Session 7

Robots can often look like humans, but how does this make us feel? Listen to the programme to learn great language around this topic.
ሮቦቶች ብዙ ጊዜ ሰዎችን ሊመስሉ ይችላሉ፤ ታዲያ እንዲያ መሆኑ ምን ስሜት ይፈጥርብናል? ስለዚህ ጉዳይ ቋንቋ ለመማር ይሄንን ያዳምጡ።

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    Activity 1

Activity 1

What happens when we see robots that look like us?

Robots can often look like humans, but how does this make us feel? Listen to the programme to learn great language around this topic.
ሮቦቶች ብዙ ጊዜ ሰዎችን ሊመስሉ ይችላሉ፤ ታዲያ እንዲያ መሆኑ ምን ስሜት ይፈጥርብናል? ስለዚህ ጉዳይ ቋንቋ ለመማር ይሄንን ያዳምጡ።

Before you listen

Consider the following questions:
1) What image do you think of when you hear the word ‘robot’?
2) How would a robot with a human face and body make you feel?

Listen to the audio and take the quiz.

Show transcript Hide transcript

ምህረተስላሴ
ጤና ይስጥልን፤ ይህ የእንግሊዘኛ ዜናዎችን ለመረዳት የሚያግዝዎትን ቋንቋ የሚማሩበት ሊስን ሂር ነው። ምህረተስላሴ እባላለሁ።

Tom
And I’m Tom, hi everyone!

ምህረተስላሴ
Let me ask you a question. Do you like robots, ሮቦቶች?

Tom
Robots? I suppose – think about all the robots in factories. They’re useful. Not to mention all the amazing gadgets you can get nowadays – robots are not only practical, but also fun!

ምህረተስላሴ
What about if a robot looks like a friend, or a parent?

Tom
Agh, no! That’s really weird. I can’t imagine looking at a robot with my parents’ face! That would be really unsettling.

ምህረተስላሴ
I thought you might say that! Today’s clip is from BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Why Factor’. ተናጋሪዋ የስነ ልቦና ባለሞያ ናቸው። ሮቦቶች የሰው ገፅታ እንዲይዙ ስለማድረግ ሂደት ‘relatable’ ነው የምታወራው። እነዚህ ሮቦቶች የሚሰጡንን ስሜት ለመግለፅ የተጠቀችበት ቃል ምንድን ነው?

Insert
The overall idea of making something relatable is a good one. But it’s when those features become almost too close for comfort that they become unsettling rather than friendly and welcoming. There is a point at which rather than liking them more you start to reject them.

Tom

She said we can find robots ‘unsettling’. When they look like us, they’re ‘too close for comfort’.

ምህረተስላሴ
‘Unsettlingየሚረብሽ ማለት ነው። ‘too close for comfort’ የተባለው አገላለፅ አንድ ነገር በጣም ሲቀርብ የሚፈጠርን ምቾት የማጣት ወይም የመረበሽ ስሜት ያሳያል።

Tom
So, if my boss began to ask me about my love life, that might be ‘too close for comfort’. That’s not a topic of conversation I would normally have with my boss, so it would be uncomfortable.

ምህረተስላሴ
Right!

Tom
I also like her expression, ‘there is a point at which’. This expression suggests a change in something.

ምህረተስላሴ
Right! አሁን የተቀየረው የኛ አስተያየት ነው። ሮቦቶች የሰው መልክ ሲይዙ በመውደድ ፋንታ እንደምንጠላቸው እየተናገረች ነው። That’s the point at which we change our opinion, right?

Tom
Correct!

ምህረተስላሴ
OK. There’s a point at which we need to move on.
የስርጭቱን ቀሪ ክፍል እናዳምጥ። ሮቦቶች በስሜታችን ላይ ምን ዓይነት ተፅዕኖ ያመጣሉ?

Insert
So, if you imagine a typical factory robot, you don’t really think of it as a person. If you then humanise that by making it more friendly, giving it, eventually, a face and hair and smiling eyes, you would expect that your liking for it would just continue to increase.  But it actually doesn’t. There’s a point at which your emotional response dips off sharply and rather than it being appealing, you really don’t like it, you want it to go away.

Tom
She talks about our emotional response to robots. She says our emotional response ‘dips off sharply’ when we see humanised robots.

ምህረተስላሴ
‘To humanise’ ሰው ማስመሰል ማለት ነው፤ ‘Dip off’ መውረድ የሚል ትርጉም ያለው ግሳዊ ሐረግ ነው። It’s commonly used with the adverb, sharply.

Tom
So, when our emotions dip off, they decline ‘sharply’.

ምህረተስላሴ
የስነ ልቦና ባለሞያዋ ግምትን ለመግለፅ would የተባለ ቃል ተጠቅመዋል፤ ያ ግምትም ሰዎች እነሱን የሚመስሉ ሮቦቶችን ሊወዱ ይችላሉ የሚል ነው። በድጋሚ ያዳምጡ። would’ የተባለውን ቃል ያነበበችው እንዴት ነው?

Insert
If you then humanise that by making it more friendly, giving it, eventually, a face and hair and smiling eyes, you would expect that your liking for it would just continue to increase. 

Tom
She uses ‘would’, a short form of ‘would’. Say it with me.

expect
would expect
you would expect

I would expect that you’d like to continue?

ምህረተስላሴ
እናመሰግናለን። ከመጨረሳችን በፊት ተናጋሪዋ ተቃራኒ ኃሳብን እንዴት እንዳስተዋወቁ እንይ። ያዳመጥናቸው ሁለት አረፍተ ነገሮች እነዚህ ናቸው። የሚቃረን ኃሳብን የሚያስተዋውቁት የትኞቹ ቃላት ናቸው?

Insert
There is a point at which rather than liking them more you start to reject them.

There’s a point at which your emotional response dips off sharply and rather than it being appealing, you really don’t like it, you want it to go away.

Tom
She says ‘rather than’!

ምህረተስላሴ
Rather than የሚቃረን ኃሳብን ይጠቁማል። Tom, rather than continuing, perhaps we should try to finish today’s show?

Tom
Well, I’d prefer to continue rather than stop, but that’s OK. All of this talk about human robots is making me feel very unsettled.

ምህረተስላሴ
አብራችሁን ስለነበራችሁ እናመሰግናለን።

Tom
Thanks and see you next time!

 

Listen to today’s clip in full here
Source: The Why Factor

Language features

too close for comfort
If something is too close for comfort, it makes us feel worried or frightened because it is very close to us. We can use this expression to describe things which are physically close to us. 

That car nearly hit me! It was too close for comfort!

We can also use it figuratively to suggest unwanted familiarity or similarity.

Robots with faces scare me. They look a little too close for comfort!


a point at which
A point at which is a fixed expression which suggests an instance immediately before change. We can use this expression in different tenses by changing the form of [to be] which comes before.

I like working freelance, but now I’ve got a son, I work full-time. There’s a point at which you need a stable income.

After being with my husband for ten years, there was a point at which I wanted to be free. We are now divorced.

rather than
We use rather than to introduce a contrasting idea. It is often used with parallel structures. A parallel structure is when two things (nouns, adjectives etc.) are directly contrasted to each other.


Rather than going to the cinema, let’s go the restaurant.

I prefer drinking tea rather than coffee.

What happens when we see robots that look like us?

3 Questions

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ትክክለኛውን መልስ ይምረጡ

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What do you think about robots? Are they a good thing or a bad thing? Tell us on our Facebook group.

Join us for our next episode of Listen Here, when we will learn more useful language and practise your listening skills.
ጠቃሚ የቋንቋ መሰረታዊያን ለመማር እና የማዳመጥ ክህሎትዎን በመለማመድ ለማዳበር በቀጣዩ ሊስን ሂር መሰናዷችን ይጠብቁን።

Session Vocabulary

  • robots
    ሮቦቶች

    relatable
    ሊቀርቡት የሚቀልል

    unsettling
    ስሜትን የሚረብሽ

    to dip off
    መቀነስ

    to humanise
    ሰው ማስመሰል