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      英語世界
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      Transforming Jobs in the Age of AI
      發布時間:2020年07月01日     周曉玲 譯  
      來源: 英語世界
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      Transforming Jobs in the Age of AI

      人工智能時代的工作變革


      By Joe Luc Barnes

      文/喬·盧克·巴恩斯


      The future of labor in a digital economy has become a heated topic alongside the emergence of artificial intelligence (AI). Will the proliferation of AI and robotics herald human redundancy as a working species?


      自人工智能(AI)出現以來, 數字經濟時代勞動力的未來已成為一個熱門話題。AI和機器人技術的廣泛使用,是否預示著作為工作物種的人類將會變得多余?


      This prospect has inspired pessimism in many Western countries that is not shared by most Chinese. Indeed, according to a survey compiled by the Dentsu Aegis Network1, just 18 percent of British and German citizens feel that new digital technologies will create job opportunitiesover the next five to ten years. In China, acountry with a labor force of around 800 million, 65 percent of people believe that AI will create even more work.


      眾多西方國家對此現象憂心忡忡,而大部分中國人卻不然。的確,根據電通安吉斯集團的一項調查,只有18%的英國和德國公民認為新數字科技會在今后的5到10年創造出新的工作崗位。在擁有約8億勞動力人口的中國,則有65%的人相信AI會創造出更多工作機會。


      Government backing

      政府扶持


      A major factor is that few governments are embracing the digital age with as much gusto as China. In July 2017, China’s State Council set a national goal of becoming the world’s primary AI innovation center, aiming to foster an AI industry that produces in excess of one trillion yuan (US$147.7 billion) by 2030.


      一個重要原因是,少有他國政府如中國一般熱情擁抱數字時代。2017年7月,中國國務院確立了國家發展目標,要爭取成為世界主要人工智能創新中心,到2030年形成總值超一萬億元人民幣(1477億美元)的AI產業。


      Such enthusiasm has seeped right down to the municipal level, with local governments especially keen to support startups in the sector.


      這種熱情已滲透至市政層面,地方政府尤其重視扶持AI初創企業。


      “The business environment in China and especially Shanghai is very attractive,” says Ste?phane Truong, founder of Actionable Data, an AI consultancy service company. “I have seen a lot of initiative from several city districts such as collaboration with incubators2 to propose ancillary services, organizingcompetition for financial subsidies and providing a flexible fiscal policy.”


      “中國,尤其是上海的營商環境極具吸引力,”AI咨詢服務公司安潮信息科技創始人斯特凡·張說,“上海市幾個區政府積極推出了多項舉措,比如與創業孵化中心合作提供相關服務,組織企業爭取財政補貼,以及提供靈活的財政政策?!?


      But Beijing has perhaps created the most fertile environment for tech startups. The capital’s Zhongguancun area is known as China’s “Silicon Valley” due to concentration of tech startups based there. Its proximity to China’s two premier academic institutions, Peking and Tsinghua universities, makes it a happy hunting ground for new talent.


      不過,為科技初創公司提供最有利環境的城市可能還數北京。北京的中關村集中了大量科創公司總部,因而以“中國硅谷”著稱。鄰近中國兩所頂級學府——北京大學和清華大學,中關村是新秀求職的理想之地。


      Disappearing jobs

      崗位消失


      One startup is Oriental iFly, which aims to use AI to create an automatic grading system for essays that provides instant feedback to teachers on students’ work and saves time spent marking.


      東方訊飛教育科技有限公司正是這樣一個初創企業。它致力于利用AI技術建構作文自動評分體系,并即時向教師提供反饋,節省教師批改作業的時間。


      I asked one of the company’s product designers, Kailin Xie, whether this innovation might put teachers out of work.


      我詢問該公司的一位產品設計師謝凱琳(音),這種創新是否會使教師失業。


      “Teachers aren’t hired to grade,” she asserts. “As long as there are students, teachers will be necessary. Grading is just an extraneous part of the job. Our product enables a teacher to save dozens of hours a week on marking essays.”


      “老師的職責不是批改作業,” 她說,“ 只要還有學生,教師就必不可少。批改作業并非一定要由教師來做。我們的產品能使老師每周節約幾十小時批改學生作文的時間?!?


      Is a school likely to pay those teachers the same for less work? Or will it instead use those extra hours to give them more classes, which would reduce personnel requirements?


      那么,教師工作時間減少后,學校會支付他們同樣的工資嗎?會不會要求他們用省下的時間去上更多的課,以減少雇用人數?


      Such questions could be some of the defining issues of the digital age. Should companies use AI to increaseproductivity and profits, or do they alsohave a duty to improve the day-to-day routine of their employees?


      在數字時代,以上這類問題可能非常關鍵。公司應否使用AI來提高生產效率和利潤?是否也有義務優化員工的日常工作?

       人工智能

      Business optimism

      商業前景樂觀


      Much of the tech community has adopted the belief that these problems will simply sort themselves out. This is certainly the attitude of Stuart Leitch, founder of Lollipop.ai, a Seattle and Shanghai-based software company that uses AI to improve customer engagement3 with online products. “Firms have a very bad habit of hiring for unnecessary positions. The employees aren’t bad, but their duties usually involve repetitive, brainless and low-value work.”


      大部分科技行業從業人士相信,隨著時間推移,這些問題自然會迎刃而解。Lollipop.ai 公司創始人斯圖爾特·利奇顯然也持這種態度。這是一家總部位于西雅圖和上海的軟件公司,利用 AI 技術提升在線產品的顧客契合度?!霸S多公司存在一種積弊,即為不必要的崗位招聘。雖然招來的員工素質并不差,但他們往往從事著 重復性、無須動腦、低價值的工作?!?


      “We want to release people from those positions and reduce the cost of that kind of work so those people can do more meaningful things. At the end of the day, we expect to create jobs across industries rather than put people out of work,” explains Leitch.


      “我們想要將員工從這些崗位中解放,減少這類工作的成本,使他們能做更有意義的事。歸根結底,我們期望在各個行業創造就業崗位,而不是使人失業?!崩娼忉屨f。


      But what of the manufacturing jobs that have served as the backbone of China’s economic growth? Many are likely to go, admits Denny Xu, vice president of the Shanghai Haihe IT Company, which produces intelligent speech robots.


      長期以來,中國經濟發展的支柱是制造業,該行業的工作崗位又會怎樣變化呢?上海海河信息科技有限公司副總裁徐敏波承認,很多崗位會消失。該公司從事智能語音機器人生產。


      “AI will change future employment trends and patterns,” he explains. “Now, the labor force is too costly, so lower-level labor will largely be replaced by AI-related technology. But humans won’t be completely unnecessary – human-machine coupling will become a future trend for enterprises and busi- nesses.”


      “AI會改變未來的雇用趨勢和模式,”他解釋道,“當下勞動力太昂貴,因此低層次勞動力很大程度上會被AI相關技術所取代。不過人類并非完全多余——人機融合將會成為企業的未來趨勢?!?


      Skills gap

      技能缺口


      To a large extent, the challenge is retraining people. Thousands of brand new jobs are being created. In fact, a growing complaint from business leaders and recruiters is a lack of talent with the necessary skills to fill emerging jobs.


      這種挑戰很大程度上在于人員再培訓。數千個全新工作崗位正在涌現。實際上,企業領導和招聘專員越來越多的抱怨是,難以找到具有所需技能、能填充這些新崗位的人才。


      Stuart Leitch notes, “It’s especially difficult to find talent on the development front. Since the skills most indemand for our business are hard data4 science and machine-learning skills, we’re finding that we need PhD-level candidates, which are few and far between. It may become necessary to just hire go-getters who can learn quickly but don’t necessarily have experience.”


      斯圖爾特·利奇提及:“招聘產品開發領域的人才尤其困難。本公司最需要的技能是硬數據科學和機器學習,我們清楚自己需要博士水平的應聘人,而這類人員十分稀缺。也許有必要聘用上進心強、學習能力出眾卻不一定有經驗的人?!?


      Stéphane Truong at Actionable Data has similar issues. “My company would ideally employ candidates with at least a master’s degree in computer science. We offer a very competitive package, but the battle for talent is rough because employees are more attracted to mature companies.”


      安潮信息科技的斯特凡·張面臨同樣的問題。他說:“理想情況下,本公司聘用的員工至少應擁有計算機科學碩士學位。我們提供的薪酬福利有競爭力,但爭奪人才的競爭很激烈,因為成熟的大型企業更具吸引力?!?


      Technology education

      技術教育


      With such a limited talent pool, domestic Chinese tech giants like Alibaba and Tencent usually have first pick of the best talent.


      面對如此有限的人才庫,中國國內的科技巨頭,如阿里巴巴和騰訊,往往能優先挑選到最優秀的人才。


      But China’s edge on other countries may be its realization of the role that education plays in digitalizing the economy. Beijing has sunk major investment into computer science programs at its major universities, which is slowly starting to pay off.


      不過,相對于其他國家,中國的優勢或許在于意識到了教育在經濟數字化過程中的重要作用。中國政府對國內重點高校的計算機科學專業投入極大,其成效已逐漸顯現。


      Tsinghua University produced more of the top one-percent most highly cited papers in math and computing disciplines than any other in the world between 2013 and 2016. Much of the situation is about money: While Chinese professors still don’t earn as much as their American counterparts, many of them are still offered over US$100,000 per year, making China vastly more competitive academically.


      2013年至2016年,在數學和計算機領域,被引頻次最高(占前1%)的論文中,清華大學所發表的數量超過世界上其他任何大學。主要還是薪酬起作用:盡管中國教授的收入依然比不上他們的美國同行,仍有許多人年收入超過10萬美元,使中國在學術研究上極具競爭力。


      U.S. News & World Report even ranked the university as the number one computer science institution in the world in 2018. The fact that China is now competing with Western universities in this vital field is an immense achievement and will be key to unlocking AI potential in the country.


      《美國新聞與世界報道》在2018年甚至將清華大學的計算機科學專業排在全球第一位。中國高校能與西方大學在這個重要領域分庭抗禮,這是一項巨大的成就,也將成為釋放中國AI潛力的關鍵。


      “After all,” says Denny Xu, “AI is a new tech field – millions of young people with dreams will choose to work in this realm.”


      “畢竟,”徐敏波說,“AI是一個全新的科技領域,數百萬逐夢的年輕人會選擇在該領域工作?!?


      注釋:


      1. 電通安吉斯集團屬于電通集團(Dentsu Group,日本最大的廣告與傳播集團),提供高水準的媒體、數字和創意傳播服務。

       

      2. incubator 企業孵化中心,也稱企業孵化器或高新技術創業服務中心,是一種新型的社會經濟組織,通過提供研發、生產、經營的場地,通信、網絡與辦公等方面的共享設施,系統的培訓和咨詢,政策、融資、法律和市場推廣等方面的支持,降低企業的創業風險和創業成本,提高企業的成活率和成功率。

       

      3. customer engagement 顧客契合,是一種心理狀態,它是由在核心服務關系中與核心機構/客體(如品牌)互動、共創顧客體驗產生的,在共創價值的服務關系中以一種動態的、重復性的過程存在。

       

      4. hard data 硬數據,是對改進情況的主要衡量標準,是一些易于收集的無可爭辯的事實,描述的是具體數值,如工業產值、零售數據、進出口數據等。軟數據一般指較為主觀的調查類的指數,如消費者信心指數、采購經理人指數等。

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