臺大外語教學暨資源中心英語學習報第 358 期 發行日期 2019-03-15

本期焦點 More

  collaboration between the human and the robotRead more on VOA.

Amazon’s ‘Collaborative’ Robots Offer Peek into the Future


Hundreds of orange robots zoom and whiz back and forth like miniature bumper cars -- but instead of colliding, they’re following a carefully plotted path to transport thousands of items ordered from online giant Amazon.

      上百部橙色機器人來來回回快速移動(zoom),颼颼作響(whiz),就像是小型的(miniature)碰碰車(bumper car)般,但不同的是,這群機器人並不會撞(collide)在一塊,而是小心翼翼地依照著策劃(plot)好的路徑運送電子商務巨頭(giant)亞馬遜公司(Amazon,以下簡稱「亞馬遜」)的上千件貨品。


◎ 107-2 說說角英語口語訓練工作坊 熱烈推出!!

107-2 說說角英語口語訓練工作坊 熱烈推出!!
日期:3/11、3/18、3/25、4/8、4/22、4/29、5/6、5/13、5/20(共 9 場次)
時間:週一晚間 6:20 ~ 8:10
地點:外語教學暨資源中心 202 教室(電腦教室請勿飲食,感謝配合!)

◎ 英語自學認證資訊


◎ 線上菲律賓語課程


外語教學暨資源中心專為本校教職員工生、退休教職員工及校友編製了線上菲律賓語課程,內容涵蓋了生活必需的 6 大主題,還有真人情境對話影片帶給您身歷其境的學習體驗,讓您輕鬆學會基礎菲律賓語會話。

詳情請見:東南亞語言暨文化資源網站首頁 → 線上菲律賓語課程

Feature of the Week
Mental Floss


《Mental Floss》是一個看了絕對會上癮的網路雜誌媒體,內容包羅萬象、應有盡有。 文章有趣之餘卻又不失嚴謹,所有內容都有經過資料蒐集和調查,絕對不是內容農場喔。

Apps for Learning English


LingoDeer是一款生動、有趣的語言學習APP。課程由教師團隊精心設計,以遊戲概念為主軸,搭配影片和真人發音,讓學習語言就像玩遊戲一樣會上癮。 LingoDeer除了英文之外,還能學習日文、韓文、越南文、西班牙文、法文、德文、葡萄牙文等,非常適合初學者。 如果英文不錯的話,推薦使用英語介面來學習其他語言,一面學習新語言,一面複習英文,一舉兩得。

English Learning Video
English Learning Video

When Teens Are Forced to Communicate Without Their Phones

即時訊息應用程式的發達大幅地減少了我們面對面溝通的機會,也因此有很多人覺得這些App其實讓人們更為疏遠。 但是用訊息溝通真的一定比較差嗎?有位老師做了個實驗,想看看到底是面對面溝通還是用訊息溝通比較有效率? 答案就在影片中。


周樹華老師英語學習 Q&A
周樹華老師英語學習 Q&A


無意間看到一個英文廣告,報名上課的學員學到看影片做填空練習方法,覺得非常新奇,很有效果,好像只有上這間補習班才能學到。其實,這種練習聽力的方式,利用手機可隨時隨地上網練習,不必花錢上課。同學們只要會利用Youtube上全方位最優質的聽力練習網站 tubequizard.com 選擇自己最需要練習的項目,就可增進聽力了。



您知道在網球賽中,0分要說成"love",在棒球賽中,0分要說成"nothing"嗎? 英文數字可不是只有one、two、three那麼簡單喔! 




Amazon's 'Collaborative' Robots Offer Peek into the Future
VOA News
February 20, 2019 1:15 AM (source)

Amazon's 'Collaborative' Robots Offer Peek into the Future


February 20, 2019 1:15 AM

Agence France-Presse

New York —

Hundreds of orange robots zoom and whiz back and forth like miniature bumper cars -- but instead of colliding, they're following a carefully plotted path to transport thousands of items ordered from online giant Amazon.

A young woman fitted out in a red safety vest, with pouches full of sensors and radio transmitters on her belt and a tablet in hand, moves through their complicated choreography.

This robot ballet takes place at the new Amazon order fulfillment center that opened on Staten Island in New York in September.

In an 80,000-square-meter (855,000-square-foot) space filled with the whirring sounds of machinery, the Seattle-based e-commerce titan has deployed some of the most advanced instruments in the rapidly growing field of robots capable of collaborating with humans.

The high-tech vest, worn at Amazon warehouses since last year, is key to the whole operation -- it allows 21-year-old Deasahni Bernard to safely enter the robot area, to pick up an object that has fallen off its automated host, for example, or check if a battery needs replacing.

Bernard only has to press a button and the robots stop or slow or readjust their dance to accommodate her.

Human-robot 'symphony' 

Amazon now counts more than 25 robotic centers, which chief technologist for Amazon Robotics Tye Brady says have changed the way the company operates.

"What used to take more than a day now takes less than an hour," he said, explaining they are able to fit about 40 percent more goods inside the same footprint.

For some, these fulfillment centers, which have helped cement Amazon's dominant position in global online sales, are a perfect illustration of the looming risk of humans being pushed out of certain business equations in favor of artificial intelligence.

But Brady argues that robot-human collaboration at the Staten Island facility, which employs more than 2,000 people, has given them a "beautiful edge" over the competition.

Bernard, who was a supermarket cashier before starting at Amazon, agrees.

"I like this a lot better than my previous jobs," she told AFP, as Brady looked on approvingly.

What role do Amazon employees play in what Brady calls the human-robot "symphony?" 

In Staten Island, on top of tech-vest wearers like Bernard, there are "stowers," "pickers" and "packers" who respectively load up products, match up products meant for the same customers and build shipping boxes -- all with the help of screens and scanners.

At every stage, the goal is to "extend people's capabilities" so the humans can focus on problem-solving and intervene if necessary, according to Brady.

At the age of 51, he has worked with robotics for 33 years, previously as a spacecraft engineer for MIT and on lunar landing systems of the Draper Laboratory in Massachusetts.

He is convinced the use of "collaborative robots" is the key to future human productivity -- and job growth.

Since Amazon went all-in on robotics with the 2012 acquisition of logistics robot-maker Kiva, gains have been indisputable, Brady says.

They've created 300,000 new jobs, bringing the total number of worldwide Amazon employees up to 645,000, not counting seasonal jobs.

"It's a myth that robotics and automation kills jobs, it's just a myth," according to Brady.

"The data really can't be denied on this: the more robots we add to our fulfillment centers, the more jobs we are creating," he said, without mentioning the potential for lost jobs at traditional stores.

The 'R2D2' model

For Brady, the ideal example of human-robot collaboration is the relationship between "R2D2" and Luke Skywalker from "Star Wars." 

Their partnership, in which "R2D2" is always ready to use his computing powers to pull people out of desperate situations "is a great example of how humans and robots can work together," he said.

But despite Brady's enthusiasm for a robotic future, many are suspicious of the trend -- a wariness that extends to the corporate giant, which this month scrapped high-profile plans for a new New York headquarters in the face of local protests.

Attempts by Amazon employees to unionize, at Staten Island and other sites, have so far been successfully fought back by the company, further fuelling criticism.

At a press briefing held last month as part of the unionization push, one employee of the facility, Rashad Long, spoke out about what he said were unsustainable work conditions.

"We are not robots, we are human beings," Long said.

Sharing the benefits

Many suspect Amazon's investment in robotics centers aims to eventually automate positions currently held by humans.

For Kevin Lynch, an expert in robotics from Northwestern University near Chicago, the development of collaborative robots is "inevitable" and will indeed eventually eliminate certain jobs, such as the final stage of packing at Amazon for instance.

"I also think other jobs will be created," he said. "But it's easier to predict the jobs that will be lost than the jobs that will be created."

"Robotics and artificial intelligence bring clear benefits to humanity, in terms of our health, welfare, happiness, and quality of life," said Lynch, who believes public policy has a key role to play in ensuring those benefits are shared, and that robotics and AI do not sharpen economic inequality.

"The growth of robotics and AI is inevitable," he said. "The real question is, 'how do we prepare for our future with robots?" 


上百部橙色機器人來來回回快速移動(zoom)颼颼作響(whiz),就像是小型的(miniature)碰碰車(bumper car)般,但不同的是,這群機器人並不會撞(collide)在一塊,而是小心翼翼地依照著策劃(plot)好的路徑運送電子商務巨頭(giant)亞馬遜公司(Amazon,以下簡稱「亞馬遜」)的上千件貨品。


亞馬遜去年(編按:2018 年)9 月於美國紐約(New York)史泰登島(Staten Island)成立新的訂單配送中心(以下簡稱「配送中心」),這支機器人芭蕾舞即在此處上演。

合作(collaborate)型機器人是目前迅速發展的領域,而總部位於美國西雅圖(Seattle)的電子商務(e-commerce)巨頭亞馬遜已在其占地 8 萬平方公尺(85 萬 5000 平方英尺),充滿機器(machinery)嗡嗡作響(whir)的配送中心有效運用(deploy)這領域中最先進的儀器(instrument)

亞馬遜員工自去年(編按:2018 年)起在貨倉(warehouse)裡所穿著的高科技背心正是整個作業系統運作(operation)的關鍵:這背心讓 21 歲的迪薩妮.伯納德(Deasahni Bernard)可以安全地進入機器人作業區,或是拾起從自動化機器掉落的物品,或是檢查是否需要更換電池。



亞馬遜機器人的首席技術專家(technologist)泰伊.布雷迪(Tye Brady)指出,亞馬遜目前擁有超過 25 間的機器人中心,這已改變公司運作(operate)的模式。

「過去需要超過一天才能完成的工作,現在不到一小時就完成了。」他表示,同時說明在配送中心占地面積不改變的情況下,現在可以多放入約 40% 的貨品。

這些配送中心鞏固(cement)了亞馬遜在全球網路銷售上的主導(dominant)地位,但對一些人來說,這些中心同時刻劃出了在某些就業市場裡,人類正逐漸被人工智慧(artificial intelligence)取代(push out)的景象,而且這種危機正日益逼近(loom)

然而布雷迪認為,在雇用了超過 2000 人的史泰登島配送中心裡,機器人與人類的合作(collaboration)所帶來的「美好優勢(edge)」已超越人、機之間的競爭。


她向法新社(Agence France-Presse,AFP;法語:L'Agence France-Presse)表示:「比起之前的其他工作,我超喜歡這裡。」布雷迪則在旁示意認同。


史泰登島配送中心除了有和伯納德一樣穿著科技背心的作業員以外(on top of . . .),還有「裝載員(stower)」、「揀選員」和「包裝員」分別(respectively)負責裝載貨品,將屬於同一顧客的貨品揀選出來,並且製作裝運箱,而所有的流程皆透過螢幕與掃描器進行。


現年 51 歲的布雷迪已投入機器人技術(robotics)長達 33 年,他先前曾於麻省理工學院(Massachusetts Institute of Technology,MIT)和位於麻薩諸塞州(Massachusetts,又稱「麻省」或「麻州」)的德雷珀實驗室(Draper Laboratory)擔任太空船(spacecraft)以及月球登陸系統工程師。


自亞馬遜於 2012 年收購物流(logistics)機器人製造商「基瓦(Kiva)」,並且全力投入機器人技術後,公司的收益良多無庸置疑(indisputable),布雷迪說道。

機器人技術歷年來已創造了 30 萬份新工作,使得亞馬遜全球員工總數達 64 萬 5000 人,這還不包括季節性的工作。




對布雷迪而言,電影《星際大戰》(Star Wars)中機器人「R2D2」和路克.天行者(Luke Skywalker)之間的關係是代表人類與機器人合作的最佳實例。

機器人 R2D2 在與人類的夥伴關係(partnership)中,隨時準備好運用他的訊息處理能力將眾人從危急的(desperate)處境裡拯救出來,「這是人類和機器人如何能夠一起工作最棒的例子。」他說道。

不過,儘管布雷迪對機器人的未來充滿熱忱,很多人卻對這種趨勢抱持懷疑(suspicious of . . .),而如此周密謹慎(wariness)的態度也影響了這電子商務巨頭:亞馬遜在面對(in the face of . . .)紐約當地的抗議活動(protest)下,於本月(編按:2019 年 2 月)取消(scrap)備受關注的(high-profile)總部(headquarters)設立計畫。


上月(編按:2019 年 1 月)為推動工會化(unionization)所召開的新聞簡報會(briefing)中,史泰登島配送中心員工拉沙德.隆(Rashad Long)為現行過於嚴苛而無法繼續維持的(unsustainable)工作條件與目標勇敢發聲(speak out)



很多人猜測(suspect)亞馬遜投資機器人技術中心是為了使目前勞力投注的工作最終能夠自動化(automate . . .)

凱文.林奇(Kevin Lynch)是美國芝加哥(Chicago)近郊西北大學(Northwestern University)的機器人技術專家。他表示,合作型機器人的開發「無可避免(inevitable)」,而且終究會淘汰(eliminate)某些工作,例如亞馬遜貨品配送過程最終階段的包裝工作。


「機器人技術和人工智慧在衛生保健、福利(welfare)條件、幸福和樂以及生活品質等各方面都為人類(humanity)帶來了顯而易見的好處。」林奇解釋道。他認為公共政策扮演了關鍵性的角色,能夠確保這些好處為全民共享,同時也相信機器人技術和人工智慧不會使貧富不均等(inequality)的情況更加嚴重(sharpen . . .)


Language Notes

miniature [`mɪnɪətʃɚ] / [`mɪnətʃər] (a) 微型的;小型的;微小的

collide [kə`laɪd] (v)(尤指移動的物體)相撞,碰撞
* 注意本字重音在第 2 音節

plot [plɑt] (v) 密謀,策劃
* 本字另有「在紙(或地圖)上標出,畫出」之意;也可作名詞,指「(小說,戲劇等的)情節」、「秘密計畫;陰謀」或「小塊土地」

giant [`dʒaɪənt] (n)(成功且有影響的)偉人,巨頭,大公司
* 本字亦指「巨人」;另常作形容詞,意即「巨大的,特大的」

vest [vɛst] (n)(穿在其他衣服之上起保暖作用的)背心,馬甲,防護背心

transmitter [træns`mɪtɚ] (n)(廣播、電視信號的)發射臺,發射機
* 注意本字重音在第 2 音節

choreography [͵korɪ`ɑgrəfɪ] (n) 編舞藝術;舞蹈設計
* 注意本字重音在第 3 音節

machinery [mə`ʃinərɪ] (n)(大型的)機器;機械;(機器的)運轉部分
* 注意本字重音在第 2 音節

deploy [dɪ`plɔɪ] (v) 有效運用;發揮 . . . . . . 的作用
* 注意本字重音在第 2 音節;另常見的意思為「展開;部署;調動」

instrument [`ɪnstrəmənt] (n) 儀器;器具,器械
* 本字也常指「樂器」

operation [͵ɑpə`reʃən] (n) 運作;運轉;操作;實施
* 注意本字重音在第 3 音節;亦有「企業」、「(有目的的)活動,行動」和「手術」等意
* operate [`ɑpə͵ret] (v)(使)工作,(使)運行;運作;操作;起作用;開刀,動手術

readjust [͵riə`dʒʌst] (v) 重新調整;重新調節
* 本字由字首 "re-"「再;重新」與動詞 "adjust"「調節;改變 . . . . . . 以適應」組成;注意重音在第 3 音節,其中字母 "d" 不發音

cement [sɪ`mɛnt] / [sə`mɛnt] (v) 加強,鞏固(協議或友誼)
* 注意本字重音在第 2 音節;也指「(在表面上)塗上水泥,(用水泥)黏合」;亦可作名詞,意即「水泥」或「膠合劑;黏固劑」

dominant[`dɑmənənt] (a) 主要的;主導的;佔優勢的

loom [lum] (v)(不希望或不愉快的事情)陰森地逼近
* 本字亦指「(令人驚恐地)隱約顯現;赫然聳現」;也可作名詞,指「織布機」

push somebody out (v phr) 趕走(或取代). . . . . .;把 . . . . . . 排擠走

collaboration [kə͵læbə`reʃən] (n) 合作;協作;共同研究
* 注意本字重音在第 4 音節;另有「勾結;通敵,叛國」之意
* collaborate [kə`læbə͵ret] (v) 合作;協作;勾結;通敵,叛國
* collaborative [kə`læbərətɪv] (a) 合作的;協作的

edge [ɛdʒ] (n) 優勢;優越之處
* 本字也常指「邊,邊緣」、「刀口;刃;鋒利的邊緣」或「(變故的)邊緣」

on top of something (prep phr) 除 . . . . . .(尤指令人不快之事)之外(還 . . . . . .)

productivity [͵prodʌk`tɪvətɪ] (n) 生產力;生產率
* 注意本字重音在第 3 音節;亦有「豐饒,多產」之意
* productive [prə`dʌktɪv] (a) 生產的,生產性的;多產的,富饒的

logistics [lə`dʒɪstɪks] / [lo`dʒɪstɪks] (n) 物流,運籌
* 注意本字重音在第 2 音節;也可指「後勤;(軍事上的)後勤學」

indisputable [͵ɪndɪ`spjutəbl̩] (a) 不容置疑的,無可爭辯的
* 本字由字首 "in-"「不,無,非」和形容詞 "disputable"「不確定的,不肯定的;有爭議的」組成;注意重音在第 3 音節
* dispute [dɪ`spjut] (n) 激烈/長期的爭執;(v)(對 . . . . . .)有異議;不贊同

automation [͵ɔtə`meʃən] (n) 自動化(技術);自動操作
* 注意重音在第 3 音節
* automate [`ɔtə͵met] (v) 使自動化

desperate [`dɛspərət] (a) 非常嚴重的;非常糟糕的;危急的
* 本字另常見意思為「非常需要的;非常想要的」或「(因絕望而)拼命的,不顧一切的」

wariness [`wɛrɪnəs] (n) 謹慎;小心翼翼;警惕
* wary [`wɛrɪ] (a) 小心翼翼的;警惕的;謹防的

scrap [skræp] (v) 放棄;取消
* 本字也可指「銷毀;毀掉」;亦可作名詞,意即「廢料,廢品」或「碎片,碎屑;少量(資訊)」

high-profile [haɪ`profaɪl] (a) 引人注目的,備受關注的

in the face of something (prep phr) 面對 . . . . . .

fuel [`fjuəl] (v) 加強;激起
* 本字亦有「為 . . . . . . 添加燃料」之意;另常作名詞,指「燃料;燃燒劑」或「刺激因素」

unionization [͵junjənə`zeʃən] / [͵junjənaɪ`zeʃən] (n) 工會化;工會的組成
* 注意重音在第 4 音節
* unionize [`junjə͵naɪz] (v)(使)工會化,組成工會;(使)加入工會

speak out / up (v phr)(尤指對有強烈共鳴的話題)公開發表意見,坦率說出

unsustainable [͵ʌnsə`stenəbl̩] (a) 無法支撐的;無法維持的
* 本字由字首 "un-"「不,非,無,相反」和形容詞 "sustainable"「支撐得住的;能維持的」組成;也常指「枯竭式開採資源的;不符合可持續發展的」;注意重音在第 3 音節
* sustain [sə`sten] (v) 保持,維持;使持續,使繼續

inevitable [ɪn`ɛvətəbl̩] / [ɪn`evɪtəbl̩] (a) 不可避免的;必然發生的
* 本字由字首 "in-"「不,無,非」和形容詞 "evitable"「可以避免的」組成;注意重音在第 2 音節

eliminate [ɪ`lɪmə͵net] (v) 排除;消除;消滅;清除
* 注意本字重音在第 2 音節;亦可指「(比賽中)淘汰」

humanity [hju`mænətɪ] (n)(統稱)人,人類
* 注意本字重音在第 2 音節;另有「對他人的理解,仁慈」或「人性;人道」之意

welfare [`wɛl͵fɛr] (n)(尤指人的)幸福,福祉;安康;福利
* 本字也常指「福利救濟;社會福利」

sharpen [`ʃɑrpn̩] (v) 加強;加劇;加重
* 本字由形容詞 "sharp"「鋒利的;尖的」和動詞字尾 "-en" 組成;另有「使變尖;使鋒利」、「改善;提高」和「使清晰;使清楚」等意

inequality [ɪnɪ`kwɑlətɪ] (n) 不平等;不均等;不平衡
* 本字由字首 "in-"「不,無,非」和名詞 "equality"「(社會地位、待遇上的)平等;均等」組成;注意重音在第 3 音節

Check your vocabulary!

Fill in the blanks with a word or phrase from the list above. Make necessary changes. After you finish, highlight the blanks to reveal the hidden answers.

1.  Gradually, Microsoft became the dominant company in the software business.

2. Fishermen who want to trade up and buy a bigger boat usually scrap their existing vessel and buy extra tonnage from the market.

3. The introduction of new working practices has dramatically improved productivity.

4. Nurse education and training at Horton would be likely to become unsustainable without a sufficient variety of placements for students.

5. Entrepreneurs are constantly looking for improvements that will give them the edge over their competition.

6. Fail to budget properly, managers are warned, and insolvency looms around the corner.

7. At each stop national and local campaigners will speak out about problems facing walkers.

8. While the policies in a socialist state attempt to reduce inequalities significantly, they do not aim for total economic equality.

9. Yesterday's meeting was intended to plot a survival strategy for the party.

10. The car maker said it would eliminate 74,000 jobs over the next four years.

11. It is amazing how Daniels has survived in the face of such strong political opposition.

12. Many stress-related complaints can be reversed simply by breathing properly and occasionally readjusting body alignment.

13. Cognitive decline with age is not inevitable, nor does it necessarily lead to dementia.

14. The university's exchange scheme has cemented its links with many other academic institutions.

15. Tasks are designed that reward collaboration and teamwork, in academic and nonacademic areas.

16. The President's absence from the May Day parade has fueled speculation that he is seriously ill.

17. It is an indisputable fact that demand for healthcare will always outstrip supply.

18. The problem requires more than deploying all available resources to deal with what is seen only as a contingency.

編譯:外語教學暨資源中心 編輯小組