[ti:How Well Can People Work with Robots?] [by:www.51星和彩票.com] [00:00.00]更多听力请访问51VOA.COM [00:00.04]Robots have become common in warehouses across America. [00:06.40]Warehouses are centers where products are stored and organized before they are sent to buyers. [00:15.64]Manufacturers of robots say the machines can do the most repetitive and difficult jobs. [00:24.28]But critics warn that they are also creating new forms of stress and even injuries. [00:33.16]Amanda Taillon's job is to enter a robot-only area [00:38.56]to fix problems in one of Amazon's warehouses in the state of Connecticut. [00:45.20]Sometimes she has to pick up a fallen toy or ease a traffic jam. [00:50.80]She uses a belt that works like a superhero's force field. [00:56.44]It can command the nearest robots to stop and the others to slow down or change their paths. [01:05.24]"They weigh a lot," she said of the robots. [01:08.88]Critics say that this kind of human-machine cooperation has its problems. [01:16.16]They say that keeping up with the pace of the new technology [01:21.44]is hurting human workers' health and morale. [01:25.52]Beth Gutelius studies urban economic development at the University of Illinois at Chicago. [01:34.00]She has spoken with warehouse operators around the U.S. [01:38.96]She said human burnout is a problem in warehouses [01:43.36]where robotics and artificial intelligence, or AI software are being used. [01:51.56]She said that is because the robots add more work [01:56.48]and increase the pressure on workers to speed up their performance. [02:02.32]Recently, reporters investigated injury rates at Amazon warehouses. [02:10.28]They found that robotic warehouses reported more injuries than those without the machines. [02:18.24]Reporters with the Center for Investigative Reporting's website Reveal [02:24.96]studied records from 28 Amazon warehouses in 16 states. [02:30.92]They found that the rate of serious injuries [02:35.36]was more than two times the warehousing industry average. [02:40.44]Amazon, however, says that it is misleading to compare its rate with other companies. [02:49.48]That is because the company says it has an "aggressive stance [02:54.36]on recording injuries no matter how big or small." [02:58.84]The Reveal report also found a connection between robots and safety problems, [03:06.56]such as in Tracy, California. [03:09.44]There, the serious injury rate nearly quadrupled in the four years after robots were introduced. [03:18.44]Amazon has not released information on how its safety record [03:24.68]at robot-powered warehouses compares to those without. [03:29.64]But company officials believe that Amazon workers are able to deal with the new technology. [03:38.48]Companies say they cannot quickly fulfill buyers' demands for packages [03:44.24]without fast-moving pods, robots and other forms of automation. [03:50.84]The increased use of robots and AI is changing warehouse work [03:56.36]in a way that the head of Amazon Robotics says can "extend human capability." [04:03.76]The idea is that robots can help people to do what they are best at: problem solving. [04:11.92]Tye Brady is Amazon Robotics' chief technologist. [04:17.12]He said having people and robots work together permits the company to offer lower prices. [04:25.20]Brady said worker safety remains very important. [04:29.72]But Gutelius, the University of Illinois researcher, [04:34.80]said that the hope for easy human-machine operations is not a reality. [04:42.08]"It sounds quite lovely, but I rarely hear from a worker's perspective [04:47.88]that that's what it feels like," she said. [04:51.60]Amazon has more than 200,000 "drives," or robotic vehicles, [04:58.88]that move goods through its warehouses around the U.S. [05:03.72]That is two times the number it had in 2018. [05:09.20]Much of the growth in warehouse robotics came in 2012 when Amazon bought Kiva Systems. [05:17.80]Afterwards, Kiva Systems became Amazon Robotics. [05:23.64]For seven years, the company has been designing and building Amazon's robots. [05:30.28]Amazon's move to buy Kiva influenced its competitors, said Jim Liefer. [05:38.16]He is chief of the San Francisco company, Kindred AI. [05:43.28]It makes an AI robotic arm used by companies such as The Gap clothing store. [05:51.32]Melonee Wise is chief of California-based Fetch Robotics. [05:57.72]The company sells robotic carts. [06:00.88]She credits Amazon with causing the industry to develop new technologies. [06:07.44]But she said Amazon's system forces workers to do "un-ergonomic moves" [06:15.20]such as reaching up very high or down low. [06:19.32]"They have robots that live in cages," she said. [06:23.56]"Our robots are designed to work safely around people." [06:27.88]Taillon, the Amazon employee you met at the beginning of this report, [06:33.28]said that she has gotten used to working with robots. [06:37.60]She described how she felt when first working with them. [06:42.20]"When you're out there, and you can hear them moving around, [06:46.00]but you can't see them, it's like, [06:48.48]‘Where are they going to come from?'," she said. [06:51.56]"It's a little nerve-racking at first." [06:54.64]I'm Jill Robbins. [06:56.68]And I'm John Russell. 更多听力请访问51VOA.COM