fc2ブログ

Uncharted Territory

自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

RSS     Archives
 

ロボットが家にもやってくる

 
「シャープが鴻海と交渉中止」という方針らしいという報道がなされていますね。鴻海があざといとか言われていますが、そもそもふがいない経営してしまったのはシャープですし、シャープはシャープで下請けにあざといことしていましたから。。。鴻海だって、サムスンだって、アップルだってこのまま安泰という保証がない中でやっているのですから、大変なのはどこもそうなのでしょうね。

アップルのiPhone5の販売が伸び悩んでいることに関していろいろな憶測が飛び交っています。その一つに鴻海の工場の拡大を取りやめたというのがありました。しかし、この件に関して、雇用を増やさなかったのはロボット化による自動化を進めているからではないかという報道がTechCrunchにありましたのでご紹介します。

Foxconn Hiring Freeze May Be Because Of Robots, Not Slack iPhone 5 Demand
CATHERINE SHU

Apple’s shares were hit after investors worried that a hiring freeze at Foxconn’s China plants is related to slowing iPhone 5 sales. Foxconn suspended recruitment at its factories in Zhengzhou and Shenzhen and it also reportedly postponed the construction of a new factory. Though this may point to slackening demand for the iPhone 5, it could also mean that Foxconn is preparing to adjust its production line in order to install automated robots as a way to get around increasing wages and concerns that poor working conditions played a role in a series of worker suicides. The Taiwanese electronics manufacturer refuted reports that the hiring freeze is related to iPhone 5 production and said that it was related to a glut of employees returning after the Lunar New Year break.

この記事が引用していた中国のメディアではもう少し詳しくその自動化計画について触れていました。今後5-10年間、およそ450億円かけて取組んでいくようです。シャープの堺工場の投資総額が1兆円といわれているようですから、それと比べるとロボット化の投資は小規模なような気もします。それほどの投資額で人件費がそれほどかからなくなるのだったらそういう方向にいってしまう気がしますね。

Foxconn halts recruitment as they look to automated robots
Updated: 2013-02-20 15:26
By Mao Jing (Chinadaily.com.cn)

Insiders said what’s behind the recruitment suspension is the overall consideration of the manufacturing prospects.

“Our goal is to see the first batch of fully automated factory in 5-10 years and to eliminate simple and repetitive processes through automation in the next few years,” said Guo Taiming, CEO of Foxconn.

“The robot project has been finalized, and the total investment is about 3 billion yuan,” said one staff member at the industrial park in Yiyang county, Luoyang, Henan province. Besides Luoyang, the robot project has begun in Jincheng, Shanxi province.

この記事を読んで、Wired1月号でロボット化の展望を描いた特集記事があるのを思い出しました。


Wired [US] January 2013 (単号)Wired [US] January 2013 (単号)
(2012/12/30)
不明

商品詳細を見る


書き出しを読めば、この作者のロボット自動化に対する立場をうかがい知ることができると思います。自動化によって仕事はなくなるかもしれないけど、それによって新たな仕事が生まれるので、悲観することはないというのです。

Better Than Human: Why Robots Will — And Must — Take Our Jobs
BY KEVIN KELLY12.24.126:30 AM

Imagine that 7 out of 10 working Americans got fired tomorrow. What would they all do?

It’s hard to believe you’d have an economy at all if you gave pink slips to more than half the labor force. But that—in slow motion—is what the industrial revolution did to the workforce of the early 19th century. Two hundred years ago, 70 percent of American workers lived on the farm. Today automation has eliminated all but 1 percent of their jobs, replacing them (and their work animals) with machines. But the displaced workers did not sit idle. Instead, automation created hundreds of millions of jobs in entirely new fields. Those who once farmed were now manning the legions of factories that churned out farm equipment, cars, and other industrial products. Since then, wave upon wave of new occupations have arrived—appliance repairman, offset printer, food chemist, photographer, web designer—each building on previous automation. Today, the vast majority of us are doing jobs that no farmer from the 1800s could have imagined.

It may be hard to believe, but before the end of this century, 70 percent of today’s occupations will likewise be replaced by automation. Yes, dear reader, even you will have your job taken away by machines. In other words, robot replacement is just a matter of time. This upheaval is being led by a second wave of automation, one that is centered on artificial cognition, cheap sensors, machine learning, and distributed smarts. This deep automation will touch all jobs, from manual labor to knowledge work.


ロボット化というのは幅広い領域に広がっていて、組立作業だけではなく人工知能によってホワイトカラーの仕事にまで及んでいっているそうです。医者や記者、プログラマーなどの仕事もロボットによる自動化の射程に入っているのですね。

The rote tasks of any information-intensive job can be automated. It doesn’t matter if you are a doctor, lawyer, architect, reporter, or even programmer: The robot takeover will be epic.

And it has already begun.


しかも、以下のような製品はとても安くなっていて簡単に手に入るようになっているというのです。



新たな機械が、自動化プロセスが、さらに新たな仕事を生むようになるということを丁寧に説明してくれているのが以下の部分です。

Before we invented automobiles, air-conditioning, flatscreen video displays, and animated cartoons, no one living in ancient Rome wished they could watch cartoons while riding to Athens in climate-controlled comfort. Two hundred years ago not a single citizen of Shanghai would have told you that they would buy a tiny slab that allowed them to talk to faraway friends before they would buy indoor plumbing. Crafty AIs embedded in first-person-shooter games have given millions of teenage boys the urge, the need, to become professional game designers—a dream that no boy in Victorian times ever had. In a very real way our inventions assign us our jobs. Each successful bit of automation generates new occupations—occupations we would not have fantasized about without the prompting of the automation.

To reiterate, the bulk of new tasks created by automation are tasks only other automation can handle. Now that we have search engines like Google, we set the servant upon a thousand new errands. Google, can you tell me where my phone is? Google, can you match the people suffering depression with the doctors selling pills? Google, can you predict when the next viral epidemic will erupt? Technology is indiscriminate this way, piling up possibilities and options for both humans and machines.

It is a safe bet that the highest-earning professions in the year 2050 will depend on automations and machines that have not been invented yet. That is, we can’t see these jobs from here, because we can’t yet see the machines and technologies that will make them possible. Robots create jobs that we did not even know we wanted done.

この記事は2号前のものなので、すでに読者からの反応が最新号に届いていました。下記のコメントはロボット化、自動化と聞いて我々がまず感じる反応ではないかと思います。ロボット化によって生まれる仕事はわずかだし、ロボット化というのは企業家の利益の最大化に貢献するだけだと否定的な反応です。21世紀のラッダイト運動が生まれるとしたらどのようになるのでしょうか。。。

”The rosy tint on Mr. Kelly’s glasses must be blinding – literally.” Rand Wrobel of Alameda, California, added: “The 900-pound gorilla of a fly in Kelly’s positivist ointment is the technological marginalization of labor. Automation will indeed create new jobs, but they will be fewer. The whole point of technology, from a business management perspective, is to maximize profits by minimizing labor costs.”

The 900-pound gorilla of a fly in Kelly’s positivist ointmentの部分はa/the fly in the ointmentというイディオムにひっかけての説明ですね。

(オックスフォード)
a/the fly in the ointment
a person or thing that spoils a situation or an occasion that is fine in all other ways

Kellyの記事の欠点はfly(はえ)のような小さいものではなく900-pound gorillaのようにあまりにも大きな欠点だということを言いたいのでしょう。

さて、Kellyさんの結論を紹介してしまいますが、彼の立場はrace against the machinesではなく、race with the machinesを提唱しているので、単純なバラ色の未来を描いているのではないと自分には思えます。ロボットによる自動化は避けられない動向なのだから、ロボットに任せることができるものは任せて、人間にしかできないことをしていこうと主張しています。

This is not a race against the machines. If we race against them, we lose. This is a race with the machines. You’ll be paid in the future based on how well you work with robots. Ninety percent of your coworkers will be unseen machines. Most of what you do will not be possible without them. And there will be a blurry line between what you do and what they do. You might no longer think of it as a job, at least at first, because anything that seems like drudgery will be done by robots.

We need to let robots take over. They will do jobs we have been doing, and do them much better than we can. They will do jobs we can’t do at all. They will do jobs we never imagined even needed to be done. And they will help us discover new jobs for ourselves, new tasks that expand who we are. They will let us focus on becoming more human than we were.

Let the robots take the jobs, and let them help us dream up new work that matters.

まあ、問題はロボット化といより「人間にしかできないこと」をやろうとしない怠惰な人間なのかもしれません。ベタですがrace against the machinesなんて表現をみるとこのバンドが思い浮かんでしまいますね。


スポンサーサイト



Comment


    
プロフィール

Yuta

Author:Yuta
FC2ブログへようこそ!




最新トラックバック



FC2カウンター

検索フォーム



ブロとも申請フォーム

QRコード
QR