Il nuovo lavoro

Attenzione! Nel mondo del lavoro irromperà presto il computer, ma quello vero, quello che vi sostituirà.

Di questi rivolgimenti prossimi venturi tratta il saggio “What Is to Be Done? Prescriptions and Recommendations-Race Against The Machine: How the Digital Revolution is Accelerating Innovation, Driving Productivity, and Irreversibly Transforming Employment and the Economy” scritto dal guru Erik Brynjolfsson insieme a  Andrew McAfee…

… In the previous two chapters we showed how quickly and deeply computers are encroaching into human territory, and discussed the economic consequences of this phenomenon—how digital progress can leave some people worse off even as it improves productivity and grows the overall pie…

L’uomo sfiderà la macchina. È già successo in passato, vediamo come è andata…

… The legend of John Henry became popular in the late 19th century as the effects of the steam-powered Industrial Revolution affected every industry and job that relied heavily on human strength. It’s the story of a contest between a steam drill and John Henry, a powerful railroad worker, to see which of the two could bore the longer hole into solid rock.6 Henry wins this race against the machine but loses his life; his exertions cause his heart to burst…

E’ andata male, sempre male.

Morale: la macchina vince sempre. Mai perder tempo a sfidarla.

Altro esempio: Kasparov contro Deep Blue…

… The game of chess provides a great example. In 1997, Gary Kasparov, humanity’s most brilliant chess master, lost to Deep Blue, a $10 million specialized supercomputer programmed by a team from IBM…

Ma il mondo degli scacchi è particolarmente interessante perché ci indica anche la direzione.

Con l’avvento dei computer il gioco è cambiato completamente, il free style (in cui si sfidano uomini dotati senza vincoli di tutti gli aggeggi elettronici che credono) è diventato la norma…

… After head-to-head matches between humans and computers became uninteresting (because the computers always won), the action moved to “freestyle” competitions, allowing any combination of people and machines…

Mai CONTRO la macchine. Sempre CON la macchina. Il lavoro del futuro sarà free style.

***

Come sarà il nuovo mondo? Come dovremo affrontarlo? Che soluzioni adottare?

La prima soluzione è di ordine organizzativo: saremo tutti imprenditori

… How can we implement a “race with machines” strategy? The solution is organizational innovation: co-inventing new organizational structures, processes, and business models that leverage ever-advancing technology and human skills. Joseph Schumpeter, the economist, described this as a process of “creative destruction”…

Il nuovo mondo distrugge e crea. Dovremo affrontare molte sconfitte e avere molte idee per ripartire. Molte opportunità per tutti ma anche stagnazione dei redditi medi…

… To put it another way, the stagnation of median wages and polarization of job growth is an opportunity for creative entrepreneurs…

Guardiamo ai giganti del web: rispetto ai giganti del passato hanno pochissimo personale ma la loro presenza crea molte opportunità a chi sa sfruttare le loro piattaforme con iniziative imprenditoriali autonome…

… eBay and Amazon Marketplace spurred over 600,000 people to earn their livings by dreaming up new, improved, or simply different or cheaper products for a worldwide customer base… Apple’s App Store and Google’s Android Marketplace make it easy for people with ideas for mobile applications to create and distribute them… Threadless lets people create and sell designs for t-shirts. Amazon’s Mechanical Turk makes it easy to find cheap labor to do a breathtaking array of simple, well-defined … Heartland Robotics provides cheap robots-in-a-box that make it possible for small business people to quickly set up their own highly automated factory, dramatically reducing the costs and increasing the flexibility of manufacturing… Collectively, these new businesses directly create millions of new jobs…

Viene valorizzata la conoscenza dispersa, centro e periferia saranno meno importanti…

… Fortunately, digital technologies create enormous opportunities for individuals to use their unique and dispersed knowledge for the benefit of the whole economy…

Non solo saremo tutti imprenditori, saremo tutti micromultinazionali…

… technology enables more and more opportunities for what Google chief economist Hal Varian calls “micromultinationals…

In un mondo di imprenditori l’ambiente istituzionale deve adeguarsi.

Ma ci saranno abbastanza opportunità per tutti?

I lavori si moltiplicheranno incastrandosi l’uno nell’altro e mescolandosi in configurazioni sempre in movimento. Le opportunità verranno a dipendere dalla flessibilità mentale e istituzionale di uomini e stati…

… New digital businesses are often recombinations, or mash-ups, of previous ones. For example, a student in one of our classes at MIT created a simple Facebook application for sharing photos. Although he had little formal training in programming, he created a robust and professional-looking app in a few days using standard tools…

Sarà tutto un gioco di combinazioni. Di piattaforme e di app

… Because the process of innovation often relies heavily on the combining and recombining of previous innovations, the broader and deeper the pool of accessible ideas and individuals, the more opportunities there are for innovation….

Se l’ambiente istituzionale lascerà fiorire questo gioco il pericolo di stagnazione è scongiurato…

… We are in no danger of running out of new combinations to try. Even if technology froze today, we have more possible ways of configuring the different applications, machines, tasks, and distribution channels to create new processes and products than we could ever exhaust…

Tocchiamo con mano le potenzialità dell’ “incastro”… 

… Here’s a simple proof: suppose the people in a small company write down their work tasks— one task per card. If there were only 52 tasks in the company, as many as in a standard deck of cards, then there would be 52! different ways to arrange these tasks.8 This is far more than the number of grains of rice on the second 32 squares of a chessboard or even a second or third full chessboard. Combinatorial explosion is one of the few mathematical functions that outgrows an exponential trend. And that means that combinatorial innovation is the best way for human ingenuity to stay in the race with Moore’s Law.. .

Dovremo attenderci milioni di imprenditori

… Most of the combinations may be no better than what we already have, but some surely will be, and a few will be “home runs” that are vast improvements. The trick is finding the ones that make a positive difference. Parallel experimentation by millions of entrepreneurs is the best and fastest way to do that…

Opportunità garantite per tutti…

… As technology makes it possible for more people to start enterprises on a national or even global scale, more people will be in the position to earn superstar compensation…

I mercati saranno del tipo “chi vince prende tutto” ma saranno una miriade. Cose significa? Significa prepararsi a mille sconfitte e a mille ripartenze, significa cercare la propria nicchia

… While winner-take-all economics can lead to vastly disproportionate rewards to the top performer in each market, the key is that there is no automatic ceiling to the number of different markets that can be created…

Thomas Malone chiama tutto questo “iperspecializzazione“.

Ma attenzione alle trappole: non è affatto detto che l’avvento delle macchine porti con sé una maggiore specializzazione sul lavoro. Oltre al fenomeno “nicchia”, infatti, emergono altri fenomeni paralleli.

Per comprenderli guardiamo al passato con Peter Gaskell e il suo classico “Artisans and Machinery” del 1836…

… today’s stories typically claim that automation favors tech skills, whereas Gaskell argues power weaving put the skilled workers out of jobs and empowered the less skilled machine supervisors…

L’avvento dei telai automatici fu un colpo per i lavoratori specializzati poiché per filare bastavano dei supervisori della macchina con conoscenze miste (macchina e arte del filare).

Anche negli scacchi si ripete questo modello: i campioni free-style che giocano con il sussidio di macchine hanno una conoscenza meno specialistica della materia scacchistica poiché devono investire buona parte del loro potenziale cognitivo sulla macchina di cui si avvalgono.

Ebbene, la conoscenza eclettica è tipica dell’imprenditore (che sa un po’ di tutto e mai bene di niente).

***

La seconda soluzione: formare il capitale umano.

… To keep up, we need not only organizational innovation, orchestrated by entrepreneurs, but also a second broad strategy: investments in the complementary human capital—the…

Esiste un’emergenza educativa

… Unfortunately, our educational progress has stalled and, as discussed in Chapter 3, this is reflected in stagnating wages and fewer jobs. The median worker is not keeping up with cutting-edge technologies…

Tra istruzione e tecnologia c’è uno iato, gli spazi di miglioramento sono enormi…

… It’s not a coincidence that the educational sector also lags as an adopter of information technologies… The optimistic interpretation is that we have tremendous upside potential for improvements in education…

I corsi online devono moltiplicarsi e alzare il loro livello…

… A good example is the free online course on artificial intelligence at Stanford that attracted at least 58,000 students…

Il discorso vale anche per la scuola primaria

… At the K-12 level, Khan Academy offers over 2,600 short educational videos and 144 self-assessment modules for free on the web. Students can learn at their own pace, pausing and replaying videos as needed, earning “badges” to demonstrate mastery of various skills and knowledge, and charting their own curricula through the ever-growing collection of modules…

Gli insegnanti superstar devono e possono essere a disposizione di tutti…

… The very best “superstar” teachers can be “replicated” via technology, giving more students a chance to learn from them…

Vanno valorizzate le soft skill

… softer skills like leadership, team building, and creativity will be increasingly important. They are the areas least likely to be automated and most in demand…

Dobbiamo formare un lavoratore che non aspetterà ordini ma inventerà continuamente il suo lavoro…

… Conversely, college graduates who seek the traditional type of job, where someone else tells them what to do each day, will find themselves increasingly in competition with machines, which excel at following detailed instructions…

***

Vediamo i possibili problemi: primo, non tutti hanno una mentalità imprenditoriale…

… First, not everyone can or should be an entrepreneur, and not everyone can or should spend 16 or more years in school. Second, there are limits to the power of American entrepreneurship for job creation…

Secondo problema: ci saranno molti perdenti scoraggiati

… When significant numbers of people see their standards of living fall despite an ever-growing economic pie, it threatens the social contract of the economy and even the social fabric of society…

La redistribuzione delle ricchezze in questi casi serve a poco: la forzata  astinenza dal lavoro – per quanto pagata – non è “tempo libero” da godersi. Lo aveva già capito F. D. Roosvelt…

… No country, however rich, can afford the waste of its human resources. Demoralization caused by vast unemployment is our greatest extravagance. Morally, it is the greatest menace to our social order…

Tanti vitelloni che gironzolano sono un pericolo.

***

Ecco 19 misure che possono aiutare evitando il ricorso alla redistribuzione.

Pagare di più gli insegnanti…

… Invest in education. Start by simply paying teachers more so that more of the best and the brightest sign up for this profession, as they do in many other nations…

Insegnanti licenziabili sui due piedi…

… Hold teachers accountable for performance by, for example, eliminating tenure. This should be part of the bargain for higher pay…

A scuola meno signalling, più sostanza…

… Focus schooling more on verifiable outcomes and measurable performance and less on signaling time, effort or prestige…

Più ore in classe…

… Keep K-12 students in classrooms for more hours….

Incoraggiare l’immigrazione qualificata…

… Increase the ratio of skilled workers in the United States by encouraging skilled immigrants…

Insegnare ad essere imprenditori…

… Teach entrepreneurship as a skill not just in elite business schools but throughout higher education…

Facilitare le start up con procedure standard…

… Create clearinghouses and databases to facilitate the creation and dissemination of templates for new businesses. A set of standardized packages for startups…

Via le licenze di ogni genere…

… Aggressively lower the governmental barriers to business creation…

Migliorare le infrastrutture della telecomunicazione…

… Invest to upgrade the country’s communications and transportation infrastructure…

Più ricerca di base…

… Increase funding for basic research and for our preeminent government R&D institutions including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA)…

Più flessibilità sui mercati…

… Preserve the relative flexibility of American labor markets by resisting efforts to regulate hiring and firing…

Meno tasse sul lavoro, in particolare su chi lo crea…

… Make it comparatively more attractive to hire a person than to buy more technology. This can be done by, among other things, decreasing employer payroll taxes…

Non sussidiare la finanza (che oggi attrae i migliori cervelli)…

… Reduce the large implicit and explicit subsidies to financial services. This sector attracts a disproportionate number of the best and the brightest minds…

Riformare i brevetti…

… Reform the patent system. Not only does it take years to issue good patents due to the backlog and shortage of qualified examiners, but too many low-quality patents are issued, clogging our courts…

… e i copyright…

… Shorten, rather than lengthen, copyright periods and increase the flexibility of fair use…

 

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