Regularly reading in English is one of the best ways of improving your level in the language. It not only improves your knowledge of vocabulary and grammatical structures in English, but the more times you see words/phrases and grammatical structures being used, the more likely you will both understand and use them yourself.

Below is a link to an article called 'From AI to robotics, 2016 will be the year when the machines start taking over' which is right for people with an upper-intermediate level of English.

Before you read the article, I recommend that you read the below 'Article summary'. Knowing what the article is about will make it both quicker and easier to read.

Related vocabulary exercises:

To learn vocabulary on the topics used in this article, you can do the following vocabulary exercises:

Probability phrases used in business English

Article summary:

This article talks about changes which may happen in 2016 with technology. The author of the article makes predictions about what will happen in both the advances and the use in everyday life of 6 different areas of technology (from Artificial Intelligence to Space technology) in 2016.

Type of vocabulary used: Technology, Science

Vocabulary exercise:

Now you are going to learn and practise using important 7 words/pharses from the article you have read (if you don't do this, you'll forgot what they mean or won't use them in the future).

First, decide from the sentence(s) you find below each of the words/phrases what the meaning of the word/phrase is. Then check if you are right in a dictionary.

After you have done this for each one, create your own sentence with the word/phrase in your mind (don't write it down) and say it out loud.

By doing this, it'll make sure that you'll both remember what they mean and use them correctly in the future.

  1. rather than (paragraph 4)
  2. "Skeptics discount the behavior of an artificial-intelligence program by arguing that, rather than being real intelligence, it is just brute force computing and algorithms."

  3. made great strides (paragraph 6)
  4. "There have been major advances in 'deep learning' neural networks, which learn by ingesting large amounts of data: IBM has taught its A.I. system, Watson, everything from cooking, to finance, to medicine; and Facebook, Google, and Microsoft have made great strides in face recognition and human-like speech systems."

  5. breakthroughs (paragraph 10)
  6. "As well, although we heard some three years ago that Foxconn would replace a million workers with robots in its Chinese factories, it never did so. The breakthroughs may, however, be at hand. To begin with, a new generations of robots is being introduced by companies such as Switzerland's ABB,"

  7. are another matter (paragraph 11)
  8. "robots dextrous enough to thread a needle and sensitive enough to work alongside humans. They can assemble circuits and pack boxes. We are at the cusp of the industrial-robot revolution. Household robots are another matter. Household tasks may seem mundane, but they are incredibly difficult for machines to perform."

  9. driven by (paragraph 11)
  10. "But there have been many breakthroughs of late, largely driven by A.I., enabling robots to learn certain tasks by themselves and teach each other what they have learnt."

  11. announced (paragraph 13)
  12. "Once considered to be in the realm of science fiction, autonomous cars made big news in 2015. Google crossed the million-mile mark with its prototypes; Tesla began releasing functionality in its cars; and major car manufacturers announced their plans for robocars."

  13. era (paragraph 21)
  14. "This surely is the most innovative period in human history, an era that will be remembered as the inflexion point in exponential technologies that made the impossible possible."

What to do tomorrow:

If you want to make sure you remember the above words and phrases, you just need to do one more thing (and it won't take you more than 10 minutes). Come back to this web page the day after you've done the above vocabulary exercise and write a sentence for each of the words/phrases which you learnt. After this, read each sentence out loud.

Now you'll remember them.