An Indian worker conducts checks in the assembly area of the power electronics factory Manjunath Kiran/Getty Images

让未来符合我们的需要

剑桥——未来的工作将为我们带来什么,而我们又将如何去迎接它?迄今为止这样的辩论集中在发达国家,但这个问题将会影响到世界各国。

在悲观主义者看来,包扩3D打印人工智能物联网在内的这些所谓通用技术的引入将会威胁到劳动力需求,如果没有建立起普遍基本收入等保障社会团结的新形式,未来就很难避免陷入到普遍贫困之中。而在乐观主义者看来,最新技术发展像其他推动人类不断前进的因素一样,有可能实现前所未有的繁荣。

现在断言哪一方的观点正确恐怕还为时尚早。物理学家尼尔斯·博尔曾经说过,“做预测的难度很大,尤其是预测未来。”具体到世界经济这样的复杂系统,了解过去——如过去20年来几乎所有国家制造业就业人数的大幅下滑——本身已经具有很大难度。可能决定最终结局的因果关系或许才是比较容易确定的因素。

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