Digital Screams Reading Ielts Answers and Questions

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  • IELTS Reading True, false, or not given

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IELTS Reading Passage

Digital screams

What holds new advances in technology back is not the pace of development. Is it then the fact that people are generally conservative by nature? Or is it instead the inability of the marketplace to absorb new products fast enough?

There is always a time lag between new inventions and discoveries being made and the release of any related technology into the public domain. Like aircraft hovering to land at a busy airport, new products are frequently held in abeyance, while the marketplace is emptied of the last ‘latest’ gadget. Meanwhile, the general population are drip-fed information about what is to come. In this way, the public appetite for new products is constantly being whetted.

People’s blind faith in any new technological device prevents them from thinking through the implications of what is happening. Fewer and fewer people seem to have any serious misgivings about mankind’s promethean march to some great dystopia. Any lurking dangers are brushed aside, as are the diminishing band of dissenters.

People are oblivious of the creeping advance of robots into their lives. Operations are being performed with voice-operated robots, not only giving surgeons an extra pair of safe hands, but also allowing a range of procedures to be carried out anywhere in the world by computer. Apart from surgery, voice-operated devices are also being introduced into cars. Drivers will soon be able to bark at mobile-phone like gadgets capable of supplying them with all the information they need from weather forecasts to stock market quotations.

Experiments have already been carried out on inserting microchips under the human skin so that people can be monitored at any time. Tagging is currently in use in some areas for criminals in the community. And data-tagging is being used for technical equipment like expensive motorbike parts and also for tracing lost dogs. Details about using microchips in humans have already been flagged in the press. And given the right circumstances, the procedure will be introduced with barely a whimper. Microchip implants might perhaps become the passport of the future. 

Without knowing it, you are already being monitored without the slightest hints of protest. The technology in your mobile phones allows you to be located. It is ironic that when mobile phones were first introduced they were perceived as status symbols. But now they are viewed as symbols of slavery, as bosses can monitor their work-force when they are out on the job. Video cameras in public places are now so wide-spread that it is possible to trace you for quite a distance. Supermarket loyalty cards and bank cards leave traces of your life everywhere.

As we naively come to accept the role of machines, they are appearing in roles that were exclusively the preserve of humans. Robots in bars already exist; soon they will replace hosts on chat-shows, and people as shop assistants or drivers and humans in many other professions. No? Do you take money from a teller at your bank or do you receive it from a robot built into a wall?

And much to the chagrin of traditionalists, toys have now come on the market which teach children to speak and which children can then communicate with, the novelty apart, this is a rather sinister tum of events. It is bad enough for adults to talk to cars and computers. But this development is much more disturbing. Children may develop certain linguistic skills from the robotic toy. But will lose out on the necessary social and emotional interaction. Social deskilling of this kind will lead to untold social problems.

Yet, not all the developments are bad. The advances taking place in medicine, herald a new dawn for the human race. Disease will become an irritation rather than the bane it is now. Humans will replace body parts as they wear out, with specially grown prostheses or electronic parts, whatever is in vogue at the time.

Certain diseases which require huge resources and expenditure will be treated by gene therapy. Paralysis will become a thing of the past. By 2020, the life expectancy for new babies will be well over 100 years and more. Recently, the ‘Immortality’ gene was located: so soon the world may be full of Methuselahs. 

A nightmare scenario perhaps. Not half as nightmarish as the future possibility of downloading the human mind before the body dies. But I for one do not wish to live out eternity as some sort of digital collectable item. Against the hum of machines, who will hear my screams? Or yours? 

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Questions 1-8

Choose the most suitable heading for each paragraph.

There are more headings than paragraphs, so you will not use all of them.

Example: Paragraph A            Answer xvii

List of Headings

  1. The time lag theory explained
  2. Humans hdigital-screams-ielts-reading-practice-testelping robots
  3. A sinister side
  4. People are already being monitored
  5. Anovelly apart
  6. The dangers ignored
  7. A personal nightmare
  8. Some Methuselahs
  9. Robots helping humans
  10. Tagging
  11. Hovering aircraft
  12. Technology not all negative
  13. Dip feeding the public
  14. Robots replacing humans
  15. Expensive motorbike parts
  16. Who needs friends?
  17. What stops technology from advancing faster?
  18. Paragraph B
  19. Paragraph C
  20. Paragraph D
  21. Paragraph E
  22. Paragraph F
  23. Paragraph G
  24. Paragraph H
  25. Paragraph I

Questions 9-11

Do the statements below agree with the information in Reading Passage in boxes 9-11, write:

YES               if the statement agrees with the views of the writer

NO                 if the statement contradicts the views of the writer

NOT GIVEN  if it is impossible to say what the writer thinks about this

Example: There is always a time lag between new inventions being made and their release into the public domain.

Answer. Yes

9. The writer feels that the general public has too much faith in the technological devices being introduced into the marketplace.

10. Tagging criminals by inserting microchips into theft bodies will dramatically reduce the number of crimes being committed.

11. The writer of the article does not have serious doubts about the direction technology is taking.

Enhance your skills in identifying information as True, False, or Not Given. Click here to discover expert strategies and techniques for mastering this question type in the IELTS Reading section.

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Recommended Questions:

Renewable Energy IELTS Reading Question with Answer

Answers For Digital Screams

1. Answer: i

2. Answer: vi

3. Answer: ix

4. Answer: x

5. Answer: iv

6. Answer: xiv

7. Answer: xvi

8. Answer: xii

9. Answer: Yes

10. Answer: Not given

11. Answer: Yes


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