The Reading / Listening - Biotechnology - Level 2

A Nigerian scientist has made a revolutionary new computer that has artificial intelligence. Dr Oshi Agabi spent years trying to make a computer that can smell. He called his project Koniku. He has raised over $1 million. Dr Agabi said his project has made profits of $10 million. Technology companies like Google and Microsoft are interested in it. Security companies are also interested. Koniku will be in drones and smell bombs and explosives. It will also be in airport security systems. An additional use will be in hospitals to smell diseases in humans.



Dr Agabi did not base Koniku on silicon chips. He said silicon chips are not powerful enough for the maths needed to recognize smells. Agabi based his device on brain neurons from mice. Neurons are brain cells that share information. They use electricity and chemicals to send information. Using neurons in computers is called biotechnology. Agabi said: "Biology is technology. Bio is tech. Our deep learning networks are all copying the brain." He added: "We want to build a…system that has intelligence. We do not want to build a human brain. It's not science fiction."

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Biotechnology - Level 0 Biotechnology - Level 1   or  Biotechnology - Level 3

Sources
  • http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-40935771
  • http://www.nan.ng/tech/nigerian-agabi-makes-drones-smell-bombs/
  • http://www.hindustantimes.com/world-news/nigerian-scientist-creates-neuron-based-ai-device-that-can-smell/story-6ra9sFunYGj8l6k1M24q8K.html


Make sure you try all of the online activities for this reading and listening - There are dictations, multiple choice, drag and drop activities, crosswords, hangman, flash cards, matching activities and a whole lot more. Please enjoy :-)



Phrase Matching

Paragraph 1

  1. artificial
  2. make a computer that can
  3. He has raised
  4. made profits
  5. Security companies are also
  6. bombs and
  7. airport security
  8. smell diseases in
  1. over $1 million
  2. explosives
  3. intelligence
  4. humans
  5. smell
  6. systems
  7. interested
  8. of $10 million

Paragraph 2

  1. silicon
  2. not powerful enough
  3. Agabi based his device
  4. Neurons are brain cells that share
  5. Using neurons in computers is called
  6. deep learning
  7. a system that
  8. science
  1. on brain neurons
  2. has intelligence
  3. biotechnology
  4. fiction
  5. chips
  6. information
  7. for the maths
  8. networks

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

A Nigerian scientist (1) ___________________ revolutionary new computer that has (2) ___________________. Dr Oshi Agabi spent years trying to make a computer that can smell. He called his project Koniku. He (3) ___________________ $1 million. Dr Agabi said his project has (4) ___________________ $10 million. Technology companies like Google and Microsoft are interested in it. Security companies (5) ___________________. Koniku will be in drones and smell bombs and explosives. It will also be in airport security systems. (6) ___________________ will be in hospitals to smell diseases in humans.

Dr Agabi did not base Koniku (7) ___________________. He said silicon chips are not (8) ___________________ the maths needed to recognize smells. Agabi based (9) ___________________ brain neurons from mice. Neurons are brain cells that share information. They use electricity and chemicals to send information. Using neurons in computers (10) ___________________. Agabi said: "Biology is technology. Bio is tech. Our (11) ___________________ are all copying the brain." He added: "We want to build a…system that has intelligence. We do not (12) ___________________ human brain. It's not science fiction."

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

ANigerianscientisthasmadearevolutionarynewcomputerthathasarti
ficialintelligence.DrOshiAgabispentyearstryingtomakeacomputerth
atcansmell.HecalledhisprojectKoniku.Hehasraisedover$1million.Dr
Agabisaidhisprojecthasmadeprofitsof$10million.Technologycompa
nieslikeGoogleandMicrosoftareinterestedinit.Securitycompaniesare
alsointerested.Konikuwillbeindronesandsmellbombsandexplosives.
Itwillalsobeinairportsecuritysystems.Anadditionalusewillbeinhospit
alstosmelldiseasesinhumans.DrAgabididnotbaseKonikuonsiliconchi
ps.Hesaidsiliconchipsarenotpowerfulenoughforthemathsneededtor
ecognizesmells.Agabibasedhisdeviceonbrainneuronsfrommice.Neu
ronsarebraincellsthatshareinformation.Theyuseelectricityandchemi
calstosendinformation.Usingneuronsincomputersiscalledbiotechnol
ogy.Agabisaid:"Biologyistechnology.Bioistech.Ourdeeplearningnet
worksareallcopyingthebrain."Headded:"Wewanttobuilda…system
hathasintelligence.Wedonotwanttobuildahumanbrain.It'snotscienc
efiction."

Student survey

Write five GOOD questions about this topic in the table. Do this in pairs. Each student must write the questions on his / her own paper. When you have finished, interview other students. Write down their answers.

(Please look at page 12 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

Discussion — Write your own questions

STUDENT A’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student B)

(a) ________________

(b) ________________

(c) ________________

(d) ________________

(e) ________________

(f) ________________

(g) ________________

(h) ________________

STUDENT B’s QUESTIONS (Do not show these to student A)

(i) ________________

(j) ________________

(k) ________________

(l) ________________

(m) ________________

(n) ________________

(o) ________________

(p) ________________





Free writing

Write about this topic for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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Answers

(Please check your answers against the article above.

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