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Jack Ma: Decades of pain as internet overturns old economy

Students must learn how to work with robots, declares visionary Jack Ma, as he warns that society should prepare for decades of pain as the internet disrupts the economy.

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Students must learn how to work with robots, Jack Ma warns as he predicts 30 years of social conflicts as internet disrupts economy.


Jack Ma: Decades of pain ahead as internet overturns old economy

Bloomberg News Agency

Alibaba Group chairman Jack Ma said society should prepare for decades of pain as the internet is set to disrupt the economy for a long time.

He was speaking in a speech at an entrepreneurship conference in Zhengzhou, China.


"The world must change education systems and establish how to work with robots to help soften the blow caused by automation and the internet economy.''

"In the next 30 years, the world will see much more pain than happiness," Ma said of job disruptions caused by the internet.

"Social conflicts in the next three decades will have an impact on all sorts of industries and walks of life."


It was an unusual speech for the Alibaba co-founder Ma, who tends to embrace his role as visionary and extol the promise of the future.

Ma explained at the event that he had tried to warn people in the early days of e-commerce it would disrupt traditional retailers and the like, but few listened.

This time, he wants to warn against the impact of new technologies so no one will be surprised.

"Fifteen years ago I gave speeches 200 or 300 times reminding everyone the internet will impact all industries, but people didn't listen because I was a nobody," he said.


Ma made the comments as Alibaba, China's largest e-commerce operator, spends billions of dollars to move into new businesses from film production and video streaming to finance and cloud computing.

The Hangzhou - based company, considered a barometer of Chinese consumer sentiment, is looking to expand abroad since buying control of Lazada Group to establish a foothold in Southeast Asia, potentially setting up a clash with the likes of Amazon.com Inc.


Ma, 52, was also critical of the traditional banking industry, saying that lending must be available to more members of society.

"The lack of a robust credit system drives up the costs for everyone.''

The China Entrepreneur Club event is host to many of the country's startup founders, but even here Ma got a celebrity's reception.

As he took the stage, the crowd surged closer and snapped selfies with Ma in the background.

During a Q&A session, people jumped up and down to get attention and then often used the time with a microphone to marvel at the opportunity to talk with him.


Ma was at times brutal in his criticism of companies that won't adapt.

At one point, he said cloud computing and artificial intelligence (AI) "are essential for business -- and if leaders don't get that, they should find young people in their companies to explain it to them.''

Another time, he called for traditional industries to stop complaining about the internet's effects on the economy.

Alibaba shares have outperformed this year on expectations it can withstand efforts by rivals such as Tencent Holdings to capture digital ad spending and muscle in on its turf.

The company is moving into untapped rural markets and investing in new sources of income, such as online media and cloud computing -- one of its fastest-growing businesses in 2016.


Ma also warned that longer lifespans and better artificial intelligence (AI) were likely to lead to both ageing labour workforces and fewer jobs.

"Machines should only do what humans cannot," he said.

"Only in this way can we have the opportunities to keep machines as working partners with humans, rather than as replacements."


Learn from listening

Click "play" to listen to Jack Ma: Decades of pain as internet overturns old economy and "Download" to keep this file for educational purpose.


a nobody : not famous; people do not know who he is -

abroad : in or to a foreign country - ในต่างประเทศ

adapt : to change something to suit different conditions or uses - ทำให้เหมาะ, ทำให้เข้ากับ, ปรับ

ageing : growing old - สูงวัยขึ้น

all sorts of : many different kinds of -

artificial intelligence : an area of study concerned with making computers copy intelligent human behaviour - ปัญญาประดิษฐ์

attention : the interest or thought that you give to something you are doing, listening to or watching - ความสนใจ, ความตั้งใจ

automation (noun): a system that uses computers and machines to do things and do work instead of people - การนำเครื่องจักรมาใช้แทนคนในการทำงาน

available : that you can get, use, find or buy - มีอยู่, หาได้

background : the part of a picture, photograph or view behind the main objects, people, etc - ฉากหลัง, พื้นหลังภาพ

barometer (noun): something tool or instrument to measure the level of something - เครื่องวัด, เครื่องวัดความดันของบรรยากาศ, บาโรมิเตอร์

based : living or working in a particular placed; located in a particular place - อาศัย

blow : a sudden event which has damaging effects on somebody/something - การโจมตี, การชก,การต่อย

brutal : extreme and unpleasant - โหดร้าย

capture : someone or something that has been caught - คนหรือสิ่งที่ถูกจับกุม

celebrity : someone who is famous, especially in the entertainment business - คนมีชื่อเสียง

chairman : the person in charge of a committee, a company, etc - ประธาน

clash : a brief fight between two or more people - การปะทะกันสองฝ่าย

cloud : a way of using computers in which data and software are stored mainly on a central computer, to which users have access over the Internet - คลาวด์

co- : done together with another -

co-founder : a person who works with another to establish an institution, business or organisation -

comment (noun): expressing an opinion - การแสดงความคิดเห็น

complain : to say that you are annoyed, unhappy or not satisfied about somebody/something - บ่น, ร้องทุกข์

conference (noun): a large official meeting, usually lasting for a few days, at which people with the same work or interests come together to discuss their views - การประชุมร่วม

conflicts : angry disagreements between people or groups - ความขัดแย้ง

consider : to regard as; to think of as - ถือว่า

consumer : someone who buys and uses goods and services - ผู้บริโภค

consumer sentiment : "A statistical measurement and economic indicator of the overall health of the economy as determined by consumer opinion. Consumer sentiment takes into account an individual's feelings toward his or her own current financial health, the health of the economy in the short term and the prospects for longer term economic growth." (Source: Investopedia) -

cost : an amount of money that people need to pay for something - ค่า

credit (noun): money loaned to people - เงินกู้

critical (adj): saying that someone or something is bad or wrong - จับผิด

crowd : many people gathered at one place - ฝูงชน, กลุ่มคน, มวลชน

decades : periods of ten years - เป็นสิบๆปี

disrupt : to interrupt something and prevent it from continuing by creating a problem - ได้รับการกระทบกระเทือน  ถูกทำให้หยุดชะงัก

disrupt : to prevent something from continuing as usual or as expected - ทำให้ยุ่งเหยิง, ทำให้ยุ่งยาก

disruption : a situation in which something cannot continue because of a problem - การขัดขวาง, การหยุดชะงัก

drive (verb): to cause; to force somebody to act in a particular way - บังคับ, ผลักดัน

e-commerce (noun): business that is conducted on the Internet - อีคอมเมิร์ซ (การพาณิชย์อิเล็กทรอนิกส์)

effort : an attempt to do something - ความพยายาม

embrace : to accept something such as a belief, idea, or way of life - ยอมรับ น้อมนำมา

entrepreneur : someone who starts their own business, especially when this involves risks - นักลงทุนทางการเงิน

entrepreneurship (noun): the activity of making money by starting or running businesses, especially when this involves taking financial risks; the ability to do this - ความเป็นผู้ประกอบการ

essential : necessary - ที่จำเป็น

establish (verb): to start something, e.g. a company, organisation, fund, project, etc. that will likely continue for a long time - สถาปนา, ก่อตั้ง, จัดตั้ง

event : a planned public or social occasion - งานสังคม

expand : to make or become larger (noun form: expansion) - ทำให้กว้าง, ทำให้ขยาย

expectations : the belief that something will happen - สิ่งที่คาด คิดว่าจะเกิดขึ้นในอนาคต

extol : praise; to express strong approval or admiration - ยกย่อง, ชื่นชม

finance : to provide money for something - จัดหาเงินทุนให้

foothold : a secure position from which you can improve your situation - ฐานที่มั่นคง

founder (noun): a person who establishes an institution, business, or organisation - ผู้ก่อตั้ง

get attention : to make people notice something - ทำให้สังเกตเห็น

holding company : a company that is formed to buy shares in other companies which it then controls - บริษัทผู้ถือหุ้นใหญ่หรือเป็นเจ้าของหุ้นใหญ่ในบริษัทอื่น บริษัทที่ถูกจัดตั้ง ขึ้นมาเพื่อซื้อหุ้นของบริษัทอื่น

host : a person who invites guests to a meal, a party, etc. or who has people staying at their house - เจ้าบ้าน, เจ้าภาพ, เจ้าของบ้าน

impact (noun): an effect or influence - ผลกระทบ

industry : the people and activities involved in producing a particular thing, or in providing a particular service; the production of goods from raw materials, especially in factories - อุตสาหกรรม

invest : to spend money on something in order to make it better or more successful - ลงทุน

lack of : when there is not enough of something - ขาด

leader : the person in charge of a group of people; who manages them and "leads" them in doing some activity - ผู้นำ

lending : giving money to someone who agrees to pay it back in the future - การให้ยืม

lifespan (noun): the length of life of a thing or person; how long a thing can be used - อายุขัย

looking to : planning to do in the future -

machine : a piece of equipment or device that does something and gets its energy from electricity or gas - เครื่องจักร, เครื่องกล

marvel : to show or feel surprise or admiration - ประหลาดใจมาก, ตกตะลึงกับ

member : a person, a country or an organization that has joined a particular group, club or team - สมาชิก

muscle : the power and influence to make others do what you want - อำนาจ, อิทธิพล

muscle in on its turf : when an outsider starts doing something controlled by someone else -

operator (noun): a person or company that runs a business - ผู้ดำเนินกิจการทางธุรกิจ, ผู้ประกอบธุรกิจ

opportunity (noun): a chance to do something, or a situation in which it is easy for you to do something - โอกาส

outperform : to do well in a particular job or activity compared to others of a similar type - ทำสำเร็จกว่า

partner (noun): two people, businesses, organizations, etc that work together on some project or business - ผู้ร่วมมือ, ผู้ร่วมกระทำ

partner (verb): to work together with someone; to join together with someone to do something - เป็นหุ้นส่วน

potentially : possible in the future - ที่อาจเกิดขึ้นได้

prepare (verb): put in order, get ready - เตรียม, เตรียมตัว, เตรียมพร้อม, จัดเตรียม, ตระเตรียม

production : a film/movie, a play or a broadcast that is prepared for the public; the act of preparing a film or a play, etc - ละครหรือภาพยนตร์ที่มีคนจำนวนมากร้องเพลง/เต้นรำ

promise : a sign that somebody/something will be successful - ลักษณะหรือท่าทีที่ดี

reception : the way in which someone or something is received or welcomed - การต้อนรับ

remind : to make someone think of something they have forgotten or might have forgotten - เตือนความจำ

replacement : someone or something that takes the place of another - ผู้การทำหน้าที่แทน, การทำหน้าที่แทน

retailer : a person or company that sells goods directly to the public for their own use - ผู้ขายปลีก

rival : a person, group, team or business that competes with another - คู่ต่อสู้, คู่ปรับ, คู่แข่ง

robust : strong and full of determination - แข็งแรง

role : the position or purpose that someone or something has in a situation, organisation, society or relationship - บทบาท

rural : connected with the countryside outside big towns and cities  - ในชนบท, บ้านนอก

selfie (noun): a photo you take of yourself or of yourself with someone else -

sentiment : a thought, opinion or idea based on a feeling about a situation, or a way of thinking about something - กระแส, แนวความคิด, ความคิดเห็น

session : a formal meeting - ประชุม

snapped (verb): took a photo - ถ่ายรูป

society (noun): people in general, living together in communities - สังคม

soften : to become more gentle or less harsh, or to make someone do this - เบาลง,อ่อนลง

stage (noun): a raised area, usually in a theatre, etc. where actors, dancers, speakers etc. perform - เวที

startup (noun): a company that is just beginning to operate - บริษัทใหม่

streaming : playing a video continuously from the start rather than needing to wait until the whole of the material has been downloaded -

surge : a sudden increase in something - การเพิ่มขึ้นอย่างรวดเร็ว

tends to : to be likely to behave in a particular way or have a particular characteristic - มักจะ

the likes of : to indicate that something bad is included in some group -

traditional (adj): of a custom, a way of life or a way of doing things that has not changed for a long time - เป็นประเพณี, ตามธรรมเนียม, ตามที่ปฏิบัติกันมา

untapped : not used yet; a resource that has not been used yet -

unusual (adj): different from what is usual or normal - ผิดปกติ

unusually : different from what is usual or normal - ผิดปกติ

visionary : original and showing the ability to think about or plan the future with great imagination and intelligence - เพ้อฝัน,จินตนาการ

walks of life : the different jobs or ways of life of people in society -

warn : to make someone aware of a possible problem or danger - เตือน

withstand : to be strong enough not to be hurt or damaged by extreme conditions, the use of force, etc. - ทนต่อ, ต้านทานต่อ


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