot which helps you to lose weight. In the centre there is a white and blue robot in front of a white wall with colourful spots. It is located on a yellow table and next to it, in the bottom right-hand corner of the picture, there are three green apples. The robot has a rounded head with blue eyes and a straight line as its mouth, however, not having any hair, nose or ears. The torso is quadratic and has a display on the front illustrating the software for people who want to reduce weight. Furthermore, the robot has no arms and two small pedestals as its legs. Obviously, it does not have a human look but rather that of a small refrigerator or copying machine with a head and a display.

In my opinion, picture 1 should be published with the article.
Firstly, Carla Diana, the author of the article, “designed the robot’s shell” (l.3f.) herself, which is why I consider it appropriate to choose this picture.
Secondly, the description of Simon’s physical appearance, namely as a “humanoid robot” (l.1), “sentient creature” (l.5) and later as one of the “androids with limbs, torsos and expressive faces“ (l.15), makes up a major part of the article and thus is best illustrated by picture 1.
And thirdly, the author tries to convince the readers that robots are “charming entities (…) guiding us through everyday tasks and reminding us to do things” (ll.29f.), so Simon’s likeable facial expression is very suitable to transport this message.

(366 words)

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