ACT Test Writing

ACT Writing Prompt: Intelligent Machines.

Many of the goods and services we depend on daily are now supplied by intelligent, automated machines rather than human beings. Robots build cars and other goods on assembly lines, where once there were human workers. Many of our phone conversations are now conducted not with people but with sophisticated technologies. We can now buy goods at a variety of stores without the help of a human cashier. Automation is generally seen as a sign of progress, but what is lost when we replace humans with machines? Given the accelerating variety and prevalence of intelligent machines, it is worth examining the implications and meaning of their presence in our lives.

Read and carefully consider these perspectives. Each suggests a particular way of thinking about the increasing presence of intelligent machines.

Perspective 1: What we lose with the replacement of people by machines is some part of our own humanity. Even our mundane daily encounters no longer require from us basic courtesy, respect, and tolerance for other people.

Perspective 2: Machines are good at low-skill, repetitive jobs, and at high-speed, extremely precise jobs. In both cases they work better than humans. This efficiency leads to a more prosperous and progressive world for everyone.

Perspective 3: Intelligent machines challenge our long-standing ideas about what humans are or can be. This is good because it pushes both humans and machines toward new, unimagined possibilities.

 

Essay Task

Write a unified, coherent essay about the increasing presence of intelligent machines. In your essay, be sure to:

  • clearly state your own perspective on the issue and analyze the relationship between your perspective and at least one other perspective
  • develop and support your ideas with reasoning and examples
  • organize your ideas clearly and logically
  • communicate your ideas effectively in standard written English

     

    Your perspective may be in full agreement with any of those given, in partial agreement, or completely different.

Answer:

An American College Testing (ACT) essay is not only a test of your English language but also a test of your knowledge. To score well on this exam, it is better to be aware of historical as well as contempirary events in your country (prefrably the U.S.A.). 

Before writing the essay, please decide which perspective you world like to explore. The entire essay has to be built on that perspective. Let me choose perspective 1.

Introduction: (Write a thesis statement and your opinion and MENTION the points and examples you plan to discuss in the body paragraphs.)

The rapid advancements in technology during the last decade have led to the emergence of intelligent machines that are gradually replacing humans in numerous tasks. Though this has led to increased economic productivity and greater efficiency in solving various problems, the social and psychological consequences have been phenomenal. Not only has this led to loss of jobs at manufacturing companies such as Toyota and Ford, but also automatic recording of personal information to influence customer behaviour at companies such as Walmart and Amazon. Moreover, the falling human interaction is causing disintegration of the fabric of team work and social harmony as evident from the fall in customer satisfaction in North America.

Body Paragraph 1: (Explain the first point – Toyota and Ford.)

Various surveys and reports have pointed out that automation in manufacturing has increased productivity of low-skill and repetitive jobs that has led to loss of livelihood for millions of people throughout the world. These jobs were a source of livelihood for people who were not well educated. Companies such as Toyota and Ford have automated their assembly lines which have various jobs of repetitive nature. The robotic arms have replaced hundreds of Americans for jobs such as tightening of screws. This has created massive unemployment in the rust belt of the country.

Body Paragraph 2: (Explain the second point – Walmart and Amazon)

Moreover, the use of these technologies leads to recording of personal information by the machines and this is then used to manipulate customer behaviour. Earlier, human interaction meant that a human seller used to record limited information such as phone number or address of the buyer. Now, companies such as Walmart and Amazon use intelligent machines to record every purchase of a customer and then analyse this data to send special offers. This amounts to breaching of privacy of an individual.

Body Paragraph 3: (Explain the third point – customer satisfaction)

Also, several studies have pointed out reducing human interactions as a reason behind falling customer satisfaction in various societies. Humans have evolved as social animals and with more interactions through emails, social-media, and softwares companies are losing customers. Telecom companies that use automated systems for solving customer complaints have reported a low level of customer loyalty. Companies such as AT&T and Vodafone have done away with such systems and placed humans to satisfactorily resolve customer complaints.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, though intelligent machines may seem to be a solution to several business problems, these give rise to certain more severe social issues such as job losses that may disturb peace and harmony in a society. Moreover, they reduce customer satisfaction and record customer data without proper consent. While machines are needed for progress of human civilisation, they should not be used without careful deliberation of various human stakeholders.

Total Words = 431.

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