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Computer: The Most Efficient Servant

One of the greatest advances in modern technology has been the invention of computers. They are widely used in industry and universities. Now there is hardly any sphere of human life where computers have not been pressed into the service of Man. We are heading fast towards a situation when a computer will be as much part of a man's daily life as a toothbrush.
Computers are capable of doing extremely complicated work in all branches of learning. They can solve the most complex mathematical problems or put thousands of unrelated facts in order. For instance, they can provide information on the best way to prevent traffic accidents, or they can count the number of times the word 'and' has been used in the Bible. Because they work accurately and at high speeds, they save research workers years of hard work. This whole process by which machines can be used to work for us has been called 'automation'. In the future, automation may enable human beings far more leisure than they do today. The coming of automation is bound to have important social consequences.
Some years ago an expert on automation, Sir Leon Bagrit, pointed out that it was a mistake to believe that these machines could 'think'. There is no possibility that human beings will be 'controlled by machines'. Though computers are capable of learning from their mistakes and improving their performance, they need detailed instructions from human beings to be able to operate. They can never, as it were, lead independent lives or 'rule the world' by making decisions on their own.
Sir Leon said that in the future, computers would be developed which would be small enough to carry in your pockets and even watches. Ordinary people already use the Internet to obtain valuable information. Computers can be plugged into a national network and be used like radios. People going on holidays can check out weather conditions; car drivers can be given alternate routes to avoid traffic jams. The translating machines have enabled people who do not share a common language to talk to each other without any difficulty or to read foreign publications.
It is impossible to assess the importance of a machine of this sort, for many international misunderstandings are caused simply through our failure to understand each other. Computers are of great use in public hospitals also. By providing a machine with a patient's systems, a doctor will be able to diagnose the nature of his illness. Similarly, the machines are used to keep a check on a patient's health record and bring it up-to-date. Doctors, therefore have immediate access to a great many facts which help them in their work. Book keepers and accountants, too, have been relieved of dull clerical work, for the tedious task of compiling and checking lists of figures can be done entirely by machines. Computers will also be able to tell the exact age of a man or how many years he is going to live with the help of his blood picture. Computers are the most efficient servants man has ever had and there is no limit to the way they can be used to improve our lives.

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