The Reading / Listening - Superhuman Powers - Level 6

Technology trailblazer Elon Musk has unveiled a pig with a computer chip implanted in her brain that could pave the way to computer-to-brain interfaces in humans. Mr Musk has a near-unrivalled record in pioneering technology, from electric cars and hyperloop travel to space tourism. Gertrude the pig showcases his latest ambition - to allow us to control computers with our brains. Conversely, computers could enhance our brainpower and abilities. The interface is part of a tech startup called Neuralink. Mr Musk announced that trials would soon begin on humans. He believes the technology represents a giant leap into the future and will considerably change our lives by giving us superhuman powers.



The results shown in Gertrude the pig were somewhat modest in comparison to the potential Mr Musk envisages the technology will one day deliver. He hopes Neuralink will help people with neurological conditions like strokes, dementia and headaches. It could also mean our brain is wired directly to the Internet. Just like in a science fiction movie, we could control phones, computers and household devices simply with the power of thought. The most mind-blowing aspect of the technology is what Musk calls "superhuman cognition". This is to counter artificial intelligence becoming powerful enough to destroy the human race. He added the technology will "achieve symbiosis with artificial intelligence".

Try the same news story at these easier levels:

    Superhuman Powers - Level 4  or  Superhuman Powers - Level 5

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 :-)



Warm-ups

1. SUPERHUMAN POWERS: Students walk around the class and talk to other students about superhuman powers. Change partners often and share your findings.
2. CHAT: In pairs / groups, talk about these topics or words from the article. What will the article say about them? What can you say about these words and your life?
       technology / trailblazer / pig / computer chip / interface / ambition / humans / future /
       comparison / neurological / potential / dementia / mind-blowing / artificial intelligence
Have a chat about the topics you liked. Change topics and partners frequently.
3. BRAIN-HACKING: Students A strongly believe brain-hacking is a great thing; Students B strongly believe it isn't. Change partners again and talk about your conversations.
4. NEUROLOGICAL DISORDERS: What do you know about these neurological disorders? How can we treat them? Complete this table with your partner(s). Change partners often and share what you wrote.

 

What I Know

How We Can Treat Them

Strokes

 

 

Dementia

 

 

Migraines

 

 

Parkinson's

 

 

Epilepsy

 

 

Spinal cord injury

 

 

MY e-BOOK
ESL resource book with copiable worksheets and handouts - 1,000 Ideas and Activities for Language Teachers / English teachers
See a sample

5. PIG: Spend one minute writing down all of the different words you associate with the word "pig". Share your words with your partner(s) and talk about them. Together, put the words into different categories.
6. SUPERHUMAN POWERS: Rank these with your partner. Put the best superhuman powers at the top. Change partners often and share your rankings.

  • Amazing strength
  • Invisibility
  • Telepathy
  • Magical powers
  • X-ray vision
  • Immortality
  • Shape shifting
  • Flight

 

Vocabulary

    Paragraph 1

      1. trailblazer a. A sudden move forward, change or transition.
      2. implanted b. Showed or announced publicly for the first time.
      3. unveiled c. Totally better than everyone or everything of the same type.
      4. pave the way d. A pioneer; an innovator.
      5. unrivalled e. Better, increase, or further improve the quality, value, or extent of.
      6. enhance f. Inserted or fixed tissue or an artificial object in a person's body, especially by surgery.
      7. leap g. Create the circumstances for something to happen or be done.

    Paragraph 2

      8. modest h. A disorder of the mental processes caused by brain disease or injury and marked by memory loss and personality changes.
      9. envisages i. Forms a mental picture of something not yet existing or known.
      10. neurological j. Interaction between two different organisms living together, usually to the advantage of both.
      11. dementia k. Of an amount, rate, or level that is relatively limited, or small.
      12. aspect l. A particular part or feature of something.
      13. cognition m. Relating to the anatomy, functions, and organic disorders of nerves and the nervous system.
      14. symbiosis n. The mental action or process of acquiring knowledge and understanding through thought, experience, and the senses.

 

Before reading / listening

1. TRUE / FALSE: Read the headline. Guess if 1-8 below are true (T) or false (F).

  1. Elon Musk has trialed brain-hacking on a male pig.     T / F
  2. The article says Elon Musk has no rivals as a technology pioneer.     T / F
  3. The new technology could allow our thoughts to control computers.     T / F
  4. Elon Musk believes the technology could give us superhuman powers.     T / F
  5. Elon Musk said the pig used in the trials was very modest.     T / F
  6. The new technology could help people with dementia.     T / F
  7. The article says we could use our minds to blow things.     T / F
  8. The technology could stop artificial intelligence from destroying us.     T / F

2. SYNONYM MATCH: Match the following synonyms from the article.

  1. unveiled
  2. pave the way
  3. pioneering
  4. showcases
  5. considerably
  6. modest
  7. envisages
  8. devices
  9. aspect
  10. achieve
  1. limited
  2. highlights
  3. greatly
  4. imagines
  5. revealed
  6. feature
  7. attain
  8. prepare
  9. gadgets
  10. innovative

3. PHRASE MATCH: (Sometimes more than one choice is possible.)

  1. a computer chip implanted
  2. a near-unrivalled record in
  3. trials would soon begin
  4. a giant leap
  5. giving us superhuman
  6. somewhat modest
  7. neurological conditions
  8. our brain is wired
  9. The most mind-
  10. destroy the human
  1. like strokes
  2. powers
  3. in comparison
  4. race
  5. on humans
  6. pioneering technology
  7. in her brain
  8. blowing aspect
  9. into the future
  10. directly to the Internet

Gap fill

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
pioneering
enhance
powers
unveiled
leap
tourism
pave
trials

Technology trailblazer Elon Musk has (1) _____________________ a pig with a computer chip implanted in her brain that could (2) _____________________ the way to computer-to-brain interfaces in humans. Mr Musk has a near-unrivalled record in (3) _____________________ technology, from electric cars and hyperloop travel to space (4) _____________________. Gertrude the pig showcases his latest ambition - to allow us to control computers with our brains. Conversely, computers could (5) _____________________ our brainpower and abilities. The interface is part of a tech startup called Neuralink. Mr Musk announced that (6) _____________________ would soon begin on humans. He believes the technology represents a giant (7) _____________________ into the future and will considerably change our lives by giving us superhuman (8) _____________________.

Put these words into the spaces in the paragraph below.
wired
envisages
race
devices
modest
symbiosis
dementia
cognition

The results shown in Gertrude the pig were somewhat (9) _____________________ in comparison to the potential Mr Musk (10) _____________________ the technology will one day deliver. He hopes Neuralink will help people with neurological conditions like strokes, (11) _____________________ and headaches. It could also mean our brain is (12) _____________________ directly to the Internet. Just like in a science fiction movie, we could control phones, computers and household (13) _____________________ simply with the power of thought. The most mind-blowing aspect of the technology is what Musk calls "superhuman (14) _____________________". This is to counter artificial intelligence becoming powerful enough to destroy the human (15) _____________________. He added the technology will "achieve (16) _____________________ with artificial intelligence".

Listening — Guess the answers. Listen to check.

1)  pave the way to computer-to-brain ______
     a.  interfaces in humane
     b.  interfaces inhumane
     c.  interface is in humans
     d.  interfaces in humans
2) a near-unrivalled record in pioneering technology, from electric cars and ______
     a.  hypo-loop travail
     b.  hoper lubed ravel
     c.  hyperloop travel
     d.  high-pearl loop travel
3)  Gertrude the pig showcases ______
     a.  his late test ambition
     b.  his latest ambition
     c.  his lay test ambition
     d.  his light test ambition
4)  The interface is part of a tech ______
     a.  startup called Neuralink
     b.  star tarp called Neuralink
     c.  start tub called Neuralink
     d.  star up called Neuralink
5)  He believes the technology represents a giant ______ future
     a.  leap into the
     b.  lead into the
     c.  leak into the
     d.  lean into the

6)  The results shown in Gertrude the pig were somewhat ______
     a.  modesty comparison
     b.  mode test in comparison
     c.  mode testing comparison
     d.  modest in comparison
7)  Mr Musk envisages the technology will ______
     a.  one-day delivery
     b.  one day delivered
     c.  on-day deliver
     d.  one day deliver
8) in a science fiction movie, we could control phones, computers and ______
     a.  household device is
     b.  household devises
     c.  household devices
     d.  household de-vices
9) mind-blowing aspect of the technology is what Musk calls ______
     a.  superb human cognition
     b.  superhuman cognition
     c.  soup-a-human cognition
     d.  super-humans cognition
10) enough to destroy the human race. He added the technology ______
     a.  will achieve cymbals is
     b.  will achieve symbiosis
     c.  will achieve sin bio sis
     d.  will achieve sing bios is

Listening — Listen and fill in the gaps

Technology trailblazer Elon Musk has (1) ____________________ with a computer chip implanted in her brain that could (2) ____________________ to computer-to-brain (3) ____________________. Mr Musk has a near-unrivalled record in pioneering technology, from electric cars and hyperloop travel to space tourism. Gertrude the pig showcases (4) ____________________ - to allow us to control computers with our brains. Conversely, computers could (5) ____________________ and abilities. The interface is part of a tech startup called Neuralink. Mr Musk announced that trials would soon begin on humans. He believes the technology represents a (6) ____________________ the future and will considerably change our lives by giving us superhuman powers.

The results shown in Gertrude the pig were somewhat (7) ____________________ to the potential Mr Musk envisages the technology will one day deliver. He hopes Neuralink will help people with (8) ____________________ like strokes, dementia and headaches. It could also mean our brain is (9) ____________________ the Internet. Just like in a science fiction movie, we could control phones, computers (10) ____________________ simply with the power of thought. The most (11) ____________________ of the technology is what Musk calls "superhuman cognition". This is to counter artificial intelligence becoming powerful enough to destroy the human race. He added the technology will "(12) ____________________ artificial intelligence".

Comprehension questions

  1. What could the experiment on the pig pave the way to?
  2. What kind of travel did the article mention Mr Musk has pioneered?
  3. What did the article say computers could enhance in us?
  4. What is the name of Mr Musk's startup?
  5. What does the technology represent a giant leap into?
  6. What is the pig's name?
  7. What conditions might the technology help?
  8. What kind of movie did the article compare this technology to?
  9. What did Mr Musk say was a mind-blowing aspect of the technology?
  10. What did Mr Musk say the technology could protect us against?




Multiple choice quiz

1) What could the experiment on the pig pave the way to?
a) artificial intelligence
b) new roads
c) new pathways
d) computer-to-brain interfaces
2) What kind of travel did the article mention Mr Musk has pioneered?
a) overseas travel
b) hyperloop travel
c) travel to Mars
d) commuting
3) What did the article say computers could enhance in us?
a) our taste
b) the sense of touch
c) our brainpower
d) invisibility
4) What is the name of Mr Musk's startup?
a) Neuralink
b) Linkneuro
c) EuroNeuro
d) NewLink
5) What does the technology represent a giant leap into?
a) history
b) the unknown
c) the future
d) the abyss

6) What is the pig's name?
a) Gator
b) Gertrude
c) Gratitude
d) Garter
7) What conditions might the technology help?
a) adverse conditions
b) worsening conditions
c) financial conditions
d) neurological conditions
8) What kind of movie did the article compare this technology to?
a) a science fiction movie
b) a fantasy movie
c) anime
d) a period drama
9) What did Mr Musk say was a mind-blowing aspect of the technology?
a) the memory
b) the processing power
c) superhuman cognition
d) the low cost

10) What did Mr Musk say the technology could protect us against?
a) aliens
b) artificial intelligence
c) hacking
d) viruses

Role play

Role  A – Flight
You think flight is the best superhuman power. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their powers. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why): invisibility, telepathy or amazing strength.

Role  B – Invisibility
You think invisibility is the best superhuman power. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their powers. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why): flight, telepathy or amazing strength.

Role  C – Telepathy
You think telepathy is the best superhuman power. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their powers. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why): invisibility, flight or amazing strength.

Role  D – Amazing Strength
You think amazing strength is the best superhuman power. Tell the others three reasons why. Tell them what is wrong with their powers. Also, tell the others which is the least useful of these (and why): invisibility, telepathy or flight.

After reading / listening

1. WORD SEARCH: Look in your dictionary / computer to find collocates, other meanings, information, synonyms … for the words...

'brain'

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • and 'hack'.

  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • ________________
  • • Share your findings with your partners.

    • Make questions using the words you found.

    • Ask your partner / group your questions.

    2. ARTICLE QUESTIONS: Look back at the article and write down some questions you would like to ask the class about the text.

    •Share your questions with other classmates / groups. •Ask your partner / group your questions.

    3. GAP FILL: In pairs / groups, compare your answers to this exercise. Check your answers. Talk about the words from the activity. Were they new, interesting, worth learning…?

    4. VOCABULARY: Circle any words you do not understand. In groups, pool unknown words and use dictionaries to find their meanings.

    5. TEST EACH OTHER: Look at the words below. With your partner, try to recall how they were used in the text:

    • trailblazer
    • pave
    • record
    • ambition
    • startup
    • leap
    • results
    • deliver
    • wired
    • control
    • aspect
    • race




    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 - Superhuman Powers

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

    1. What did you think when you read the headline?
    2. What images are in your mind when you hear the word 'brain'?
    3. Who are your favourite technology trailblazers?
    4. What do you know about Elon Musk?
    5. Is technology moving too fast nowadays?
    6. What do you think of computer-to-brain interfaces?
    7. What do you think of electric cars?
    8. What do you think of space tourism?
    9. Would you like a computer chip connected to your brain?
    10. What superhuman powers would you like?

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

    1. Did you like reading this article? Why/not?
    2. What do you think of when you hear the word 'hack'?
    3. What do you think about what you read?
    4. What technology will we be using in 100 years from now?
    5. What do you think of technology ending all disease?
    6. Would you have a chip implant to boost your intelligence and health?
    7. How is life today like science fiction?
    8. Would you like to use the Internet just by using thought?
    9. How dangerous is artificial intelligence?
    10. What questions would you like to ask Elon Musk?

    Discussion — Write your own questions

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

    (a) ________________

    (b) ________________

    (c) ________________

    (d) ________________

    (e) ________________

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

    (f) ________________

    (g) ________________

    (h) ________________

    (i) ________________

    (j) ________________





    Language — Cloze (Gap-fill)

    Technology trailblazer Elon Musk has (1) ____ a pig with a computer chip implanted in her brain that could (2) ____ the way to computer-to-brain interfaces in humans. Mr Musk has a near-unrivalled record (3) ____ pioneering technology, from electric cars and hyperloop travel to space tourism. Gertrude the pig showcases his latest ambition - to allow us to control computers with our brains. Conversely, computers could (4) ____ our brainpower and abilities. The interface is part of a tech startup called Neuralink. Mr Musk announced that trials would soon begin (5) ____ humans. He believes the technology represents a giant (6) ____ into the future and will considerably change our lives by giving us superhuman powers.

    The results shown in Gertrude the pig were (7) ____ modest in comparison to the potential Mr Musk envisages the technology will one day deliver. He hopes Neuralink will help people with neurological conditions like (8) ____, dementia and headaches. It could also mean our brain is (9) ____ directly to the Internet. Just like in a science fiction movie, we could control phones, computers and household devices simply with the (10) ____ of thought. The most mind-blowing aspect of the technology is what Musk calls "superhuman cognition". This is to (11) ____ artificial intelligence becoming powerful enough to destroy the human race. He added the technology will "(12) ____ symbiosis with artificial intelligence".

    Which of these words go in the above text?

    1. (a)     revelled     (b)     rebelled     (c)     unrivalled     (d)     unveiled    
    2. (a)     rave     (b)     save     (c)     gave     (d)     pave    
    3. (a)     as     (b)     in     (c)     on     (d)     to    
    4. (a)     entrance     (b)     coherence     (c)     enhance     (d)     perchance    
    5. (a)     by     (b)     at     (c)     on     (d)     of    
    6. (a)     leap     (b)     tackle     (c)     result     (d)     farce    
    7. (a)     something     (b)     somewhat     (c)     somewhere     (d)     sometime    
    8. (a)     strokes     (b)     stokes     (c)     strikes     (d)     sticks    
    9. (a)     coiled     (b)     wired     (c)     electrocuted     (d)     squared    
    10. (a)     size     (b)     machine     (c)     power     (d)     escape    
    11. (a)     against     (b)     anti     (c)     counter     (d)     rally    
    12. (a)     surface     (b)     suffice     (c)     result     (d)     achieve

    Spelling

    Paragraph 1

    1. Elon Musk has vleinude a pig
    2. a computer chip pdelimtna in her brain
    3. neognieipr technology
    4. ncehnea our brainpower
    5. The antrcfeei is part of a tech startup
    6. cyeoidnasblr change our lives

    Paragraph 2

    1. somewhat dsemto in comparison
    2. people with clneguoilora conditions
    3. strokes, eimdanet and headaches
    4. superhuman otnigiocn
    5. counter iitcrifala intelligence
    6. achieve issboimys

    Put the text back together

    (...)  The results shown in Gertrude the pig were somewhat modest in comparison to the
    (...)  unrivalled record in pioneering technology, from electric cars and hyperloop travel to space
    (...)  counter artificial intelligence becoming powerful enough to destroy the human
    (...)  our brains. Conversely, computers could enhance our brainpower and abilities. The interface is part of a tech startup
    (...)  race. He added the technology will "achieve symbiosis with artificial intelligence".
    (...)  a giant leap into the future and will considerably change our lives by giving us superhuman powers.
    (...)  blowing aspect of the technology is what Musk calls "superhuman cognition". This is to
    (...)  tourism. Gertrude the pig showcases his latest ambition - to allow us to control computers with
    (...)  potential Mr Musk envisages the technology will one day deliver. He hopes Neuralink will help people with neurological conditions like
    (...)  strokes, dementia and headaches. It could also mean our brain is wired directly to the Internet. Just like in a science
    (...)  called Neuralink. Mr Musk announced that trials would soon begin on humans. He believes the technology represents
    (...)  fiction movie, we could control phones, computers and household devices simply with the power of thought. The most mind-
    (...)  brain that could pave the way to computer-to-brain interfaces in humans. Mr Musk has a near-
    1  ) Technology trailblazer Elon Musk has unveiled a pig with a computer chip implanted in her

    Put the words in the right order

    1. pig   chip   .   a   a   with   computer   Unveiled
    2. with   to   us   computers   control   brains   .   Allow   our
    3. part   of   startup   .   a   The   interface   tech   is
    4. a   represents   Technology   the   giant   leap   into   future   .
    5. our   us   lives   giving   superhuman   Change   by   powers   .
    6. to   modest   the   comparison   in   Somewhat   potential   .
    7. neurological   people   like   Help   conditions   with   strokes   .
    8. the   to   is   Internet   .   directly   Our   brain   wired
    9. the   mind-blowing   most   The   of   aspect   technology   .
    10. the   human   Becoming   powerful   destroy   race   .   to   enough

    Circle the correct word (20 pairs)

    Technology trailblazer Elon Musk has unveiled / veiled a pig with a computer chip implanted in her brain that could pavement / pave the way to computer-to-brain interfaces on / in humans. Mr Musk has a near-unrivalled record in pioneering / pioneer technology, from electric cars and hyperloop travel to space tourism. Gertrude the pig bookcases / showcases his latest ambition - to allow us to control computers with / wither our brains. Conversely, computers could enhance / entrance our brainpower and abilities. The interface is part of a tech startup called Neuralink. Mr Musk announced that trails / trials would soon begin on humans. He believes the technology represents a giant leap / peal into the future and will considerably change our lives by / as giving us superhuman powers.

    The results shown in Gertrude the pig were something / somewhat modest in comparison to the potential Mr Musk visages / envisages the technology will one day deliver / post. He hopes Neuralink will help people with neurological conditions like stokes / strokes, dementia and headaches. It could also mean our brain is wired directly to the Internet. Just same / like in a science fiction movie, we could control phones, computers and household devices / revises simply with the power of thought. The most mind-blowing aspect on / of the technology is what Musk calls "superhuman cognition". This is to counter / dial artificial intelligence becoming powerful enough to destroy / destruction the human race. He added the technology will "clinch / achieve symbiosis with artificial intelligence".

    Talk about the connection between each pair of words in italics, and why the correct word is correct.

    Insert the vowels (a, e, i, o, u)

    T_c h n_l_g y t r__ l b l_z_r E l_n M_s k h_s _n v__ l_d _ p_g w_t h _ c_m p_t_r c h_p _m p l_n t_d _n h_r b r__ n t h_t c__ l d p_v_ t h_ w_y t_ c_m p_t_r - t_- b r__ n _n t_r f_c_s _n h_m_n s . M r M_s k h_s _ n__ r -_n r_v_l l_d r_c_r d _n p__ n__ r_n g t_c h n_l_g y , f r_m _l_c t r_c c_r s _n d h y p_r l__ p t r_v_l t_ s p_c_ t__ r_s m . G_r t r_d_ t h_ p_g s h_w c_s_s h_s l_t_s t _m b_t__ n - t_ _l l_w _s t_ c_n t r_l c_m p_t_r s w_t h __ r b r__ n s . C_n v_r s_l y , c_m p_t_r s c__ l d _n h_n c_ __ r b r__ n p_w_r _n d _b_l_t__ s . T h_ _n t_r f_c_ _s p_r t _f _ t_c h s t_r t_p c_l l_d N__ r_l_n k . M r M_s k _n n__ n c_d t h_t t r__ l s w__ l d s__ n b_g_n _n h_m_n s . H_ b_l__ v_s t h_ t_c h n_l_g y r_p r_s_n t s _ g__ n t l__ p _n t_ t h_ f_t_r_ _n d w_l l c_n s_d_r_b l y c h_n g_ __ r l_v_s b y g_v_n g _s s_p_r h_m_n p_w_r s .

    T h_ r_s_l t s s h_w n _n G_r t r_d_ t h_ p_g w_r_ s_m_w h_t m_d_s t _n c_m p_r_s_n t_ t h_ p_t_n t__ l M r M_s k _n v_s_g_s t h_ t_c h n_l_g y w_l l _n_ d_y d_l_v_r . H_ h_p_s N__ r_l_n k w_l l h_l p p__ p l_ w_t h n__ r_l_g_c_l c_n d_t__ n s l_k_ s t r_k_s , d_m_n t__ _n d h__ d_c h_s . I t c__ l d _l s_ m__ n __ r b r__ n _s w_r_d d_r_c t l y t_ t h_ I n t_r n_t . J_s t l_k_ _n _ s c__ n c_ f_c t__ n m_v__ , w_ c__ l d c_n t r_l p h_n_s , c_m p_t_r s _n d h__ s_h_l d d_v_c_s s_m p l y w_t h t h_ p_w_r _f t h__ g h t . T h_ m_s t m_n d - b l_w_n g _s p_c t _f t h_ t_c h n_l_g y _s w h_t M_s k c_l l s " s_p_r h_m_n c_g n_t__ n " . T h_s _s t_ c__ n t_r _r t_f_c__ l _n t_l l_g_n c_ b_c_m_n g p_w_r f_l _n__ g h t_ d_s t r_y t h_ h_m_n r_c_. H_ _d d_d t h_ t_c h n_l_g y w_l l "_c h__ v_ s y m b__ s_s w_t h _r t_f_c__ l _n t_l l_g_n c_" .

    Punctuate the text and add capitals

    technology trailblazer elon musk has unveiled a pig with a computer chip implanted in her brain that could pave the way to computertobrain interfaces in humans mr musk has a nearunrivalled record in pioneering technology from electric cars and hyperloop travel to space tourism gertrude the pig showcases his latest ambition  to allow us to control computers with our brains conversely computers could enhance our brainpower and abilities the interface is part of a tech startup called neuralink mr musk announced that trials would soon begin on humans he believes the technology represents a giant leap into the future and will considerably change our lives by giving us superhuman powers

    the results shown in gertrude the pig were somewhat modest in comparison to the potential mr musk envisages the technology will one day deliver he hopes neuralink will help people with neurological conditions like strokes dementia and headaches it could also mean our brain is wired directly to the internet just like in a science fiction movie we could control phones computers and household devices simply with the power of thought the most mindblowing aspect of the technology is what musk calls superhuman cognition this is to counter artificial intelligence becoming powerful enough to destroy the human race he added the technology will achieve symbiosis with artificial intelligence

    Put a slash (/) where the spaces are

    TechnologytrailblazerElonMuskhasunveiledapigwithacomputerchipi
    mplantedinherbrainthatcouldpavethewaytocomputer-to-brainint
    erfacesinhumans.MrMuskhasanear-unrivalledrecordinpioneeringte
    chnology,fromelectriccarsandhyperlooptraveltospacetourism.Gertr
    udethepigshowcaseshislatestambition-toallowustocontrolcomput
    erswithourbrains.Conversely,computerscouldenhanceourbrainpow
    erandabilities.TheinterfaceispartofatechstartupcalledNeuralink.Mr
    Muskannouncedthattrialswouldsoonbeginonhumans.Hebelievesthe
    technologyrepresentsagiantleapintothefutureandwillconsiderablyc
    hangeourlivesbygivingussuperhumanpowers.TheresultsshowninGe
    rtrudethepigweresomewhatmodestincomparisontothepotentialMrM
    uskenvisagesthetechnologywillonedaydeliver.HehopesNeuralinkwil
    lhelppeoplewithneurologicalconditionslikestrokes,dementiaandhea
    daches.ItcouldalsomeanourbrainiswireddirectlytotheInternet.Justli
    keinasciencefictionmovie,wecouldcontrolphones,computersandhou
    seholddevicessimplywiththepowerofthought.Themostmind-blowin
    gaspectofthetechnologyiswhatMuskcalls"superhumancognition".Th
    isistocounterartificialintelligencebecomingpowerfulenoughtodestro
    ythehumanrace.Headdedthetechnologywill"achievesymbiosiswitha
    rtificialintelligence".

    Free writing

    Write about superhuman powers for 10 minutes. Comment on your partner’s paper.

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    Academic writing

    Everyone should have superhuman powers. Discuss.

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    Homework

    1. VOCABULARY EXTENSION: Choose several of the words from the text. Use a dictionary or Google's search field (or another search engine) to build up more associations / collocations of each word.
    2. INTERNET: Search the Internet and find out more about this news story. Share what you discover with your partner(s) in the next lesson.
    3. SUPERHUMAN POWERS: Make a poster about superhuman powers. Show your work to your classmates in the next lesson. Did you all have similar things?
    4. A STEP TOO FAR: Write a magazine article about computer chips being implanted in our brain to give us superhuman powers being a step too far. Include imaginary interviews with people who are for and against this.
    Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Write down any new words and expressions you hear from your partner(s).
    5. WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Write a newspaper article about the next stage in this news story. Read what you wrote to your classmates in the next lesson. Give each other feedback on your articles.
    6. LETTER: Write a letter to an expert on superhuman powers. Ask him/her three questions about them. Give him/her three superhuman powers you would like and why. Read your letter to your partner(s) in your next lesson. Your partner(s) will answer your questions.

    Answers

    (Please look at page 26 of the PDF to see a photocopiable example of this activity.)

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