What do you think about artificial intelligence? Bitcoin? Nursery rhymes? Katy Blake and Liz Waid share your thoughts and responses on recent programs.
Welcome to Spotlight’s Listener Mail Program. I’m Katy Blake.
And I’m Liz Waid. Spotlight uses a special English method of broadcasting. It is easier for people to understand, no matter where in the world they live.
Today’s Spotlight is on you! Today we look at what you had to say about recent Spotlight programs. We look at subjects about the future and about the past. In today’s program we hear comments about artificial intelligence, bitcoin money, and nursery rhymes. Keep listening!
Computers and human brains. Are they similar? Are they similar enough that computers could achieve human intelligence? Could a computer begin to think for itself? Could it understand life? These are the questions we asked in the program “Artificial Computer Intelligence”. Commenter Flamboyant thought this was the most interesting Spotlight program she had ever heard! She had great hopes that artificial intelligence could help people. But it could never replace people. Flamboyant wrote:
“Although technology plays an important part in our society, they cannot replace people. Computers depend on people because humans design software and hardware for computers. It is a fact that artificial intelligence is more and more important to help humans solve difficult problems. And I hope that in the near future we will have more smart robots to solve serious diseases such as the ebola virus and the flu virus.”
Artificial intelligence cannot think of its own ideas. But it can help humans solve problems. Those are some interesting ideas! Dunguyenduy also answered this question. He wrote:
“I am learning about Artificial intelligence in school. Computers are becoming more and more intelligent. But I believe that humans have some things that computers can never have. Computers can never have true consciousness like humans do.”
Thanks for your comment. Consciousness is a powerful thing. It is a special thing. Dela agreed. She wrote about why she thinks humans should always be masters over computers:
“Computers have the high artificial intelligence but they do not have any emotions. That is why I think they will never achieve true consciousness like humans have. Also, these technological products completely miss the important spiritual part that is only in humans.”
Thank you for your thoughts! It is difficult to imagine what computers will be able to do in the future. But it is interesting to think about!
We move to another program about the future - the money of the future. In our program called “Bitcoin: Money of the Future” we told about the invented currency called bitcoin. This kind of money is digital - it only exists in computers. No government or bank controls it. But anyone can use it to buy things. We asked if you thought bitcoin could become the money of the future. Duong thought it would have the same problems as some money today. He wrote:
“I think it is an illusion. Today, governments print money using complex technology. But people always find a way to print false money. If we use bitcoin as a currency, you cannot imagine what would happen!”
Jimmy Mercado wrote about bitcoin’s many advantages. But he also said there may be challenges. He wrote:
“Bitcoin brings many advantages. For that reason, I think that bitcoin will be the money of the future. However, all human acts are vulnerable to fraud or deceit. So, the challenge will be for the internet security experts and the law field. They will have to help people make good transactions.”
Any new technology comes with new problems and questions. Where will bitcoin be in the future? We may just have to wait to know!
Now we move to the past. Many people grow up hearing nursery rhymes. These are songs and stories told to children. As people grow, they remember these nursery rhymes, and sing them to their children and their children’s children. In our program “Nursery Rhymes Around the World” we described some of these nursery rhymes. Quang liked the nursery rhyme from Benin, West Africa. It is a message to a child that her parents love her. This message made Quang remember her own mother. Quang wrote:
“I like the nursery rhyme:
My Iro, what am I going to give you?
My Iro, what am I going to give you?
I have nothing to give you.
I am going to pray for you.
Your life will be happy for all time.
I miss my mother, and I know she will pray for me each time she remembers me so that I will always be happy. I miss my mother so much, and I will pray for my mother too.”
Ngoc told about his experience with nursery rhymes with his younger brother. He said:
“I have a younger brother. He is five years old. And when he was two or three years old, I used to sing nursery rhymes to him. It is surprising. He listened to me closely and fell asleep quickly. Recently, I have sung those songs to him again. I asked if he remembered them. He answered yes and sang with me. Those nursery rhymes are really interesting, funny, and easy to remember. I am proud of my country’s nursery rhymes.”
What a wonderful story, and a special memory you! Thank you for your comments!
Remember that you can leave a comment on any Spotlight program. And you can visit our Facebook page at Facebook.com/SpotlightRadio. There you can see our Word of the Day videos. And you can meet people all around the world who are also listening to Spotlight.
And you can now receive Spotlight programs directly to your smartphone! Smartphones can connect to the internet. We have two new official apps - one for Android smartphones and one for Apple smartphones.
You can download our Android app from the Google Play Store. You can also find the Spotlight app in Apple’s app store. In both places, search for “Spotlight English” to find the app. Or you can follow the link to download both apps on the script page of this program.
Every week the app downloads the most recent Spotlight programs. In the app you can listen to programs and read along with the script. You can make a list of your favorite programs. And you can share programs with your friends. If you try the app, write a review telling other people about it. Let us know what you think! Thank you for joining us for today’s listener mail program. See you next time!
The writer and producer of this program was Liz Waid. The voices you heard were from the United States and the United Kingdom. All quotes were adapted for this program and voiced by Spotlight. You can listen to this program again, and read it, on the internet at http://www.radioenglish.net. This program is called, ‘Listener Mail 138’.
Tell us what you think about today’s program. You can leave a comment on our website. Or email us at radio @ radioenglish . net. And find us on Facebook - just search for Spotlight Radio. We hope you can join us again for the next Spotlight program. Goodbye.