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单选题
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单选题 Questions 11 to 15 are based on the following interview.11.
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单选题6.
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单选题Questions 6 to 10 are based on the following news
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单选题 Last year
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单选题Questions 11 to 15 are based on the following interview. 11.
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单选题 Questions 1 to 5 are based on the following conversation.1.
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单选题 Google has imagined a future where it uses enormous quantities of data it collects on individuals to manipulate their behaviour and achieve "desired results" for the whole species. In a leaked video from the company's secretive X research division, the narrator cites Richard Dawkin's book The Selfish Gene and depicts Google's data as a "selfish ledger" which treats users as "transient carriers" or "survival mechanisms" for valuable data. He says that the ledger could move beyond a passive record to actively influence people's actions, in line with Google's "values". If Google didn't have enough data on a particular user its algorithms would identify a suitable "smart" product to sell him or her to gather that data. Google dismissed the video as a "thought experiment" unrelated to any present or future plans. However, analysts said that the dystopian future it painted was plausible. Similar ideas can be found in some of the firm's patent applications, including one for "detecting and correcting potential errors in user behaviour". The leak comes at a particularly embarrassing time for Google as technology giants come under pressure from politicians over their harvesting of users' data. One Times digital editor recently discovered that Google held almost a terabyte of data on him, the equivalent of 1, 024GB or tens of millions of word files, including his search and browsing history, his movements, and his photos and emails. In the eight-minute clip from 2016 the narrator says: "User-centred design principles have dominated the world of computing for many decades but what if we looked at things a little differently? What if the ledger could be given a volition or purpose rather than simply acting as a historical reference?" He says that, to begin with, users would retain control over the goals set by the ledger, with "Google...responsible for offering suitable targets". He added: "Whilst the notion of a global good is problematic, topics would likely focus on health or environmental impact to reflect Google's values as an organisation." The footage explains how, initially, people could change their phone settings to ask Google for help to "eat more healthily", "protect the environment" or "support local businesses", for example. After choosing to protect the environment, Google would use popup notifications to nudge a user to take a shared Uber, rather than a single-occupancy one, or to buy locally grown rather than imported fruit. Nevertheless, as the notion of a "goal-driven ledger" becomes more "palatable", the narrator says that behaviour-altering plans could be put into action without the user's instigation. To gain more data "which it requires to better understand the user", the ledger might attempt to sell a particular connected device that would give Google the required insights. If no existing product fits, the narrator says that Google's algorithm may investigate a "bespoke solution", using historical data on the user's tastes and "aesthetic sensibility" to create a new device that's likely to appeal and would gather the sought-after data. The narrator says that by gathering increasingly comprehensive data over multiple generations, as sensors become ubiquitous in the world around us, Google would gain powers to make "increasingly accurate predictions about decisions and future behaviours"—and ultimately to influence them. He says that, in the same way that geneticists can use their knowledge of individual genes to modify them, Google could use its knowledge of individuals' behaviour to influence it. He says: "As patterns emerge in the behavioural sequences, they too may be targeted. The ledger could be given a focus, shifting it from a system which not only tracks our behaviour but offers direction towards a desired result." Paul Armstrong, of Here/Forth, the technology consultant, said: "Big data offers society a huge opportunity to alter humanity but the motives behind who wields power should be questioned. Technology can be used for good or bad; it's who wields it that is the issue and increasingly Google and companies like it can seem more over-reaching rather than beneficial." A spokesman for X told The Verge news website: "We understand if this is disturbing—it is designed to be. This is a thought-experiment...It's not related to any current or future products." Google has removed almost all mentions of its "don't be evil" motto from its code of conduct after thousands of Google employees claimed that the company's co-operation with the US military on drone technology was not in keeping with the slogan. It was previously cited repeatedly from the start of the document, but is now included only once in a final aside.16. The word "dystopian" (para. 2) can be paraphrased as ______.
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单选题 On 27 January I was due at the Albert Hall
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单选题 American workers without college degrees have suffered financially for decades. More recent is the discovery that their woes might be deadly, in 2015 Anne Case and Angus Deaton reported that in the 20 years to 1998, the mortality rate of middle-aged white Americans fell by about 2% a year. But between 1999 and 2013, deaths rose. Thereversal was all the more striking because, in Europe, overall middle-age mortality fell at the same 2% pace. By 2013 middle-aged white Americans were dying at twice the rate of similarly aged Swedes. Suicide, drug overdoses and alcohol abuse were to blame. Ms Case and Mr Deaton have now updated their work on the issue. The results are no happier. White middle-age mortality continued to rise in 2014 and 2015. The trend transcends geography. It is found in almost every state, and in both cities and rural areas. The problem seems to be getting worse over time. Deaths from drugs, suicide and alcohol have risen in every five-year cohort of whites born since the 1940s. You might think that rising mortality is the flipside of falling incomes. Recent trends in median per-person income for households headed by white 50- to 54-year-olds mirror their mortality rate. Income rises in the 1990s and then falls in the 2000s. But split people out by education, and the reflection fades. The income of college graduates has followed a similar pattern. But their mortality has steadily fallen. And deaths of despair are much rarer among blacks and Hispanics, whose incomes have been on similar paths. The authors suspect more amorphous forces are at work. The fundamental cause is still a familiar tale of economic malaise: trade and technological progress have snuffed out opportunities for the low-skilled. But social changes are also in play. As economic life has become less secure, low-skilled white men have tended towards unstable cohabiting relationships. They have abandoned traditional communal religion in favour of churches that emphasise personal identity. And they have become more likely to stop working entirely. The breakdown of family, community and clear structures of life, has liberated many but left others who fail blaming themselves and feeling helpless and desperate. Why are whites the worst affected? The authors speculate that their misery flows from their crushed aspirations. Blacks and Hispanics face worse economic circumstances, but may have had lower expectations. Or they may have taken hope from progress against discrimination. Low-skilled whites, by contrast, may find many aspects of their lives perennially disappointing. That may Push them towards depression, drugs and alcohol. The theory does not explain why misfortune is so lethal in America. It is hardly the only place where manufacturing jobs have disappeared and the social fabric has frayed. In other English-speaking countries deaths of despair have risen, but not by as much. But it is not hard to see ways in which Americans are particularly vulnerable. One example is the easy availability of opioid painkillers. Deaths from opioids more than doubled between 2002 and 2015. The epidemic is primarily found in North America. Another is access to guns, which are used in around half of suicides. However, although both these factors probably increase deaths, they cannot fully explain them. Alcohol, which kills many of those who despair, is readily available across the West. A more likely root cause for despair is the absence of a safety net for swathes of Americans. Before Obamacare financed an expansion of Medicaid, few states provide any coverage at all for adults without dependent children. A lack of health insurance has obvious implications for mortality when illness strikes. But it causes the healthy anguish, too. A randomised trial in Oregon found that Medicaid reduces depression rates by a third. In other rich countries, people in dire straits need not worry about paying for health care. Broader social insurance is also lacking. The help available for workers who lose their jobs is paltry compared with their lifetime income losses. As a percentage of GDP, America spends only one-fifth of the average in the OECD, a club of mostly rich countries, on training workers: It spends only a quarter of the average on financial help for the jobless. Yet Americans do not seem to build their own safety nets; 46% say they could not cover an unexpected $400 expense and would have to sell something or borrow to pay for it. A perilous economic existence and a culture which almost indiscriminately holds people responsible for their circumstances are toxic for mental well-being. Life is unlikely to become more secure for the low-skilled. In fact, policy may soon make it more perilous. The health-care bill that lawmakers were due to vote on as The Economist went to press would vastly increase costs for the older, poorer people who are suffering the most. One avenue for reducing despair may lie in future generations of low-skilled Americans curbing their aspirations. Indeed, some of the jobless young already seem content to spend much of their leisure time playing video games. But America can surely do better than to hope for less hope.11. What did Anne Case and Angus Deaton tell us about the issue of mortality rate? ______
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单选题 Questions 6 to 10 are based on the following news.6.
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单选题 We are living in a world defined by digital transformation. The ongoing evolution of analytics and business intelligence, the explosion in big data and world-changing innovations across artificial intelligence, machine-learning and deep-learning are all converging to provide businesses with unparalleled insight and a new understanding of their customers, competitors, challenges and future potential. It is this enhanced understanding of the future business landscape, the power of predictive analytics, which is driving real change across the energy industry. Twenty years ago, if a plant shut down, maintenance was a "necessary evil" with the bottom line taking a hit from the resulting days of unforeseen downtime. Executives of energy firms were making decisions without the power to predict. Like a seismologist tracking the next big earthquake, there was no sure way of knowing when the next shutdown would happen, causing profits to plunge. It was a huge and seemingly intractable problem for industry to address. Nothing hurts a capital-intensive business like unplanned downtime. As an example, one large mid-stream oil and gas company was recently reported to be losing close to $1 million for each failure of an oil well pump. Companies have spent millions in the past trying to address the unplanned downtime issue, but until now they have only been able to address wear and age-based failures because they lacked insight into the process-induced failures that are estimated to cause more than 80% of unplanned downtime. Today, however, through advances in machine-learning and the science of maintenance, energy firms are empowered with technology and real-time operational data that can detect breakdowns before they occur. With a stable plant and active assets, business leaders Can plan, increase performance of their business and raise profitability, safe in the knowledge that plant maintenance is seen as a way of delivering value to the organisation, and not as a cost centre and burden. It's a complete transformation, but how exactly has it come about? Digitalisation is far from new to the energy industry, after all. Asset-intensive industries have been capturing reams of data, much of it from internet-enabled sensors, but also from data historians and other information sources, since the late-1970s. That process has accelerated significantly in recent years. Energy and other companies in capital-intensive industries now have access to growing volumes of real-time data, as sensors become more pervasive and less expensive, and as advanced analytics are fed through increased connectivity. But this high-speed access to more and more data is not by itself giving decision-makers the time or the insights they need to break through operational excellence barriers. The tipping point comes with the practical and reliable application of machine-learning. Asset performance management (APM) has always been key in this industry in keeping assets up and running, but it had previously relied on statistical projections and rule-of-thumb estimates to define likely future performance. APM is evolving fast, driven by the catalyst of low-touch machine-learning. This represents a breakthrough in automating data collection, cleansing and analysis to provide prescriptive maintenance, protection for equipment. The integration of the two marks a transition from estimated engineering and statistical models towards measuring patterns of asset behaviour. Deployed coherently, with appropriate automation, low-touch machine-learning enables greater agility and flexibility to incorporate current, historical and projected conditions from process sensors, and mechanical and process events. Systems become more agile and are able to adapt to real data conditions—and incorporate the nuances of asset behaviour. Now previous maintenance practices can be improved to recognise issues affecting asset degradation. Operational integrity improves when organisations implement strategies to detect root causes early and avoid unplanned downtime. The latest breed of APM solutions is ready to improve reliability, lift net product output and increase profitability, marking it clear that the power to predict is driving positive change across the energy sector.1. According to the author, what is the driving force for change across the energy industry? ______
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单选题 Children don't need to unplug their gaming consoles just yet, experts say: screen time probably won't melt kids' brains. In an address at the Science Media Center in London, biological psychologist Peter Etchells said evidence against technology use is "premature," and the World Health Organization's recent classification of gaming disorder could "pathologize" a hobby that might not be as harmful as health officials warn. "I don't think policy should be informed by moral panics, which is what it feels like is happening at the moment," he said. Existing studies on screen use show a weak association with depressive behaviors, Oxford researcher Andy Przybylski said. The surveys, which relied on child- or parent-reported data, lack results of the long-term effects that linger after its immediate use. Removing internet access blocks children from accessing public information, Etchells added, which could be seen as a "violation of human rights." "The best evidence that we currently have really suggests some screen time, some video game playing, is better than none at all, particularly for child wellbeing," he said. Max Davie, a health promotion officer for England's Royal College of Pediatrics, said while evidence proves the link between excessive device use and obesity and poor sleep, the solution starts with parents. Panic about excessive device use spread across the U. K. when the British Health Service blamed a burgeoning mental health crisis among teens on technology and social media. In response to concerns about digital overuse (the video game Fortnite has caused the greatest stir recently), schools have adopted new guidelines for limiting students' digital devices, while France banned them from school property completely. The American Academy of Pediatrics released recommended screen time limits in 2016, which suggested one hour per day of "high-quality programming" for kids ages 2 to 5 and "consistent limits" on older children's technology use. A study published the following year called the limits "too restrictive" and said parental involvement in digital activities mattered more than the amount of screen time. Experts have sought more substantial evidence for devices' detriment before WHO officially declared gaming addiction an illness. Developmental psychologist Sue Fletcher-Watson criticized the use of "screen time" as an umbrella term that didn't differentiate children's digital activities and noted many older children use the internet to talk with friends or learn more about their world. Screen time can enhance cognitive development if the activity is "high quality." Age-specific programs can improve literacy and even foster positive racial attitudes and creativity. Parent-child co-viewing and asking questions prompted by the programming is another psychologist-approved technique to engage children with technology in a healthy way. As education becomes increasingly digital, screen time is now a built-in feature of school: homework assignments rely on Google, computer programs prime students for standardized tests and digitized textbooks cut costs. Some schools provide students with their own iPads, courtesy of the district, and encourage their use in the classroom and at home with parents.11. What is the main idea of the passage? ______
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单选题5.
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单选题 It was the frog that pushed me over the edge
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单选题 I was nearly killed on Boxing Day
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单选题Questions 16 to 20 are based on the following talk. 16.
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