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[翻译]AS IT IS - Japan Not Worried About Robots Taking Their Jobs

更新时间:2017/8/27 7:48:48 来源:本站原创 作者:佚名

In a factory near Tokyo, thousands of cans are filled with beer, capped, washed, and put into boxes at speeds of 1,500 cans a minute.

在东京附近一家工厂,数千个罐子被装上啤酒、封口、清洗,然后装箱,速度达到了每分钟1500罐。

However, there are hardly any people in sight as the cans speed through processing.

然而,随着罐头的快速加工,却几乎看不到什么人。

Japan’s Asahi Breweries operates the factory. The machines do almost all of the physical work. Humans make sure that the machines do the work right, and the automated sensing devices are working correctly.

日本的朝日啤酒公司经营着这家工厂。机器完成了几乎所有的实质性工作。人类确保机器正常工作,同时自动感应装置工作正常。

“Basically, nothing goes wrong. The lines are up and running 96 percent,” said Shinichi Uno, a manager at the factory. “Although machines make things, human beings oversee the machines.”

该工厂一名经理Shinichi Uno表示:“基本上不会出什么问题。这条生产线启动运行了96%的生产能力。虽然是机器在做事,但是是人类在监督机器的运转。”

Leading the field

领先于该领域

While some countries, like the U.S., are debating the issue of robots taking jobs from humans, in Japan, the discussion is much different.

虽然美国之类的一些国家正在争论机器夺走人类工作的问题,日本的讨论却截然不同。

Birth rates in Japan have been decreasing for many years. This has caused many in the country to fear the possibility of a labor shortage.

日本的出生率多年来一直在下降,这导致该国大部分人都在担心劳动力短缺的可能性。

The introduction of robots has filled this need for labor. The robots appear to be a welcomed addition to the workforce in Japan.

机器人的引入填补了这种劳动力需求。机器人似乎成为了日本劳动大军的有益补充。

Starting in the 1990’s, Japan began a big push to develop robots for the workforce. It currently leads the world in the use of robots.

日本从上世纪90年代就开始大力推动用作劳动力的机器人的发展。该国目前在机器人应用方面领先于世界。

There are 1,562 robots for every 10,000 human workers. This is higher than Germany, with 1,133 robots, or the U.S., with 1,091 for every worker. The numbers come from a White House report submitted to Congress last year.

日本每1万名人类劳动力就对应有1562名机器人,这高于德国的1133名以及美国的1091名机器人。这一数字出自于去年白宫提交给国会的一份报告。

The report says Japan also was ahead in robots used outside of the automobile industry, with 219 robots per 10,000 workers, compared to 76 for the U.S. and 147 for Germany.

该报告称,日本在汽车工业以外领域的机器人应用也出于领先地位,达到了每1万名员工对应219名机器人,相比之下美国对应为76名,德国为147名机器人。

A different work culture

不同的工作文化

There are some differences with Japan’s work culture that might influence Japanese opinions about giving jobs to robots. One important difference is their “lifetime employment” system.

日本工作文化的某些不同可能影响了日本人对机器人就业的观点。其中一个重要区别就是该国的“终身就业”制度。

In Japan, many major companies often keep their workers, even if their skills become outdated. They will use them instead for other tasks, said Koichi Iwamoto, a senior fellow at the Research Institute of Economy, Trade and Industry.

在日本,很多大型企业通常会保留他们的员工,即使他们的技术已经过时。日本经济产业研究所高级研究员Koichi Iwamoto表示,这些企业会把员工调整到其它岗位。

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, or OECD, gathers information about the use of robots in its member countries.

经济合作与发展组织(简称经合组织)收集了该组织成员国在机器人应用方面的信息。

The information shows that increasing the use of robots or computer programs at work decreases the demand for mid-level or repetitive work tasks, such as operating assembly lines. But it increases the demand for low-and high-skilled jobs.

这些信息显示,在工作中增加机器人或电脑程序的使用降低了对中级技能或重复性工作任务(例如操作装配线)的需求。但是它提升了对低级和高技能工作的需求。

However, the OECD data showed employment conditions remained almost unchanged for Japan for the period from 2002 to 2014.

然而,经合组织数据显示,2002年到2014年期间,日本的就业情况几乎没有发生变化。

That means companies in Japan were not trying as hard as those in the U.S. to replace humans with robots. Clerical workers, for example, were keeping their jobs although computers might do their jobs better.

这意味着日本企业并没有像美国一样竭力用机器人取代人工。例如,文职人员保住了他们的工作,虽然电脑可以更好地完成他们的工作。

Another example is how Japanese society has so far preferred to keep taxis instead of shifting to online ride services.

另一个例子是,日本社会迄今为止更倾向于继续乘坐出租车,而不是转向网上叫车服务。

A “reflective stage”

“反思阶段”

But, machines have increasingly replaced people in Japan. Iwamoto says the country now has entered a “reflective stage.” He says people are actually interested in having “human harmony with machines.”

但是在日本,机器越来越多地取代人类。Iwamoto表示,该国目前已经进入了反思阶段。他说,人们实际上是对“人类和机器和谐共处”感兴趣。

“Some tasks may be better performed by people, after all,” said Iwamoto.

Iwamoto表示:“毕竟有些工作可能由人类来做会更好。”

Kiyoshi Sakai also is an Asahi employee. He has worked at the company for 29 years. He said that in the past can caps were put into machines by hand. This was a repetitive task that was hard on the body and the mind.

Kiyoshi Sakai也是朝日啤酒的一名员工。他在该公司已经工作了29年。他说,以前啤酒罐的瓶盖(拉环)是用手工装入机器。这是一项身心俱疲的重复性工作。

Now, machines have replaced many of those jobs, and he is grateful for the changes to his work life. Machines at the plant have become more than 50 percent smaller over the years. They are faster and more precise than 30 years ago.

现在,机器已经取代了很多这类工作,他也对自己工作期的变化感激不尽。多年来,该工厂的机器已经缩小了50%,它们比30年前更快更准确。

He said in the past, things used to go wrong all the time and people had to check the machines every 10 to 15 minutes. Now, problems with machines are so rare that people do not need to worry.

他说,过去会不停出现问题,人们不得不每10到15分钟检查一次机器。现在,机器很少出问题,人们不用再为此担心。

Like many workers in Japan, Sakai is not worried about his job disappearing. After people no longer needed to work on assembly lines, his position was upgraded to the general affairs section, a common administrative department in Japanese companies.

像日本很多工人一样,Sakai也不担心他的工作会消失。人们不再需要在生产线上工作之后,他的职位升级到了总务科,这是日本企业的普通行政部门。

“I remember the work being so hard. But when I think back, and it was all about delivering great beer to everyone, it makes me so proud,” said Sakai, who drinks beer every day.

每天都喝啤酒的Sakai表示:“我记得这项工作很辛苦,但是回想起来,这是在为大家提供好喝的啤酒,这让我很自豪。”

“I have no regrets. This is a stable job.”

“我没什么遗憾,这是一项稳定的工作。”

I’m Phil Dierking. And I'm Alice Bryant.

Words in This Story

manager -n. someone who is in charge of a business, department, etc.

assembly lines –n. a series of workers and machines in a factory by which a succession of identical items is progressively assembled.

automate –v. to run or operate (something, such as a factory or system) by using machines, computers, etc., instead of people to do the work

can –n. a closed metal container that is usually shaped like a cylinder and that holds food or drink

cap –v. to cover the top or end of

clerical –adj. of or relating to a clerk or office worker

precise –adj. very accurate and exact

stable –adj. in a good state or condition that is not easily changed or likely to change

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