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你心中的呆板人是男是女 Robot workers revealed as binary in m

公布于 2016-01-20 02:17   阅读 次  

If you were to design a robot to assist in a kindergarten, handing out water, tidying and watching out for grazed knees, what would it look like? A bulky, shouty metal hulk? Or a gentle-voiced android that mimicked a carer?


Assuming you are not the Child Catcher, the answer is likely to be the latter. If robots are to provide support in the workplace of the future, they might prove less shocking if they attempt to blend in. Carers tend to be women, so perhaps engineers should recreate them in metal form: with female voices and bobbed helmet hair.


To be human is to anthropomorphise. In an experiment published this year in Nature, participants were shown photographs of a human and a robot hand being cut with a knife. The volunteers felt empathy for the human and the robot.


The extent of this tendency to impute human characteristics to machines was brought home to me earlier this year when I visited Xchanging, a company in the City of London that provides business process services, procurement management and IT outsourcing. The machines that replaced the mundane and tedious work of data entry were no more human than a hard drive, yet they were dubbed Henry and Poppy. Even the French boring drills used in the Channel tunnel were given names.

我在客岁早些时分看法到这种付与呆板品德的偏向曾经到了何种水平。我走访了伦敦金融城(City of London)的企业Xchanging,该公司提供业务流程效劳、推销办理和IT外包。这家公司代替人力实行单调繁琐的数据录入义务的呆板不比一块硬盘更像人,但是它们被称为亨利(Henry)和波普伊(Poppy)。乃至连英法海底隧道中运用的法国钻头都被起了名字。

There have been cases where a machine’s “gender” has caused problems. In the 1990s, BMW reportedly had to recall German cars installed with its navigation system because back then, it seems, male drivers objected to taking directions from a woman.


There is a danger that by assigning a gender to robots we reinforce stereotypes in the workforce: a problem not just for women but men too. Research by the University of Bielefeld, in Germany, published in the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, investigated attitudes to robots when they were assigned a gender. In the experiment, they showed two robots to a group of men and women. The robots looked the same except for their hairstyles and the shape of their lips. The one with longer hair and fuller lips was seen by the groups as “female”, the short-haired one was “male”.

给呆板指定性别会形成一种风险,那便是加深我们对休息者的偏见:不只女性,男性也碰面临这一题目。在德国,比勒费尔德大学(University of Bielefeld)在《使用社会意理学期刊》(Journal of Applied Social Psychology)宣布的研讨观察了人们对指定性另外呆板人的态度。在实行中,研讨职员向一组有男有女的到场者展现了两个呆板人。两个呆板人除了发型和嘴唇外形以外如出一辙。到场者将头发更长、嘴唇更厚的呆板人视为“女性”,将短发的谁人呆板人视为“男性”。

Consequently, the male robot was perceived as capable of more “masculine” tasks — repairing technical devices, guarding a home. The female robot was seen as suitable for stereotypical activities such as housework and caring.


While humanoid robots are not about to take over our nurseries in the immediate future, such studies raise important questions about gender and technology. Wendy Hall, professor of computer science at the UK’s University of Southampton, notes that there is a tendency to see science as pure and objective. Yet even algorithms — a set of instructions to be applied to data — reflect human assumptions. They model the world and can be infused with unconscious bias, she told me. This was brought home in a study of Google’s algorithms, for example. Researchers at Carnegie Mellon University and the International Computer Science Institute found that male job seekers were more likely than their female peers to be shown ads by the search engine for high-paying executive jobs.

固然人形呆板人不会很快接收我们的托儿所,但是如许的研讨照旧提出了有关性别和科技的紧张题目。英国南安普顿大学(University of Southampton)盘算机迷信传授温迪霍尔(Wendy Hall)指出,人们偏向于把迷信视为地道和客观的。但是即便是算法(一组使用于数据的指令)也会反应人类的设定。她通知我,人们会有意识地在为客观天下建模时注入一些成见。比方,关于谷歌(Google)算法的一项研讨突显了这一点。卡内基梅隆大学(Carnegie Mellon University)和国际盘算机迷信研讨所(ICSI)的研讨职员发明,比起女性求职者,搜刮引擎更有能够向男性求职者展现高薪办理岗亭的告白。

When it comes to talking about the structure of work in the next machine age, gender has largely been left out. Hopefully, this will be redressed in part by the World Economic Forum, which is researching the topic ahead of its annual meeting in Davos in January. In a paper published in November, it stated: “What is missing from the debate is a gender lens.”


It is not yet clear how automation will affect men’s and women’s work. Martin Ford, the author of The Rise of the Robots , which won the FT and McKinsey business book of 2015 awards, believes that industries where men tend to work — manufacturing, finance and warehouses — are particularly susceptible to automation, either via actual machines and robots or software. “In the near-term automation seems likely to fall more heavily on men,” he says.

现在尚不清晰主动化将怎样影响男性和女性的任务。马丁輠祹(Martin Ford)的《呆板人的崛起》(The Rise of the Robots)荣获英国《金融时报》和麦肯锡2015年度最佳贸易图书奖(2015 Financial Times and McKinsey Business Book of the Year Award)。他置信,男性偏向于任务的财产——制造业、金融和仓储业——尤其容易遭到主动化的打击,或许是遭到实体的呆板和呆板人影响,或许是遭到软件影响。“短期内,主动化能够给男性带来更大打击,”他说。

I doubt this spells “the end of men” to borrow the title of Hanna Rosin’s 2012 book, which argued that women would dominate the future workforce. The male-dominated technology sectors are in the ascendancy, after all.

汉娜圠魿(Hanna Rosin) 2012年的一本著作提出,女性将在将来的休息雄师中占主导位置,借用这本书的标题,我疑心这意味着“男性的闭幕”(The End of Men)。终究,由男性主导的科技业如日方升。

Yet it does highlight that the future of work should not be viewed just through the prism of “man and machine” but of women too.


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