The Reading / Listening - Superhuman Powers - Level 5

Elon Musk has shown off a pig with a computer chip in her brain that could lead to computer-to-brain technology in humans. Mr Musk has an impressive record in pioneering technology, from electric cars to space tourism. Gertrude the pig reveals his latest ambition - to allow us to control computers with our brains. Computers could enhance our brainpower. Musk announced that trials would begin on humans one day. He believes the technology is a giant leap into the future. He said it would greatly change our lives by giving us superhuman powers.



Mr Musk said results from Gertrude the pig showed the potential the technology could deliver. He hopes it will help people with neurological conditions like strokes and dementia. It could also mean our brain is wired directly to the Internet. Just like in a science fiction movie, we could control Internet-enabled devices by using our thoughts. The most futuristic aspect of the technology is what Musk calls "superhuman cognition". This is to help us stop artificial intelligence becoming powerful enough to destroy the human race.

Try the same news story at these levels:

    Superhuman Powers - Level 4 or  Superhuman Powers - Level 6

Sources
  • https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-53921596
  • https://www.wired.com/story/elon-musk-neuralink-brain-implant-v2-demo/
  • https://www.vox.com/recode/2020/8/28/21404802/elon-musk-neuralink-brain-machine-interface-research


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. computer-to-brain
  2. Mr Musk has an impressive
  3. Gertrude the pig reveals
  4. Computers could enhance
  5. trials would begin
  6. a giant leap
  7. He said it would greatly
  8. giving us superhuman
  1. powers
  2. on humans one day
  3. technology
  4. change our lives
  5. his latest ambition
  6. our brainpower
  7. into the future
  8. record

Paragraph 2

  1. the potential the technology
  2. neurological conditions
  3. our brain is wired directly
  4. Just like in a science
  5. Internet-
  6. The most futuristic
  7. artificial
  8. powerful enough to destroy
  1. aspect
  2. fiction movie
  3. the human race
  4. like strokes
  5. intelligence
  6. could deliver
  7. enabled devices
  8. to the Internet

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Elon Musk has (1) ___________________ pig with a computer chip in her brain that could lead to (2) ___________________ technology in humans. Mr Musk has (3) ___________________ in pioneering technology, from electric cars to space tourism. Gertrude the pig reveals his latest ambition - to allow us to control computers with our brains. Computers (4) ___________________ brainpower. Musk announced that trials would begin on humans one day. He believes the technology is a (5) ___________________ the future. He said it would greatly (6) ___________________ by giving us superhuman powers.

Mr Musk said results from Gertrude the pig (7) ___________________ the technology could deliver. He hopes it will help people with neurological (8) ___________________ and dementia. It could also mean our brain is wired directly to the Internet. Just like in a (9) ___________________, we could control Internet-enabled devices by using our thoughts. The (10) ___________________ of the technology is what Musk calls "superhuman cognition". This is to help (11) ___________________ intelligence becoming powerful enough to destroy (12) ___________________.

Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

ElonMuskhasshownoffapigwithacomputerchipinherbrainthatcouldle
adtocomputer-to-braintechnologyinhumans.MrMuskhasanimpressi
verecordinpioneeringtechnology,fromelectriccarstospacetourism.G
ertrudethepigrevealshislatestambition-toallowustocontrolcompute
rswithourbrains.Computerscouldenhanceourbrainpower.Muskanno
uncedthattrialswouldbeginonhumansoneday.Hebelievesthetechnol
ogyisagiantleapintothefuture.Hesaiditwouldgreatlychangeourlivesb
ygivingussuperhumanpowers.MrMusksaidresultsfromGertrudethep
igshowedthepotentialthetechnologycoulddeliver.Hehopesitwillhelp
peoplewithneurologicalconditionslikestrokesanddementia.Itcouldal
someanourbrainiswireddirectlytotheInternet.Justlikeinascienceficti
onmovie,wecouldcontrolInternet-enableddevicesbyusingourthoug
hts.ThemostfuturisticaspectofthetechnologyiswhatMuskcalls"super
humancognition".Thisistohelpusstopartificialintelligencebecomingp
owerfulenoughtodestroythehumanrace.

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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