经济学人:Bartleby专栏:对新技术影响的担忧过度(01)

A SPECTRE is haunting workers—the rise of artificial intelligence (AI).

有一种恐惧正萦绕员工的心头——人工智能(AI)的兴起。

The fear is that smart computer programs will eliminate millions of jobs,

他们担心电脑小程序将会淘汰百万种工作,

condemning a generation to minimum-wage drudgery or enforced idleness. Never mind the robots, fear the software.

迫使一代人干着低酬劳的苦差或是被迫成为无业游民。不要管机器人,要担心一下软件。

There is no need to be so gloomy, say Ken Goldberg of the University of California, Berkeley,

没有必要如此悲观,伯克利加利福尼亚大学的肯·戈德堡

and Vinod Kumar, the chief executive of Tata Communications, a unit of India's biggest business house (which stands to profit from the spread of AI).

以及印度最大商业公司塔塔通信(其兴起得益于AI的传播)的总裁温诺德·库马说如是。

They have produced a report that is much more optimistic about the outlook for ordinary employees.

他们出具了一份报告,报告对普通员工的前景更加乐观。

In many cases, it says, job satisfaction will be enhanced by the elimination of mundane tasks, giving people time to be more creative.

报告中写到,在很多情况下,由于免除了简单的工作,员工有更多的时间去创新,因此工作满意度将得到提升。

Their views are backed up by a survey of 120 senior executives, conducted for the report,

他们的观点得到了一份调查的支持,120名高级管理人员接受调查

which found that more of them (77%) thought that AI would create new roles

调查发现其中大部分人(77%)认为AI能够创造出更多新的角色

than believed it would replace existing positions (57%; respondents could choose both options).

少部分人(57%)认为AI将会替代现有职位(被调查者可以两个选项都选)。

Extra skills may be needed to cope with the new technology and more than half of the bosses are already taking steps to train their workforces.

处理新技术需要额外的技能,超过半数老板已经采取措施对他们的员工进行培训。

Previous technology shifts have not had as negative effects on employment as was first feared.

早前的技术转型对就业的负面影响并没有他们所担心的那么大。

The authors note some well-known examples. Bar-code scanners did not eliminate the role of cashiers in America;

本专栏作者注意到了一些众所周知的案例。在美国,条线代码扫描器并没有取代收银员的职位;

jobs in the retail industry grew at an annual rate of more than 2% between 1980 and 2013.

1980年到2013年间,零售业的工作岗位以每年超过2%的增长率增长。

The arrival of automated teller machines (ATMS) spared bank employees the job of doling out cash and freed them to offer financial advice to customers.

自动柜员机(ATMS)的到来接替了柜员发放现金的工作,让他们有时间为客户提供理财建议。

Some jobs could be made a lot easier by AI. One example is lorry-driving.

AI使一些工作变得更加轻松,其中之一就是卡车驾驶工作。

Some fear that truck drivers will be replaced by autonomous vehicles.

一些人担心卡车司机会被自动汽车取代。

But manoeuvring a lorry around busy streets is far harder than driving down the motorway.

但是在繁忙的街道上操作一辆卡车要比在高速上行驶困难得多。

So the driver could switch into automatic mode (and get some rest) when outside the big cities,

所以当司机们在城市之外的地方行驶时,可以将卡车调成自动模式(可以休息一下),

and take over the wheel once again when nearing the destination.

当接近目的地时再接过方向盘。

The obvious analogy is with jetliners, where the pilots handle take-off and landing but turn on the computer to cruise at 35,000 feet.

这样的方式和喷气客机最为类似,飞行员负责飞机的起飞和降落,但是飞机飞到35000英尺的高空后,就启动电脑巡航。

Using AI may prevent tired drivers from causing accidents.

使用AI或许可以防止因疲劳驾驶而导致的事故。

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