Views│How will the post-80s and 90s generation defend from the intelligent robots?

By Christine Tsui

Translated by Rachel Wang


I would like to share a case before the discussion of today’s topic.

It is the recruitment of my assistant, which is the hottest position recently, only open to my online community, with over 40 applications. The ratio is quite considerable. However, only four of the forty application letters barely satisfy me, when the other letters may cannot be regarded as letters. The writers seem know nothing about forms of letters, only leaving a line of “Please refer to my CV” without even a title or a signature. So, I decide to put the four better ones on probation, in two groups. They receive the same tasks at one time and the same salary as well.

The first group is dropped in a short time.

For one thing, they have little sense of time. It is acceptable that they would be occasionally too busy to deal with the part-time job, if they inform the colleagues in advance. However, they would say nothing until I find out their absence. Then, they would say “Sorry, I was too busy yesterday.”

For another thing, they are too careless. About ten out of nine youngsters I know have this defect. The most obvious issue is the misspelling. For instance, I find two mistakes in a nine-word title, and one of them types the “identity plate” as the “identity plead”. They seem to have no habits of double-checks, only to regret after the errors marked. What’s more, they seldom distinguish the three terms of “de” (a type of Chinese transitional words). As a result, the mistakes in their writing become a common issue.

Besides, the punctuation always goes wrong.

I previously reckon that the issues above are unique to the Chinese youngsters, but recently I change my mind. I have some dealings these days with a Britain law firm, which in the common sense should be a rigorous agency. But in the account settling, they wrongly take the number of 200 as 26000. Simple mistake as it is, four of them involved do not notice it at all.

In addition, they always take things for granted. Facing difficulties, many post 90s are not used to communicate, but would assume the matters in their own way—I think you would not need it any more, or I think it will be OK. Behind these I-thinks, they just skip the communication or confirmation.

All the defects above cannot acceptable, so the two candidates are dropped.

The third one is enthusiastic indeed, yet still quite careless. But for her, the problem that matters most is honesty instead of carelessness. After three days’ delay, I ask her whether she is able to undertake her responsibility. At last, she tells the truth, that she has found another full-time job, and she may be too busy to take this position.

I suppose that she may have found her job when she applies for the assistant position. She knows that her time is limited, but also is reluctant to give up this opportunity. Only at the last moment does she confess her dilemma to me, which is not an honesty behavior. So, I do not accept her apology, for the honesty is not reflected from the words, but the works.

The last candidate is still on her probation. Fortunately, she is better than the other three. I tell her the conditions of other candidates and I really expect her to take this position.

In my opinion, the carelessness is common among the post 80s, 90s and even the younger ones, especially the post 85s to 95s. I once owed it to the one-child policy and Chinese education, but recently I realize it comes from the internet. The post 90s have access to the overwhelming data and information on the internet from birth, so they are used to look through the flood of message without any signs left in their mind, so they would also not distinguish right from wrong. All the knowledges they approach to on the Internet are too convenient, making people think less and abandoning some good traditions.

Actually, the youngsters nowadays are very enthusiastic to their works, which is such an advantage. However, they are careless and lack sense of time, or to say, sense of promise—to finish the task in a certain time.

As a post 70s, I have been taught to double check the works since I was young. Yet the youngsters now are not familiar with that. They would send the results immediately after completion, caring nothing about the qualities at all. I am not blaming all the young people, but it’s indeed a common issue for the most youngsters, when only a small proportion of them would do their job truly carefully and earnestly.

I believe that, in the future, the unemployment would be quite severe, for the robots would be increasingly intelligent with little chance of careless mistakes. So, the careless people would be easily replaced, which will even be a social issue. In other words, if one can outperform robots neither in creativity nor in the carefulness and social responsibility, he or she will be the first group of people to be replaced. As to the question in the title, I believe everyone would understand my view. By the way, if you hold any other opinions, you are always welcomed to share your thoughts with me!

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