CAT 2022 Question Paper (Slot 3)


The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.

Nature has all along yielded her flesh to humans. First, we took nature’s materials as food, fibers, and shelter. Then we learned to extract raw materials from her biosphere to create our own new synthetic materials. Now Bios is yielding us her mind—we are taking her logic.

Clockwork logic—the logic of the machines—will only build simple contraptions. Truly complex systems such as a cell, a meadow, an economy, or a brain (natural or artificial) require a rigorous nontechnological logic. We now see that no logic except bio-logic can assemble a thinking device, or even a workable system of any magnitude.

It is an astounding discovery that one can extract the logic of Bios out of biology and have something useful. Although many philosophers in the past have suspected one could abstract the laws of life and apply them elsewhere, it wasn’t until the complexity of computers and human-made systems became as complicated as living things, that it was possible to prove this. It’s eerie how much of life can be transferred. So far, some of the traits of the living that have successfully been transported to mechanical systems are: self-replication, self-governance, limited self-repair, mild evolution, and partial learning.

We have reason to believe yet more can be synthesized and made into something new. Yet at the same time that the logic of Bios is being imported into machines, the logic of Technos is being imported into life. The root of bioengineering is the desire to control the organic long enough to improve it. Domesticated plants and animals are examples of technos-logic applied to life. The wild aromatic root of the Queen Anne’s lace weed has been fine-tuned over generations by selective herb gatherers until it has evolved into a sweet carrot of the garden; the udders of wild bovines have been selectively enlarged in an “unnatural” way to satisfy humans rather than calves. Milk cows and carrots, therefore, are human inventions as much as steam engines and gunpowder are. But milk cows and carrots are more indicative of the kind of inventions humans will make in the future: products that are grown rather than manufactured.

Genetic engineering is precisely what cattle breeders do when they select better strains ofHolsteins, only bioengineers employ more precise and powerful control. While carrot and milk cow breeders had to rely on diffuse organic evolution, modern genetic engineers can use directed artificial evolution—purposeful design—which greatly accelerates improvements.

The overlap of the mechanical and the lifelike increases year by year. Part of this bionic convergence is a matter of words. The meanings of “mechanical” and “life” are both stretching until all complicated things can be perceived as machines, and all self-sustaining machines can be perceived as alive. Yet beyond semantics, two concrete trends are happening: (1)Human-made things are behaving more lifelike, and (2) Life is becoming more engineered. The apparent veil between the organic and the manufactured has crumpled to reveal that the two really are, and have always been, of one being.

Question 11

The author claims that, “The apparent veil between the organic and the manufactured has crumpled to reveal that the two really are, and have always been, of one being.”Which one of the following statements best expresses the point being made by the author here?

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Question 12

None of the following statements is implied by the arguments of the passage, EXCEPT:

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The passage below is accompanied by a set of questions. Choose the best answer to each question.

As software improves, the people using it become less likely to sharpen their own know-how. Applications that offer lots of prompts and tips are often to blame; simpler, less solicitous programs push people harder to think, act and learn.

Ten years ago, information scientists at Utrecht University in the Netherlands had a group of people carry out complicated analytical and planning tasks using either rudimentary software that provided no assistance or sophisticated software that offered a great deal of aid. The researchers found that the people using the simple software developed better strategies, made fewer mistakes and developed a deeper aptitude for the work. The people using the more advanced software, meanwhile, would often “aimlessly click around” when confronted with a tricky problem. The supposedly helpful software actually short-circuited their thinking and learning.

[According to] philosopher Hubert Dreyfus . . . . our skills get sharper only through practice, when we use them regularly to overcome different sorts of difficult challenges. The goal of modern software, by contrast, is to ease our way through such challenges. Arduous, painstaking work is exactly what programmers are most eager to automate—after all, that is where the immediate efficiency gains tend to lie. In other words, a fundamental tension ripples between the interests of the people doing the automation and the interests of the people doing the work.

Nevertheless, automation’s scope continues to widen. With the rise of electronic health records, physicians increasingly rely on software templates to guide them through patient exams. The programs incorporate valuable checklists and alerts, but they also make medicine more routinized and formulaic—and distance doctors from their patients. . . . Harvard Medical School professor Beth Lown, in a 2012 journal article . . . warned that when doctors become“screen-driven,” following a computer’s prompts rather than “the patient’s narrative thread,” their thinking can become constricted. In the worst cases, they may miss important diagnostic signals. . . .

In a recent paper published in the journal Diagnosis, three medical researchers . . . examined the misdiagnosis of Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person to die of Ebola in the U.S., at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. They argue that the digital templates used by the hospital’s clinicians to record patient information probably helped to induce a kind of tunnel vision. “These highly constrained tools,” the researchers write, “are optimized for data capture but at the expense of sacrificing their utility for appropriate triage and diagnosis, leading users to miss the forest for the trees.” Medical software, they write, is no “replacement for basic history-taking, examination skills, and critical thinking.” . . .

There is an alternative. In “human-centred automation,” the talents of people take precedence. . . . In this model, software plays an essential but secondary role. It takes over routine functions that a human operator has already mastered, issues alerts when unexpected situations arise, provides fresh information that expands the operator’s perspective and counters the biases that often distort human thinking. The technology becomes the expert's partner, not the expert’s replacement.

Question 13

In the Ebola misdiagnosis case, we can infer that doctors probably missed the forest for the trees because:

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Question 14

In the context of the passage, all of the following can be considered examples of human-centered automation EXCEPT:

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Question 15

From the passage, we can infer that the author is apprehensive about the use of sophisticated automation for all of the following reasons EXCEPT that:

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Question 16

It can be inferred that in the Utrecht University experiment, one group of people was“aimlessly clicking around” because:

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For the following questions answer them individually

Question 17

The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.

Tamsin Blanchard, curator of Fashion Open Studio, an initiative by a campaign group showcasing the work of ethical designers says, “We're all drawn to an exquisite piece of embroidery, a colourful textile or even a style of dressing that might have originated from another heritage. [But] this magpie mentality, where all of culture and history is up for grabs as 'inspiration', has accelerated since the proliferation of social media...Where once a fashion student might research the history and traditions of a particular item of clothing with care and respect, we now have a world where images are lifted from image libraries without a care for their cultural significance. It's easier than ever to steal a motif or a craft technique and transfer it on to a piece of clothing that is either mass produced or appears on a runway without credit or compensation to their original communities."

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Question 18

The four sentences (labelled 1, 2, 3 and 4) below, when properly sequenced, would yield a coherent paragraph. Decide on the proper sequencing of the order of the sentences and key in the sequence of the four numbers as your answer:

1. If I wanted to sit indoors and read, or play Sonic the Hedgehog on a red-hot SegaMega Drive, I would often be made to feel guilty about not going outside to “enjoy it while it lasts”.
2. My mum, quite reasonably, wanted me and my sister out of the house, in the sun.
3. Tales of my mum’s idyllic-sounding childhood in the Sussex countryside, where trees were climbed by 8 am and streams navigated by lunchtime, were passed down to us like folklore.
4. To an introverted kid, that felt like a threat - and the feeling has stayed with me.

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Question 19

There is a sentence that is missing in the paragraph below. Look at the paragraph and decide in which blank (option 1, 2, 3, or 4) the following sentence would best fit.

Sentence: When people socially learn from each other, they often learn without understanding why what they’re copying—the beliefs and behaviours and technologies and know-how—works.

Paragraph: ___(1)___. The dual-inheritance theory ….says....that inheritance is itself an evolutionary system. It has variation. What makes us a new kind of animal, and so different and successful as a species, is we rely heavily on social learning, to the point where socially acquired information is effectively a second line of inheritance, the first being our genes…. ___(2)___. People tend to home in on who seems to be the smartest or most successful person around, as well as what everybody seems to be doing—the majority of people have something worth learning. ___(3)___. When you repeat this process over time, you can get, around the world, cultural packages—beliefs or behaviours or technology or other solutions—that are adapted to the local conditions. People have different psychologies, effectively. ___(4)___.

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Question 20

The passage given below is followed by four alternate summaries. Choose the option that best captures the essence of the passage.

To defend the sequence of alphabetisation may seem bizarre, so obvious is its application that it is hard to imagine a reference, catalogue or listing without it. But alphabetical order was not an immediate consequence of the alphabet itself. In the Middle Ages, deference for ecclesiastical tradition left scholars reluctant to categorise things according to the alphabet — to do so would be a rejection of the divine order. The rediscovery of the ancient Greek and Roman classics necessitated more efficient ways of ordering, searching and referencing texts. Government bureaucracy in the 16th and 17th centuries quickened the advance of alphabetical order, bringing with it pigeonholes, notebooks and card indexes.

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