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和机器人抢工作 人类有哪些优势无法取代?

Humanics: A way to ‘robot-proof’ your career?
和机器人抢工作 人类有哪些优势无法取代?

As artificial intelligence becomes both more useful and more widespread, workers everywhere are becoming anxious about how a new age of automation might affect their career prospects.


A recent study by Pew Research found that in 10 advanced and emerging economies, most workers expect computers will do much of the work currently done by humans within 50 years. Workers are clearly anxious about the effects on the job market of artificial intelligence and automation.

皮尤研究中心(Pew Research)最近的一项研究发现,在10个发达和新兴经济体国家中,大部分从业者预计,目前很多由人类完成的工作,将在50年内被计算机取代。人们普遍对人工智能和自动化给就业市场带来的影响感到担忧。

Estimates about how much of the workforce could be automated vary from about 9% to 47%. The consultancy McKinsey estimates up to 800 million workers globally could be displaced by robotic automation by 2030. Some jobs will change dramatically, while others will disappear altogether.


So if automation makes the job market a little like a game of musical chairs, is there a way to make sure you’re still employed when the music stops? Can education help you robot-proof your career?


Future-proofing your career is less about picking a safe job and more about constantly updating your skills throughout your career, according to Northeastern University president Joseph Aoun, who wrote Robot-Proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.

美国的东北大学(Northeastern University)校长、《防范机器人:人工智能时代的高等教育》(Robot-Proof: Higher Education in the Age of Artificial Intelligence)的作者奥恩(Joseph Aoun)介绍:要防止工作被机器人取代,就要在职业中不断更新自己的技能,而不是选择一份安稳的工作。

He says education needs to change dramatically if workers are to adapt to this new environment. His solution, which he calls humanics, has three basic pillars:


Technical ability: understanding how machines function and how to interact with them. As both artificial intelligence and robotics become ever more capable, machines will step into roles once monopolised by humans. Some employees won't last, but others will find themselves working with machines, and probably being vastly more productive as a result. Workers with a grounding in coding and engineering principles will be better placed to thrive in this new kind of workplace.


Data discipline: navigating the sea of information that's generated by these machines. Workers will need data literacy to read, analyse and use the almost bottomless troves of information that are increasingly guiding everything from major business decisions to stock picks to purchasing decisions.


And the human discipline: "which is what we humans can do that machines for the foreseeable future, cannot emulate.” Aoun says this includes creativity, cultural agility, empathy and the ability to take information from one context and apply it to another. In educational terms, this means less emphasis on the classroom and a greater emphasis on experiential learning.



The World Economic Forum suggests many white-collar jobs, like accounting, will be at risk from future automation, while the OECD says low-skilled jobs will be most vulnerable and there’ll still be a strong correlation between education and income. Either way, skills are becoming outdated faster than ever before.

世界经济论坛(World Economic Forum)称,类似会计等很多白领工作,将在未来面临自动化取代的风险,但经济合作与发展组织(OECD)则认为,低技能工作更容易受到影响,并且教育与收入密切相关。无论如何,技能更新换代的速度在当今比以往任何时候都快。

“A generation ago, the half-life of a skill was about 26 years, and that was the model for a career. Today, it’s four and half years and dropping,” says Indranil Roy, the head of the Future of Work Centre of Excellence, set up by global consultancy Deloitte.

跨国咨询公司德勤(Deloitte)创立的未来工作卓越中心(Future of Work Centre of Excellence)负责人罗伊(Indranil Roy)说:“上个年代,一项技能大概能持续26年,也是一项事业的循环模式。如今变成了4年半,并且还在不断缩短。”

Aoun says the rapid pace of change isn’t necessarily a negative, but it does mean you’ll probably never outgrow homework. It also means universities will need to shift their focus towards lifelong education and training mid-career workers.


“We’re constantly becoming obsolete. And in some ways that’s an enormous opportunity for us all to re-educate ourselves and update ourselves. Those that are able to do it will be able to flourish,” he says.


Aoun worries that the tertiary education system currently isn’t equipped for this new reality. He says many universities are far too focused on four-year undergraduate courses and academic research.


Equally important to helping students graduate, he says, is helping students master “the human discipline”. The solution is a much greater emphasis on real-world experience. That might mean taking a job or a long-term internship while studying. In addition to career experience, this gives students the life-skills to negotiate and interact with colleagues.


“It also allows you to see opportunities and see gaps, and this is where you can say ‘I’m going to start a company or a not-for-profit’,” he says.


Roy agrees that less-tangible life skills are becoming more important to many employers. He says some of Deloitte’s “more progressive” clients use artificial intelligence for skills like analytics, freelancers for deep technical skills and only fully employ people with “life skills” and values that align closely with the organisation. But he points out those are skills that mostly come from outside a university environment.


McKinsey suggests that by 2030, the workforce will spend 55% more time using technical skills than in 2016. The World Economic Forum, meanwhile, foresees a net gain in employment from automation, with some jobs killed off but more created.


Roy says that probably means a workplace in which robots work alongside humans – for example, he says some of Deloitte’s clients have AI systems that attend and participate in meetings.


Aoun agrees that it’s important to understand our changing our relationship with machines in the workplace, and to adapt education accordingly.


“In the same way that once we have self-driving cars, clearly teaching driving will be transformed. So technology is going to make certain fields obsolete, but it’s not going to make humans obsolete,” he says.


Perhaps above all, Aoun says humans need to focus on skills that are harder for artificial intelligence to replicate. Specifically, that means taking knowledge from one context or discipline and applying it to another. Humanics itself is about combining three separate disciplines.


“We humans are creative, innovative, entrepreneurial. We are able to interact with other people, work with them, be empathetic. We are able to be culturally agile, work with people with different backgrounds. We are able to be global,” he said.


Roy says universities, particularly in the US, Canada and Australia, are increasingly focusing on interdisciplinary studies. However, tertiary institutions in other countries are still a little more traditional in their approach.


Technology is constantly upending our expectations, with change the only certainty. Roy says he is “surprised every day” at the barriers machines are breaking.


So perhaps it’s not enough to help workers survive a musical chairs-style job market. Maybe they also need to survive in one where all the chairs are constantly moving.

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