ENG 1520 – A8104
May 16, 2018
Rhetorical Analysis of Bill Gates’ “A Robot in Every Home”
Bill Gates’ article in Scientific American is a review on bringing robotics into every household throughout America. Even though it is about bringing robots into households, it is very similar to the fact of Microsoft and personal computers. Gates’ career has been rooted around Microsoft, Apple, and being known as the richest person in the world for some time now. He begun with being ranked as the richest person in the world from the years 1995 to the years 2009 by Forbes magazine. Gates’ is also known best for the company of which he had cofounded with Paul Allen, Microsoft. One of the main points in this article is that new businesses are the being born in the new industry of new technologies. He argues that the new technologies are not only getting way more complex, but they are also progressing slower. In “A Robot in Every Home” published on Scientific American, Bill Gates successfully uses his knowledge with technology, Apple, and Microsoft to convince current and potential homeowners as to why having robots in the home are going to eventually be able to help us in the long run.
The purpose of the article is to convince consumers on the challenges everyone is going to have to face with robots but the effectiveness these robots provide. Bill Gates wrote this article stating his positive opinion on the benefits of everyone being involved with some sort of robots in the future. Sometimes robots are thought of as actual robots such as C-3PO, but the robots that Gates talks about, are ones that will be helping us out in the future. He made this statement in response to the effectiveness of robots, “Robotic devices will probably help people with disabilities get around and extend the strength and endurance of soldiers, construction workers and medical professionals. Robots will also maintain dangerous industrial machines, handle hazardous materials and monitor remote oil pipelines” (Gates 436). Gates is out to convince the positive features and the benefits robots will have on everyone in the future.
One example of Gates’ position is his comparison to the PC industry over the years. This is an appeal to logos, also known as the consumer’s logic. Gates’ wants his readers to understand his comparison and see how beneficial the use of robots will be to each and every person in their everyday lives. He also wants his readers to understand that the robots in the future are going to play a very big role when it comes to accompanying the elder and providing physical assistance.
Not only does Gates show an appeal for consumers logic, but he also shows an appeal for the readers’ emotions, known as an appeal for pathos. Gates has a very clear opinion of this, he says, “but as these devices become affordable to consumers, they could have just as profound an impact on the way we work, communicate, learn and entertain ourselves as the PC has had over the past 30 years,” (Gates 436). By referencing the positives, the robots will have on us, he is trying to show how much better they will be in our lives and how much our lives will be forever grateful for them. Gates is having an appeal to his readers emotions to show that these robots are going to help us not when we just want them too, but when we are in need.
Gates also appeals to ethos, by quoting an expert who had an experience when it came to robots and had a high knowledge as well with the Microsoft industry. By the reference to the expert, Tandy Trower, Gates is acknowledging his knowledge in the advancements of the robots and the technology used. Gates strengthens his appeal to ethos by the abundance of acknowledgment given to Trower and the research he has done to improve on the information when it comes to the robots that will be a part of our lives in the near future.
Gates makes another appeal to logos by showing the slight increase we have already had when it comes to robots. He points out the use they already have on people today and the higher the use will be here in the future. Gates states, “according to the International Federation of Robotics, about two million personal robots were in use around the world in 2004, and another seven million will be installed by 2008. In South Korea the Ministry of Information and Communication hopes to put a robot in every home by 2013. The Japanese Robot Assosication predicts that by 2025, the personal robot industry will be worth more than $50 billion a year worldwide, compared with about $5 billion today” (Gates 436). By hearing the statistics of the robots today compared to what the statistics will be in the future shows the progress and the effectiveness Gates believe they will have on everyone in the future.
The article “A Robot in Every Home” by Bill Gates, does have its few flaws. Gates is a professional when it comes to technology, especially the PC and Microsoft side. He also does show a side of bias by showing a one-sided argument throughout his article. He states that robots will look so unlike robots that, since they will be a part of everyones lives, they aren’t even going to be considered or called a robot. He says, “In fact, as mobile peripheral devices become more and more common, it may be increasingly difficult to say exactly what a robot is. Because the new machines will be so specialized and ubiquitous-and look so little like the two-legged automatons of science fiction-we probably will not even call them robots,” (Gates 436). The problem is that robots are going to be very helpful but very impactful on some people. Some people may lose jobs due to the robots taking over. The robots will be a great piece of equipment with amazing features and benefits but there are always to go be its pros and its cons. Just because Gates believes in the effectiveness of the robots, doesn’t mean everyone will as well.
Overall, Gates makes a very good argument as to why having robots in our everyday lives will potentially better everyone who uses and needs the specified robots that are being and have been created. He gives some very appreciated and respected information as to why consumers should take investing in these robots into thought. Gates clearly uses rhetorical tools to help make his point of view visible and show that he, as an effective writer, may not be able to convince everyone into going the route of using robots, but he was able to show some reasons as to why everyone should be open-minded about using robots in certain situations that they will happen to be in.
Gates, Bill. “A Robot in Every Home.” Scientific American. 431-436. Print.