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职场性骚扰?找人工智能机器人投诉

更新时间:2018-3-28 20:45:01 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

How chatbots could replace your HR department
职场性骚扰?找人工智能机器人投诉

“Please tell me everything you can remember about what happened.

"请告诉我你记得的所有事情。

Try to not leave anything out, even if it seems trivial.

尽量不要遗漏,即使是微不足道的事情。

I have as much time as you need.”

只要你需要,我的时间都很充裕。"

Although this dialogue may sound like something straight out of a police interview, these are prompts from a computer programme designed to combat discrimination and harassment at work.

虽然这场对话很像是警察在录口供,但实际上却是来自一个电脑程序,它的任务就是专门应对工作中的歧视和骚扰。

It’s the voice of a chatbot called Spot. Launched in February, the free-to-use chatbot, accessed through a website, records typed responses to a series of questions. These can then be collated to create a report detailing sexual harassment or discrimination at work. If someone tells a story of sexual harassment by her boss, for example, the bot might probe for more precise details: “Thank you for telling me about that. Please provide specifics about the month, week, day, or time this happened.”

这来自一个名叫Spot的聊天机器人。这款2月发布的免费产品可以通过网站使用,它可以针对一系列问题记录用户的文字反应。之后借此制作一份报告,详细阐述职场中的性骚扰或性别歧视状况。例如,如果有人讲了一次老板对自己性骚扰的遭遇,这个机器人可能就会调查更加详细的细节:"感谢你把此事告诉我们。请提供事情发生的具体日期和时间。"

It is hoped this rather clinical approach could remove some of the stigma associated with making a formal complaint – and could hopefully lead to a safer, more open environment for all employees.

人们希望这种方式有助于消除正式的投诉所附带的耻辱感——也希望这能给所有员工都带来更安全、更开放的环境。

How it works

工作模式

For now, any individual can generate a report on Spot’s website (this could be done from a home computer if you don’t want your employer to know).

目前,任何个人都可以在Spot网站上生成一份报告(如果不愿让雇主知道,还可以通过家用电脑操作)。

Chatbots that use artificial intelligence are designed to provide a judgement-free service that doesn’t rush or fluster users. It’s hoped that talking a problem through in this way with a machine rather than a senior staff member could make victims more likely to come forward.

使用人工智能聊天机器人是为了提供一种不必接受别人评判的服务,这样就不会让用户感到匆忙或慌张。他们希望,用机器代替高级员工来解决问题,可以让受害者更加主动地报告问题。

Depending on how many details the user can remember about the incident, who was there, how he or she felt, if there was any other evidence (like screenshots of inappropriate messages, etc.), the chat could take a few minutes – or as long as the user needs. If the user mentions a witness, for example, it also encourages them to ask that witness to create a report as well.

根据用户对事件细节的记忆程度,包括谁在现场、他或她感受如何、是否还有其他证据(例如不当信息的截屏等),这样的聊天可能会花费几分钟的时间——但只要用户愿意,多长时间都可以。例如,如果用户提到证人,它也会鼓励他们让证人也制作一份报告。

At the end of the discussion, users can choose to download a timestamped PDF with an organised transcript of their conversation and then choose whether to use it to raise a complaint at their company or not.

在沟通结束后,用户可以选择下载一份带有时间戳的PDF文件,里面配有经过组织的对话文字记录,之后还可以选择是否使用该报告向所在公司投诉。

The true scale of harassment at work is relatively unknown but a recent BBC survey of more than 2000 people found half the women polled had experienced it at some level. It is thought that the majority of workplace harassment and discrimination still goes unreported – a depressing conclusion underlined by multiple pieces of institutional research, which means more tools to tackle it are desperately needed.

职场性骚扰具体有多么严重,目前还比较难以判断,但BBC最近对2000多人进行的调查发现,有半数受访女性经历过某种程度的性骚扰。但多数职场骚扰和歧视事件仍未上报——许多机构的研究报告都凸显了这个令人压抑的结论,这也意味着急需通过更多工具来解决此事。

“The most comprehensive estimate we found was about 30% of cases in the US are reported,” says Camilla Elphick, researcher and PhD candidate at the University of Sussex in the UK, who worked on Spot. Elphick was also part of a research team that conducted a soon-to-be published meta-analysis of several existing studies that looked at workplace harassment and discrimination to determine how much goes unreported and why.

"我们找到的最全面的测算显示,美国大约有30%的案例上报。"英国萨塞克斯大学研究员兼博士候选人卡米拉·艾尔菲克(Camilla Elphick)说。效力于Spot的艾尔菲克也参加了一个研究团队,他们很快就会发布一份针对一些现有的职场骚扰和歧视报告进行的元分析,从而判断究竟有多少这类事件没能上报,并探索背后的原因。

“We wanted (the tool) to follow psychological principals of memory” that could “elicit accurate information by using the established technique of cognitive interviewing,” Elphick says.

艾尔菲克表示,"我们希望这款工具可以遵循记忆方面的心理学原理,通过使用既有的认知访谈技术来引出精确的信息。"

The report can also be anonymised, giving users the option of not identifying themselves immediately when they send it on to their company HR department. They can then retain an original copy for themselves in case they need to use it at a later stage.

报告还可以匿名处理,让用户在发给自己公司的人力资源部之后,可以不必立刻公开自己的身份。他们还可以自行保留原始副本,以供日后使用。

"Let’s say something happens to you and then three months later it happens again, and you then report both incidents,” says Julia Shaw, one of the co-founders of Spot and a memory expert from University College London. In those three months since the first incident, you may have forgotten crucial details, such as witnesses, she says, “in which case you’re losing important and useful details about the incident. We’d like to prevent that from happening.”

"比如,你遭遇了一些事情,3个月后又遭遇了一次,你随后汇报了两次遭遇。"Spot联合创始人、伦敦大学学院记忆专家茱莉亚·肖(Julia Shaw)说。在第一次事件发生后的3个月时间里,你可能忘记了一些关键细节,例如证人。"在这种情况下,你就会失去重要而有用的细节。我们希望避免这种情况发生。"

In the wake of the #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns, leaders in various industries are scrambling to find tools to effectively tackle sometimes pervasive harassment and discrimination. But there are still several common barriers that deter people from reporting it.

在#MeToo和#TimesUp活动之后,各行各业的领导者都希望找到一些工具,以便有效解决已经颇为普遍的骚扰和歧视问题。但仍然需要克服一些阻碍人们报告自身遭遇的常见障碍。

“People did not know how to report – for example, they weren’t aware of a policy in place at their organisation," she says. "A big concern was retaliation, as other people had reported negative consequences, such as poor appraisals, social alienation in the workplace, missing out on promotions, and so on. They were also reluctant to disclose personal characteristics like sexual orientation or health issues, and they had concerns about trust and confidentiality.”

"人们不知道如何汇报——例如,他们并不知道自己组织内部有这方面的政策。"她说,"人们很担心报复,因为其他人遭遇过负面结果,例如糟糕的评估、在职场遭到疏远、失去晋升机会,等等。他们也不愿披露性取向和健康问题等个人特征,而且对信任和保密问题心存担忧。"

In one study of women training to be officers at the US Department of Defense service academies, women said they didn’t report sexual harassment for fear of being ostracised or retaliated against. Harassment is also linked to negative workplace outcomes and poor health outcomes. One study of staff members at an Ethiopian university, for example, found workplace abuse and sexual harassment to be correlated with higher rates of depression. “However, no health-related consequences were found if people made reports and those reports were handled appropriately,” says Elphick. “This suggests if people make reports that are handled appropriately by the organisation, they shouldn’t suffer from ill health.”

在一项针对在美国国防部军官院校接受训练的女性进行的调查中,受访者表示,她们因为担心被排斥或报复而不敢报告性骚扰遭遇。骚扰还与负面的职场结果和糟糕的健康状况有关。例如,针对埃塞俄比亚某大学的教职员工进行的调查发现,职场虐待和性骚扰都跟较高的抑郁率相关。"然而,如果人们能够报告这些问题,并且得到妥善处理,就不会产生健康问题。"艾尔菲克说,"这表明,如果人们报告的问题可以获得组织的妥善处理,他们就不应该遭受疾病困扰。"

A special type of interview

特殊的访谈

Chatbots may be capable of using some aspects of a cognitive interview method, a process particularly effective for witnesses to crimes.

聊天机器人或许可以利用一些认知访谈方法,这对犯罪证人尤其有效。

Amina Memon, a professor of psychology at Royal Holloway University in London, says crucial techniques for a good cognitive interview include not asking yes or no, or leading questions; conveying to the witness that they have control of the pace of the interview and making sure they feel free to say if anything is unclear, or they don’t know something.

伦敦皇家霍洛威学院心理学教授阿米娜·梅蒙(Amina Memon)表示,想要完成一次较好的认知访谈,关键技巧包括不要问"是"或者"否",也不要问诱导性问题;应该向证人传达一种信号,即他们可以控制访谈节奏,确保其能够自由阐述某件事情是否不够明确,或者他们并不知道某件事情。

“The cognitive interview takes what we know about how memory works and basic principles of effective communication,” she says. “And pulls them together and tries to get a detailed memory report, and get as many details as possible.”

"认知访谈利用了我们对记忆原理的了解,还利用了有效沟通的基本原理。"她说,"然后把它们凑在一起,试图获得一份详细的记忆报告,获得尽可能多的细节信息。"

Although in-person cognitive interviews have been shown to build better accounts than unstructured interviews, they may also increase the potential for incorrect details. For instance, if an interviewee wants to please someone in a position of power. Memon says this risk increases with more vulnerable witnesses, including people on the autism spectrum or children.

虽然面对面的认知访谈效果好于非结构性访谈,但可能也会增加不准确的细节比例。例如,受访者可能希望取悦某个有权有势的人。梅蒙表示,越是柔弱的证人,面临的风险就越大,包括自闭症患者或儿童。

However, Shaw thinks a bot might actually be better than a human at prompting accurate responses.

然而,茱莉亚·肖认为,机器人可能比人类更容易获得真实的反馈。

“Human beings might have assumptions, for example, about what a trustworthy person looks like or sounds like. It’s the same whether in a police investigation or you’re an HR person talking to someone. The bot is potentially better than a human because it doesn’t come in with preconceived notions and can automatically start from a neutral point,” Shaw says. “It’s about asking open ended questions… and then following up with what are called probes. For example, ‘You mentioned your boss, can you tell me more about that.’ or ‘You mentioned it happened on a Tuesday can you tell me more about that.’”

"例如,在考虑哪些人值得信任的时候,人们可能对长相和声音有一些预设。无论是警方调查,还是人力资源部门跟某人沟通,都会出现这种情况。机器人比人类更好的原因在于,它不会存在这种预设观念,而且可以很自然地从中立的观点出发。"茱莉亚·肖说,"关键要询问开放性问题……然后展开所谓的探查。例如,'你刚刚提到了你的老板,能否多告诉我一些。'或者'你刚刚说事情发生在周二,能否多谈谈。'"

Potential drawbacks

潜在的缺点

But not all experts are convinced this type of bot will work as well as a human-led cognitive interview (CI) in its current format.

但并非所有专家都认为,目前的这种机器人能实现跟人类主导的认知面谈一样的效果。

"In principle, it may be possible to conduct a good quality cognitive interview, using various CI techniques in a digital interaction – for example, via Skype or Messenger – involving an investigator and an interviewee," says Lorraine Hope, Professor of Applied Cognitive Psychology at the University of Portsmouth. "However, to date, there is no research evidence that a ‘bot’ interaction like Spot can successfully perform a cognitive interview... In other words, we don’t know what the quality of the information collected via bot interviewing is and we don’t know how witnesses experience being interviewed in this way."

"一般而言,我们有可能进行一场高质量的认知访谈,使用各种认知访谈技术让调查者和受访者展开数字互动——比如通过Skype或Messenger。" 朴茨茅斯大学应用认知心理学教授洛林·霍普(Lorraine Hope)说,"但到目前为止,还没有研究证据表明,像Spot这样的'机器人'互动技术能成功地进行认知访谈……换句话说,我们不知道通过机器人访谈收集到的信息能达到什么样的质量,我们也不知道通过这种方式接受访谈的证人是何感受。"

Hope says that Spot, in its current format, does not constitute a true cognitive interview. There’s a lot more to the technique than just open-ended questions. She says Spot doesn’t build rapport between the interviewer and interviewee, an important aspect of cognitive interviewing, or use mnemonic techniques like reverse order retrieval – when a witness recalls an event from the end to the beginning, or context reinstatement (when the interviewer tries to take the witness back to the event). "The bot responses are not particularly sophisticated or sensitive. The questions are disjointed and the interaction quickly becomes rather confusing – it’s rather like communicating with a less helpful version of Siri."

霍普说,以目前的形式来看,Spot无法进行真正的认知访谈。主要在于技术,而不只是开放性问题。她表示,Spot并没有在访谈双方之间建立融洽的关系(这是认知访谈的一个重要方面),也没有使用倒序检索(让证人从事件结束一直回忆到事件开始)或者背景恢复(尝试把证人带回到事件中去)这样的助记技术。"机器人的反应不算特别复杂,也不算特别敏感。它提出的问题是脱节的,而且这种互动很快就变得相当混乱——这就像跟一个不太有帮助的Siri交流一样。"

Researchers at Spot like Rashid Minhas, an associate lecturer in criminology at the University of Derby, are continually researching the effectiveness of Spot. In one still ongoing study, he says participants watch a video of someone being sexually harassed and then recount the events using the bot. And the company is still figuring out how to use data in the future to examine best workplace responses to reports of harassment and discrimination.

德比大学的犯罪学副教授拉希德·米纳斯(Rashid Minhas)就一直在研究Spot的有效性。他表示,在一项仍在进行的研究中,参与者观看了一段有人遭到性骚扰的视频,然后用机器人复述事件。该公司还在研究,今后如何使用数据来检验职场中对待骚扰和歧视报告的最佳反应。

But for now, with hundreds of user-generated reports, it seems bots are already allowing more people to be heard – even if only by a machine.

然而,由于目前已经拥有数百份用户生成的报告,所以机器人似乎已经让更多人的遭遇被倾听——尽管倾听者只是机器。

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