2018 Paper 1 (HL) Robots
In January this year (2018) a new kind of shop opened in Seattle. Amazon Go’s ‘just walk out’ convenience store made it possible for customers to walk in, scan their phones, pick up goods, and walk out, with a receipt popping up on their phone shortly thereafter. It was said some a triumph for consumers, who benefit from lower prices and avoid the inconvenience of queuing. Others were less sanguine. The shop relies on invasive surveillance to avoid shoplifting, only those who own smart phones can purchase goods, and jobs are lost. But, whether you like it or not, this is only the beginning of how new technologies and intelligent machines are being used to quickly transform social life. If the experience of globalisation is a barometer, there will be winners and losers in the latest industrial revolution. Make no mistake, automation will lead to dislocation and, arguably, conflict.
The Paper 1 HL examination (texts A and B) was, then, timely in its choice of texts, both of which focus on robots and artificial intelligence. Text A is adapted from Science News, published in 2016.Text B, published in 1913, is an extract from L. Frank Baum’s The Little Wizard Stories of Oz. There is a suggestion, it seems, that human interest in the disruptive impact of technology is hardly new.
The following student response is very competent. It reveals the importance of ‘getting it’, and in comparative textual analysis understanding the significant similarities and differences between the texts. You may wish to consider, however, whether the textual analysis is sufficiently detailed, and whether (or not) the understanding of linguistic and stylistic features is adequately explicit.
Criterion A: Understanding and comparison of the texts – 5 marks
The analysis should show an understanding of the similarities and differences between the texts. The analysis should show an understanding of texts, their type, their purposes, and possible contexts. Claims should be supported by well-chosen references to the texts.
Criterion B: Understanding of the use and effects of stylistic features – 5 marks
The analysis of the texts must show an awareness of how stylistic features, such as tone, style and structure, are used to construct meaning. A good analysis comments on effects of these features on its target audience.