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Economist: The Replacements-经济学人杂志在线阅读

翻译研究 2020-12-15

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一、经济学人杂志双语文章摘要

几乎可以肯定的是,这些措施对失业率的任何影响已被更强大的经济力量盖过,比如需要保持社交距离和总需求崩溃。而且自动化的步伐很可能是渐进的,而不是破坏性地快速。许多工作,甚至是那些通常被归类为“低技能”的工作,所需的操作和社交熟练度是机器尚无法匹敌的。在酒吧、餐馆或美发美甲店等直接面对客户的行业里工作的人尤其容易感染新冠病毒,但商家用机器人取代他们的空间或兴趣都不大。在纽约,成千上万名公交系统的工作人员感染了新冠,其中几十人死亡。尽管为研发无人驾驶汽车已经投入了数十亿美元,但计算机仍无法在闹哄哄的城市街道上驾驶公共汽车。

二、经济学人杂志双语文章中英对照翻译

The Replacements 后备队

2020.12


The fear of robots displacing workers has returned. But do not expect tech-induced lay-offs just yet
对机器人取代工人的恐惧卷土重来。但技术导致的裁员不会马上发生

通信工程翻译

COVID-19 PRESENTED employers with a simple choice: find ways for workers to do their jobs safely, or shut down. At least some have chosen a third option, of dispensing with humans altogether. Among the many breathless headlines prompted by the pandemic are those warning of a new wave of job-destroying automation. The pace of automation in some parts of the economy, like factory floors and warehouses, is almost certain to accelerate. Yet on the whole, robot-induced mass unemployment should remain near the bottom of workers’ lists of worries.
新冠疫情要雇主做个简单的选择:要么想方设法让员工安全工作,要么关门大吉。不过也有人选了第三条路——完全不使用人类员工。在疫情带来的众多令人窒息的头条新闻中,有一些警告人们当心新一轮自动化对就业的破坏。在经济的某些方面,如工厂车间和仓库,自动化几乎必然会提速。不过总的来说,机器人引发大规模失业应该依旧是员工们最不需要担心的事项之一。
The world has only recently recovered from a bout of robophobia. In the early 2010s advances in robotics and artificial intelligence (AI), described ominously in countless papers and books, seemed to portend a wave of job destruction. High unemployment after the global financial crisis of 2007-09 added to fears of a job scarcity. Fretting about robots in a downturn is not entirely irrational: firms appear to do most of their job-slashing during slumps. Nir Jaimovich of the University of Zurich and Henry Siu of the University of British Columbia argue that labour-market recoveries have grown weaker in recent decades as a result. Worries can be overdone, though. By the end of the decade unemployment had dropped like a stone and driverless vehicles were struggling to turn left. The earlier panic seemed a touch hysterical.
全世界刚刚才从一轮对机器人的恐惧中恢复过来。2010年代初,不计其数的文章和书籍都充满不祥色彩地描述了机器人技术和人工智能(AI)的进步,似乎预示着就业岗位被摧毁的浪潮即将到来。2007年至2009年全球金融危机后的高失业率加剧了人们对职位短缺的担忧。在经济低迷期担心机器人的冲击并非毫无根据:企业大部分裁员似乎都是在低迷期实施的。苏黎世大学的尼尔·贾伊莫维奇(Nir Jaimovich)和不列颠哥伦比亚大学的亨利·邵(Henry Siu,音译)认为,这导致近几十年来劳动力市场的复苏越来越疲弱。不过,这些担心可能过度了。到2010年代末,失业率大跌,而无人驾驶汽车还很难完成左转弯。早些年的恐慌看来有点歇斯底里了。
High rates of joblessness and eye-catching technological advances are again contributing to a new round of fears. In recent weeks, for instance, mind-boggling examples of the capabilities of GPT-3—an AI-based language-processing model developed by OpenAI, a research organisation—have zoomed around the internet. Another cause for anxiety has been businesses’ strategies for coping with the pandemic. Anecdotes of covid-motivated automation are easy to find. Many organisations have turned to software to automate paper-processing tasks that cannot be done by homebound workers. Those facing a deluge of customer enquiries, such as hospitals, are supplementing human assistants with chatbots. Employers’ interest in automating tasks in high-risk environments, such as slaughterhouses, is reportedly on the rise.
高失业率和引人注目的技术进步引发了新一轮恐慌。例如,最近几周,由研究机构OpenAI开发的基于AI的语言处理模型GPT-3令人惊叹的功能示例在互联网上迅速蹿红。另一个引发焦虑的因素是企业应对疫情的策略。有关疫情推动自动化的传闻轶事比比皆是。许多组织已经转而使用软件来自动处理无法由在家工作的员工完成的文书任务。像医院等面临大量客户咨询的企业正部署聊天机器人协助人类助理。据称雇主越来越有意向把屠宰场等高风险环境中的工作自动化。
Any effect of these on unemployment has almost certainly been swamped by stronger economic forces, such as social-distancing measures and collapsing aggregate demand. And the pace of automation is likely to be gradual rather than disruptively speedy. Many jobs, even those commonly classified as “low-skilled”, require manual and social dexterity that machines cannot yet match. Workers in face-to-face industries—in bars or restaurants, say, or hair and nail salons—are especially vulnerable to covid-19. But there is little scope for, or interest in, replacing them with robots. In New York thousands of public-transport workers caught the virus, and dozens died. Despite billions of dollars of investment in driverless vehicles, though, computers cannot yet pilot buses through chaotic city streets.
几乎可以肯定的是,这些措施对失业率的任何影响已被更强大的经济力量盖过,比如需要保持社交距离和总需求崩溃。而且自动化的步伐很可能是渐进的,而不是破坏性地快速。许多工作,甚至是那些通常被归类为“低技能”的工作,所需的操作和社交熟练度是机器尚无法匹敌的。在酒吧、餐馆或美发美甲店等直接面对客户的行业里工作的人尤其容易感染新冠病毒,但商家用机器人取代他们的空间或兴趣都不大。在纽约,成千上万名公交系统的工作人员感染了新冠,其中几十人死亡。尽管为研发无人驾驶汽车已经投入了数十亿美元,但计算机仍无法在闹哄哄的城市街道上驾驶公共汽车。
Furthermore, automation is only one of the technological solutions available to firms as they weather the crisis. The pandemic’s most profound labour-market legacy will probably be a rise in remote work. About half of all Americans who were working before the arrival of covid-19 were doing their jobs remotely by May, according to one estimate. Surveys of firms indicate that some of the shift will not be reversed. If remote work slashes overheads and enables people to move to cheaper cities, it could preserve jobs, by alleviating cost pressures on struggling firms.
此外,自动化只是企业捱过疫情危机可用的技术解决方案之一。新冠疫情对劳动力市场最深远的影响可能是远程工作增加。据一项估计,所有在疫情发生之前有工作的美国人中约有一半到了5月份仍在远程工作。对公司的调查表明,这样的转变中有一部分将不会再逆转。如果远程工作降低了日常管理费用,让人们能够搬到生活成本更低的城市,就能为那些陷入困境的公司减轻成本压力,从而保住工作岗位。
Telework may have some job-destroying effects, though. The pandemic has sped the adoption of technology in labour-intensive sectors like education and health care. Telemedicine and distance learning might mean that fewer doctors and teachers can serve more patients and students. Their largest impact is likely to be on blue-collar workers, such as clerical and janitorial staff, whose services become less necessary as the physical footprint of education and health institutions gets lighter. In a recent essay David Autor and Elisabeth Reynolds of Massachusetts Institute of Technology warn that such a dynamic could play out more widely. Over the past half-century employment growth in cities polarised: middle-skill work declined, and employment grew in white-collar professions and the services that support them. If remote working proves a lasting shift, then the café staff, taxi drivers and cleaners who depend on their custom could find themselves out of work.
不过,远程办公也可能会导致一些工作岗位消失。疫情加速了教育和医疗等劳动密集型部门对技术的运用。远程医疗和教学可能意味着用更少的医生和教师就能服务更多的病患和学生。这可能对蓝领工人影响最大,比如文员和保洁员,随着教育和卫生机构的实体设施越来越少,他们的服务也变得不那么必要了。在近期一篇文章中,麻省理工学院的戴维·奥托尔(David Autor)和伊丽莎白·雷诺兹(Elisabeth Reynolds)警告称,这种动态可能会在更大的范围里上演。过去半个世纪里,城市的就业增长呈现两极分化:中等技能的工作减少,专业白领和支持他们的服务业的就业增加。如果事实证明远程工作是一种持久的转变,那么依赖白领光顾的咖啡馆员工、出租车司机和保洁员可能就会失业。
Such severe, lasting labour-market pain in the aftermath of the pandemic may actually delay automation, by depressing wages. Developing and deploying new technologies costs money. Would-be automators deciding whether or not to make the needed investment could be swayed by the large reservoir of underemployed labour, willing to work for low pay. In America slaughterhouses—which often hire from a big pool of low-wage workers, many of them undocumented immigrants—are far less automated today than in parts of northern Europe, for example.
在新冠疫情的余波中,如此严重而持久的劳动力市场阵痛实际上可能会因为工资被压低而延迟自动化进程。开发和部署新技术需要资金。有意转向自动化的企业在决定是否做出必要的投资时,可能会因为大量未充分就业、愿意接受低薪的劳动力而动摇。例如,美国的屠宰场经常雇用大批低薪工人,其中很多是非法移民,这些屠宰场如今的自动化程度远低于北欧部分地区。
Automatic transition 自动转变 Tech-induced mass unemployment, then, seems unlikely. But there is one scenario where covid-19 could unleash the robots—if labour costs start to drift upwards, perhaps as global supply chains break down, or minimum wages rise. The reshoring of manufacturing jobs could lead to pressure to replace cheap foreign labour with robots at home. Production could no longer take advantage of low-cost labour, as America’s meat-processing industry does.
因此,技术引发大规模失业似乎不太可能。但在一种情况下疫情可能会推动机器人的大量使用:可能是因为全球供应链崩裂,也可能是因为最低工资水平提高,导致劳动力成本开始上行。制造业岗位回流可能会造成压力,促使企业在本国用机器人取代廉价外国劳动力。生产部门不能再像美国的肉类加工业那样利用低成本劳动力了。 Years of economic dysfunction have energised campaigns for higher minimum wages and a more generous welfare state. The economic devastation wrought by the pandemic lends them momentum; like past crises, it could lay the groundwork for a new social contract. If post-pandemic policy were to enable workers to enjoy more security on fewer hours worked, firms might then face some genuine labour scarcity. And that would really work up an appetite for disruption.
多年的经济失灵激起了要求提高最低工资和构建更慷慨的福利国家的运动。新冠疫情造成的经济破坏给了它们推动力;和以往的危机一样,它可能为新的社会契约奠定基础。如果疫情后的政策让工人能工作更少的时间却享受更多的保障,那么企业可能会真正面临一些劳动力短缺问题。而这将真正激发企业对颠覆的渴望。

经济学人杂阅读

三、翻译园地-already, all ready区别

already, all ready
(1) already意为“已经,早已”(by now, sooner than expected)。
She's already here — I wasn't expecting her till ten.
她已经在这儿了——我预计她10点才会来呢。
*有时,already含有“现在已经”的意味(even now)。
Let's begin at once, it's already late.咱们马上开始吧,现在已经很晚了。
*在问句中一般放在句末,表示惊奇,含有“怎么(会那样)”的意味。
Is he back here already? 怎么,他已经回这儿来了?

Have you finished it already? 怎么,你已经把它完成了?
(2) all ready只是all (=everybody or everything)与ready的结合。
Are you all ready, everybody? 你们大家都准备好了吗?

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