原标题：花旗国老工业营地的再生 | 洛桑联邦理工科技艺琢磨
Review by Edward Luce
By: Queenie, wu 6th grade
From rust belt to robot belt: Turning AI into jobs in the US heartland
Martin Ford has seen the future, and it doesn’t work. To be more precise, it generates wealth while obliterating demand for work. “Go West, young man”, was the career advice of the 19th century. Today’s equivalent is “get an engineering degree”. Alas, the latter is not as rewarding as the former. A third of Americans who graduated in STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) are in jobs that do not require any such degree. Up and down the US there are programmers working as fast-food servers. In the age of artificial intelligence, they will only drift further into obsolescence, says Ford.
Have you ever thought about robot taking your job? I say, “No! It won’t!” In 2016 Alpha Go under Google won against Li Shi Shi in 4:1. Many scientists in the tech circle think that AI will result in human jobless, some even thought that it was the end of human beings. My claim is, AI will not make human lose their job.
Though Ford is a software entrepreneur, it is easy to dismiss his prognosis as the rantings of a latter-day Luddite. That is how many responded to his last book The Lights in the Tunnel (2009), which warned of a future in which even highly skilled occupations were vulnerable. Rise of the Robots is Ford’s answer to those critics. Unlike his first book, which was based on a thought experiment about tomorrow’s world, this one is grounded in today’s economy. It is well researched and disturbingly persuasive.
Form the history of the industrial revolution, machines were used in textile the most. People ever since had used machines instead of hand work. But the massive used of machines more job for machines more job have been created for humans. The amount of workers in the manual age was only a few thousand in the machine age the number of workers had increase to about 320,000 workers in the factory. The used of machines has created more industry, and more industry there is there is more workers. In late 19th century the main means of transport in the city was the carriage. After the invention of cars, it had soon replace the importance of carriages. Although pass drivers has lost their job, there are many more jobs. Such as car drivers have been added. New technology may have eliminate old jobs, but it will also provide new jobs for people to follow.
The vast vacant lot along the Monongahela River has been a scar from Pittsburgh’s industrial past for decades. It was once the site of the Jones and Laughlin steelworks, one of the largest such facilities in the city back when steel was the dominant industry there.
Ford’s contention is that our current technological revolution is different from earlier ones. Most economists would disagree. Their view is that today’s displacement is similar to the shift from agriculture to industry. Roughly half of Americans were employed on farms in 1900. Today they account for just 2 per cent of the workforce. Just as ex-farm labourers found work in the factories, so laid-off manufacturing workers were re-employed in the service industries. The IT revolution will be no different, economists say. It is all part of the natural cycle of creative destruction.
The used of new machines will lead to the emergence of more related industry. Such as the advent of computers, it had increased many related industry. Manufacturing, supporting, service and education industry. New technology continue to replace old industry, and new jobs to continue to emerge. For an example, the industry of mobile device, it form a lot of other industry like phone case, earphones, data line and a lot of related industry. These industry also need workers to run. More industry—more workers. Therefore, the increasing number of workers had proven that the used of new machine would not let human lose their jobs.
Ford finds two big holes in this Panglossian outlook. In contrast to earlier disruptions, which affected particular sectors of the economy, the effects of today’s revolution are “general-purpose”. From janitors to surgeons, virtually no jobs will be immune. Whether you are training to be an airline pilot, a retail assistant, a lawyer or a financial trader, labour-saving technology is whittling your numbers — in some cases drastically so. In 2000, financial services employed 150,000 people in New York. By 2013 that had dropped to 100,000. Over the same time, Wall Street’s profits have soared. Up to 70 per cent of all equity trades are now executed by algorithms.
Some people said that the AI is different from other technology, AlphGo win professional player and said AI is going yo make human jobless. No! Is wrong! AlphaGo are invented by human, all the order are given by human. There has to have a programmer to put the order Coad in.
Most of the massive structures are long gone, leaving behind empty fields pocked with occasional remnants of steelmaking and a few odd buildings. It all stares down the river at downtown Pittsburgh.
Or take social media. In 2006, Google bought YouTube for $1.65bn. It had 65 employees. The price amounted to $25m per employee. In 2012, Facebook bought Instagram, which had 13 employees, for $1bn. That came to $77m per employee. In 2014, it bought WhatsApp, with 55 employees, for $19bn, at a staggering $345m per employee.
AI will not make human jobless, it actually provide more job for human to do. The increased of the workers had proven my claim there will be more industries. So, even the people that had lost their job can find a better job to follow. AI will not make human lose their job, actually leads to more job for human.
Such riches are little comfort to the thousands of engineers who cannot find work. Facebook’s data servers are now managed by Cyborg, a software programme. It requires one human technician for every 20,000 computers. Almost any job that involves sitting in front of a screen and manipulating information is either disappearing, or will do soon. Offshore workers in India are just as vulnerable as their counterparts in the west. China is the fastest- growing market for robots. No human can compete with the relentlessly falling costs of automation. Software can now drive cars and mark student essays.
Next to the sprawling site is one of Pittsburgh’s poorer neighborhoods, Hazelwood, where a house can go for less than $50,000. As with many of the towns that stretch south along the river toward West Virginia, like McKeesport and Duquesne, the economic reasons for its existence—steel and coal—are a fading memory.
Almost any job that involves sitting in front of a screen and
manipulating information is threatened
But it is Ford’s second point that is the clincher. By skewing the gains of the new economy to a few, robots weaken the chief engine of growth — middle-class demand. As labour becomes uneconomic relative to machines, purchasing power diminishes. The US economy produces more than a third more today than it did in 1998 with the same-sized labour force and a significantly larger population. It still makes sense for people to obtain degrees. Graduates earn more than those who have completed only high school. But their returns are falling. The median pay for US entry-level graduates has fallen from $52,000 in 2000 to $46,000 today. It has stagnated for postgraduates. Education is by no means a catch-all solution, says Ford. Not everyone can get a PhD. Assuming that highly skilled jobs can take up the slack is “analogous to believing that, in the wake of the mechanisation of agriculture, the majority of displaced farm workers would be able to find jobs driving tractors,” he says.
What, then, is to be done? Peter Thiel, co-founder of PayPal, said: “We were promised flying cars, and instead what we got was 140 characters.” He was right of course; Twitter is not comparable to the invention of printing. Yet in another sense, he was wrong. We live in a world where everyone with a grievance wields more power in the palm of their hands than the computers that sent Apollo 14 into orbit. Ours is a super-democratic age. Ford does not believe technological progress can be stopped, nor that it would it be desirable to try. Yet the robot economy is inexorably squeezing our rewards in the jobs market. Ford’s answer is to pay every adult a minimum basic income — or a “citizen’s dividend”. There is logic to his remedy but not much realism. My forecast is that cars will fly before that happens.
These days the old steel site, called Hazelwood Green by its developers, is coming back to life. At one edge, fenced off from prying eyes, is a test area for Uber's self-driving cars. A new road, still closed to the public, traverses the 178 acres of the site, complete with parking signs, fire hydrants, a paved bike path, and a sidewalk. It doesn’t take much imagination to picture it bustling with visitors to the planned park along the riverfront.
The gem of the redevelopment effort is Mill 19, the former coke works. A structure more than a quarter-mile long, sitting amid the empty fields, it has been stripped clean to a three-story metal skeleton. Crews of workers are clearing away remaining debris and preparing the building for its reincarnation. By next spring, if all goes according to plan, its first occupant will move in: the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute.
The symbolism of robots moving into a former steelworks is lost on few people in the city. Pittsburgh is reinventing itself, using the advances in automation, robots, and artificial intelligence coming out of its schools—particularly Carnegie Mellon University (CMU)—to try to create a high-tech economy.
Lawrenceville, five miles from Hazelwood, has become a center for US development of self-driving cars. Uber Advanced Technologies occupies a handful of industrial buildings; self-driving startups Argo AI and Aurora Innovation are nearby. Even Caterpillar has set up shop, working on autonomous backhoes and other heavy machines that could one day operate themselves.
This has drawn billions of dollars from Silicon Valley and elsewhere, a welcome development in a city whose economy has been moribund for decades. And the effects are visible. Self-driving cars out for a test ride are a common sight, as are lines outside the trendy restaurants in what civic boosters call “Robotics Row.”
While many longtime residents complain of skyrocketing home prices near the tech firms’ headquarters and test facilities, they’ll also tell you these are the best days the city has seen in their lifetimes.
But despite all this activity, Pittsburgh’s economy is struggling by many measures. Though the city’s population is no longer hemorrhaging away—between 1970 and 1980 it fell by roughly a fifth—it isn’t growing, either, and is aging quickly. During the last half-decade, almost 70,000 people aged 35 to 54 have left the region.
And not far from the city and its elite universities, in areas where the main hope for prosperity lies in coal and natural gas from fracking rather than self-driving cars, well-paying jobs are scarce and towns are being devastated by opioid addiction.
This makes Pittsburgh not only a microcosm of the US industrial heartland but a test case for the question facing every city and country with access to new digital technologies: Can AI, advanced robotics, self-driving cars, and other recent breakthroughs spread prosperity to the population at large, or will they just concentrate the wealth among entrepreneurs, investors, and some highly skilled tech workers?
To prosper, says Scott Andes at the National League of Cities, Pittsburgh “can’t just be a producer of brilliant talent and ideas that then don’t turn into job generation.” He adds, “Pittsburgh is a great case study for the 21st-century economy, because it is beginning to leverage research strengths into economic value.”
There is no sillier—or more disingenuous—debate in the tech community than the one over whether robots and AI will destroy jobs or, conversely, create a great abundance of new ones. In fact, the outcome depends on various economic factors. And how it will play out as the pace of AI intensifies, no one knows.