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2019年07月24日 08:59:58 | 作者:新华大夫 | 来源:新华社
MEXICO CITY — At his parents’ cramped house in Havana, Yondainer Gutiérrez builds apps and websites on a makeshift computer that runs on pirated software. He has no Internet access there, so he rents time on a friend’s connection to send his work to clients in France, Britain, Canada and the rest of Latin America.墨西哥城——在哈瓦那父母的狭小房子里,尤达内尔·古铁雷斯(Yondainer Gutiérrez)用一台安装着盗版软件的破旧电脑编写应用和创建网站。由于那里没有联网,他需要租用朋友的网络来把自己的工作成果发送给法国、英国、加拿大和拉丁美洲其他地方的客户。This is outsourcing, Cuban-style, a little-advertised circle of software developers, web designers, accountants and translators who — despite poor and expensive Internet access — sell their skills long-distance.这是一种鲜为人知的古巴式外包务。这些软件开发人员、网页设计师、会计师和翻译会把自己的技术卖给远在他乡的顾客——尽管网络连接又差又贵。And ever since the ed States in February authorized Americans to import goods and services from Cuban entrepreneurs for the first time in half a century, they have their eyes on America as well.今年2月,美国开了半个世纪以来的先河,开始允许国民进口古巴从业人员提供的商品和务。此后,古巴人也盯上了美国市场。“This opens up the world,” Mr. Gutiérrez, 27, said of the new rules, which mean that an American can hire Cubans, or buy a limited range of goods from them, so long as they work in the private sector, not for the state.“这打开了通往世界的大门,”27岁的古铁雷斯提到新规定时说。这意味着,美国人可以聘用古巴人,或者购买他们提供的有限范围内的商品,只要他们身处私营领域,而不是为国家工作。After President Obama announced a new era of engagement with Cuba in December, Havana has been awash with American executives scouting business opportunities and hoping to sell commercial flights, yogurt, pharmaceuticals and other products.去年12月,奥巴马总统宣布开启与古巴交往的新时代,在那之后,美国商界高管纷纷涌至哈瓦那,不仅是为了探查商机,也希望把商业机票、酸奶、药品和其他产品销售给古巴人。Of course, there is still an American embargo against Cuba. Trade is complicated by the fact that American exporters are banned from offering credit to their Cuban customers, and many more restrictions will have to be lifted before Americans can freely invest on the island.当然,美国仍然在对古巴实施禁运。美国禁止出口商提供信贷给古巴客户,这让贸易往来变得复杂。而在美国人可以自由投资古巴之前,还有很多其他限制条款需要解除。But under Mr. Obama’s new policy, Cuba’s tiny outsourcing sector is now open for American business, several experts said.但一些专家说,在奥巴马的新政策下,古巴微小的外包行业现在可以接纳美国客户了。“This has an immediate impact helping entrepreneurs in Cuba,” said Tomas Bilbao, the executive director of the Cuba Study Group in Washington, referring to the new regulations.“这会马上产生影响,帮助古巴的创业者,”华盛顿古巴研究团体(Cuba Study Group)的执行主任托马斯·毕尔巴(Tomas Bilbao)在谈到新规定时说。Cuba is certainly no Bangalore and is unlikely to ever rival the great outsourcing hubs. But more and more Cubans are marketing their services online, using skills obtained in the country’s socialist education system and workarounds learned from years of hardship.古巴当然不是班加罗尔,可能永远都无法与那些一流的外包中心抗衡。但是越来越多的古巴人开始利用在该国社会主义教育体系获得的技能,以及在艰难岁月中学到的变通方法,在网上推销自己的务。Websites like Freelance.com, Behance, twago.es and Traductores Autónomos carry postings from Cubans across a dozen cities, from Pinar del Río in the west to Santiago de Cuba in the east.在Freelance.com、Behance、twago.es和Traductores Autónomos这样的网站上,有不少古巴人发的帖子,他们来自西起比那尔德里奥,东至古巴圣地亚哥的十几个城市。There are no official figures, but nearly a dozen Cubans with postings on online job sites, who were contacted by telephone or by email, said that this work was their main source of income and that their peers were doing the same. Some said they aly had American clients who hired them through middlemen.目前没有官方数据可以参考,但是我们通过电话或电邮联系了在招聘网站发帖的十几个古巴人,他们说这种工作是其主要收入来源,他们的同伴也是一样。有人说,已经有一些美国客户通过中间商雇用了他们。John McIntire, a former investment banker and chairman of Cuba Emprende Foundation, a nonprofit that trains Cuban entrepreneurs, said the computer programming sector had the greatest potential to flourish under the new American regulations.约翰·麦金太尔(John McIntire)曾在投资工作,目前是为古巴创业者提供培训的非营利机构古巴承诺基金会((Cuba Emprende Foundation)的主席,他说,在美国新的规定下,最有可能繁荣发展的领域是计算机编程。“It’s in huge demand,” said Mr. McIntire, speaking at a conference in Washington hosted by the Brookings Institution last week. “And guess what? Cubans are world class at it.”“这个领域有巨大的需求,”麦金太尔上周在华盛顿举行的布鲁金斯学会(Brookings Institution)会议上说。“而且你们知道吗,古巴人在这方面有世界一流的的水平。”Many who work at the University of Information Sciences, or UCI, near Havana, or the José Antonio Echeverría Higher Polytechnic Institute, or Cujae (pronounced Coo-hai), moonlight as freelance programmers, using the institutes’ broadband to transfer large files, software developers said.在哈瓦那附近的信息科学大学(University of Information Sciences,简称UCI),或何塞·安东尼奥·埃切维里亚高等技术学院(José Antonio Echeverría Higher Polytechnic Institute,简称Cujae,发音Coo-hai),有很多人兼职当自由程序员,利用学校的宽带传输大文件,软件开发者表示。Others buy dial-up connections on the black market — for about 0 per month — or rent time on wireless connections at big hotels. The smoky lobby of the Habana Libre hotel in downtown Havana serves as an office for Cubans who write software, build apps, unblock or fix mobile telephones, or rent houses. They huddle daily on deep armchairs and pay per hour for Wi-Fi.其他人在黑市上购买拨号连接——大约每月200美元——或按时段租用大酒店的无线连接。在哈瓦那市中心,哈瓦那自由饭店(Habana Libre Hotel)烟雾缭绕的大厅被一些古巴人当作办公室,他们写软件、开发应用、解锁或修复手机,或出租房屋,每天都坐在深深的扶手椅里,为Wi-Fi付每小时8美元的费用。Dairon Medina, 28, a Cuban computer programmer who worked as a freelancer for several years before moving to Ecuador four years ago, hires colleagues in Cuba to do jobs for clients in Argentina, Canada, Germany and the ed States.28岁的达尔隆·麦地那(Dairon Medina)是一名古巴电脑程序员,四年前搬到了厄瓜多尔,在那之前,他当过几年的自由职业者。现在他聘请古巴的同事为阿根廷、加拿大、德国和美国的客户工作。He believes Cuba’s proximity — 90 miles across the Straits of Florida — is a plus.他认为,古巴与美国地理位置上的接近——佛罗里达海峡的90英里——是一个加分项。“There’s a cultural affinity,” he said by Skype. “And then there’s the question of time zones.”“这有一种文化亲和力,”他通过Skype表示。“再有就是时区问题。”If American clients began hiring Cubans on a regular basis, he said, “it could be an immense market” for Cuba.如果美国客户开始常规性地雇用古巴人,他说,这对古巴“可能是一个巨大的市场”。Oquel Llanes, a fluent Russian speaker who works with a Spanish tourist company in Havana and writes translations on the side, said there was constant demand.欧奎尔·兰斯(Oquel Llanes)能说一口流利俄语,在哈瓦那的一家西班牙旅游公司工作,同时做着笔译兼职工作,他说这方面的需求很稳定。“Translators are like barbers,” he said by telephone. “No matter what, people will always need them.”“译员就是像理发师,”他在电话中说。“不管怎样,人们总是会需要他们的。”Especially when they come cheap. Mr. Llanes, 52, who studied mathematics and computer science in Moscow in the 1980s, said he charged between and per page to translate literary criticism and history books. That is hardly a fortune when a page can take an entire day, he said, but much more than the average per month paid to state workers.特别是当他们开价便宜的时候。兰斯现年52岁,20世纪80年代曾在在莫斯科学习数学和计算机科学,他称自己翻译文学批评和历史书籍的收费是每页5美元到10美元。他说,翻译一页有时候会花费一整天的时间,做这个发不了财,但比公务员每月平均20美元的工资强多了。The Cuban government has long had a policy of exporting services, especially those of doctors, nurses and sports trainers, in order to increase state income. Some 65,000 Cubans are currently working for the state overseas, earning it about billion per year.古巴政府有一个出口务的长期政策,特别是医生、护士和运动训练师的务,以增加国家收入。目前大约6.5万古巴人在海外为国家工作,每年约为古巴赚取80亿美元。Datys, a Cuban state-owned software company with 700 employees, sells services to Latin America, according to its website, and Desoft, a state-owned high-tech company, has several clients in Cuba.古巴国营软件公司Datys网站上的资料显示,它有700名员工,在拉丁美洲销售务。国有高新技术企业Desoft在古巴有好几个客户。Were the government to improve Internet connectivity and telecommunications, Cuba could develop a competitive outsourcing sector, either state-run or independent, experts said.如果政府改进了互联网连接和通讯,古巴的务外包部门可以变得很有竞争力,无论是国营还是独立公司,专家说。“If you wanted to run a Spanish-speaking call center, why do it in Mumbai?” Mr. Bilbao said. “Maybe Cuba could eventually do that.”“如果你想经营一个西班牙语呼叫中心,为什么要去孟买呢?”毕尔巴说。“也许古巴最终可能做到这一点。”That is still a way off, though, experts said. Under current sanctions, Americans are permitted to buy services only from the private sector; Cuba may not wish to see that sector grow.不过这还有一段路要走,专家表示。现行的制裁条款只允许美国人从私营部门购买务;而古巴可能不希望看到私营部门增长。Improved Internet connectivity is also a big “if.” A plan apparently leaked by the Cuban communications ministry and published this week in a blog, La Chiringa, indicates that the government aims to connect 50 percent of Cubans to broadband by 2020, but the anticipated speed would be too slow to stream or play games online.改善互联网连接也是一个很大的假设。本周,客La Chiringa贴出了一份似乎是古巴通信部泄露的计划,显示政府的目标是在2020年前,让50%古巴人用上宽带,但计划中的数据传输速度太慢,不足以观看流视频或玩在线游戏。As the ed States eases restrictions, it will test the Cuban government’s willingness to open up, Mr. Kavulich said.美国放宽了限制条款,这将考验古巴政府开放的意愿,美古贸易和经济委员会(U.S.-Cuba Trade and Economic Council)的约翰·卡武里奇(John Kavulich)说。“At some point the impediments will leave the shores of the ed States and wash up on the Malecon,” he said, referring to Havana’s seafront promenade.“在某个时候,问题将漂离美国海岸,被冲到马勒孔,”他说。马勒孔是哈瓦那的海滨大道。For now, experts said, restrictions on both sides are limiting engagement with Cuba’s private sector.专家表示,双方各自的限制条件,正在制约美国与古巴私营部门的来往。Mr. Gutiérrez, whose products include an app that helps drivers find a parking space and AlaMesa, an online Cuban restaurant guide, said that, for the moment, he would have to find a workaround to get payment from American clients. His projects range from around 0 for a basic website to several times that amount for one project that required hiring three people.在古铁雷斯的产品中,有一个应用可以帮助司机找到停车位,还有一个是古巴餐馆在线指南AlaMesa。他说,目前他必须找到一个变通办法,以便从美国客户那里收款。他的务范围从建立一个基本网站,收费约500美元,到开展需要雇用三个人的项目,收费几千美元。Banking and Internet problems aside, he said, he is optimistic that the thaw between Cuba and the ed States will help freelancers like himself.他说,除了和互联网问题之外,他乐观地认为,古巴与美国之间的关系解冻将有利于像他这样的自由职业者。“There’s a lot to build here in the way of services; there’s a whole market to exploit,” he said. “All I need is a normal Internet connection and a way of getting paid.”“关于务,还有很多东西需要兴建;这里有整整一个市场需要开拓,”他说。“我需要的无非是一个正常的互联网连接,以及一个收款方式。” /201506/380643Hybrid Rice杂交水稻Since the foundation of the People#39;s Republic of China, China has made one after another outstanding achievements in agriculture technology, one of which is the successful development of indica hybrid rice. With the application of this technology since 1976, China#39;s total rice cultivation lands have grown such rice, which added rice output by some 240 billion kilograms up till 1994.What’s more, this technology was exported to other countries.新中国成立以来,中国在农业科技上的一项举世瞩目的成就是籼型杂交水稻的育成。这项技术自1976年在全国大面积推广以后,仅至1994年,就已使中国的稻谷累计增产达2400亿公斤。此外,该技术还被出口到美国等国家和地区。The research of indica hybrid began in 1964, when a teacher from Hunan Province, Yuan Longping first put forward the idea of utilizing the heterosis in rice and initiated the research on hybrid rice in China. At the beginning, he discovered male-sterile rice. Then he brought forward the third hybriding paddy and carried out experiments on farmland. Yuan Longping made breakthrough in 1973. He was the first person to develop indica hybrid rice. The new technology was tested in many areas of South China in 1974 and 1975, and then extended to other areas. China became the first country that is capable of producing hybrid rice. Yuan Long-ping is the first scientist who successfully altered the self-pollinating characteristic of rice and realized large-scale farming of hybrid rice. This earned him the title ;Farther of Hybrid Rice;. The achievements of Yuan Longping greatly solved the food shortage, and provided as a solution the worldwide starvation. It is regarded as the fifth invention after China#39;s Four Major Inventions, and is acclaimed as the Second Green Revolution.杂交水稻的研究始于1964年。当时任职于湖南省安江农校的袁隆平最先发现了水稻天然雄性不育株,便带领助手们开展了有关研究。他首先发现了雄性不育株,以后又率先提出了通过培育水稻三系进行杂交的设想,并进行了田间实验。1973年终于获得突破性进展,在世界上第一个育成强优势灿型杂交水稻,1974至1975年在中国南方多处试种效果良好,1976年后开始大面积推广。从此,中国成为世界上第一个实现利用水稻杂交优势的国家。袁隆平也被誉为“杂交水稻之父”。他的成果不仅在很大程度上解决了中国人的吃饭问题,而且也被认为是解决世界性饥饿问题的法宝。国际上甚至把杂交稻当作中国继四大发明之后的第五大发明,誉为“第二次绿色革命”。 /201602/419397Artwork for a spring-operated grasping fork invented by Roswell B. Turner in 1882. The fork is designed to grasp difficult to retrieve food items. Take that lone pea!1882年,由Roswell B. Turner 发明的一个弹簧夹叉子。这个叉子用来抓取一些难以抓取的食物。抓起那颗豌豆!Edmond Dennis patent filed in 1913 that allows two people to climb at opposite ends of a ladder suspended in mid-air. The shoe attachment grips to each rung of the ladder using U-shaped hooks1913年Edmond Dennis 的专利档案,可以让两个人在悬在半空中的梯子的对立两端攀爬。这双鞋子通过使用U型钩子抓附在梯子的横木上。Charles McIntosh#39;s 1883 patent to allow a person to escape a burning building. The device consists of eye goggles, nose pinchers, head straps and a mouth piece (which I would presume isn#39;t a harmonica or kazoo).Charles McIntosh 1883年的一项专利,可以让人逃离火灾建筑。这套装置由一副护目镜,鼻夹,头带和一个封口部件(凭个人推断这肯定不是个口琴或者卡祖笛)。 /201505/376404

SAN FRANCISCO — On April 19, 1965, just over 50 years ago, Gordon Moore, then the head of research for Fairchild Semiconductor and later one of the co-founders of Intel, was asked by Electronics Magazine to submit an article predicting what was going to happen to integrated circuits, the heart of computing, in the next 10 years. Studying the trend he’d seen in the previous few years, Moore predicted that every year we’d double the number of transistors that could fit on a single chip of silicon so you’d get twice as much computing power for only slightly more money. When that came true, in 1975, he modified his prediction to a doubling roughly every two years. “Moore’s Law” has essentially held up ever since — and, despite the skeptics, keeps chugging along, making it probably the most remarkable example ever of sustained exponential growth of a technology.旧金山——就在50年前的1965年4月19日,《电子杂志》(Electronics Magazine)请当时担任仙童半导体公司(Fairchild Semiconductor)研发负责人、后来成为英特尔(Intel)联合创始人的戈登·尔(Gordon Moore)写一篇文章,预测在接下来的10年里,作为计算核心的集成电路将会经历什么样的发展。在对之前几年看到的趋势进行了研究后,尔预言,单个硅片上安放的晶体管数每年都会增加一倍,因此只需稍微多花点钱,就能获得翻倍的计算能力。当这一点在1975年成为现实后,尔将自己的预测改为大致每两年增加一倍。此后,“尔定律”(Moore’s Law)基本上一直得到应验,而且尽管遭到了一些质疑,它仍在不断推进。该定律因而可能是有史以来反映一项技术持续呈指数增长最著名的例子。For the 50th anniversary of Moore’s Law, I interviewed Moore, now 86, at the Exploratorium in San Francisco, at a celebration in his honor co-hosted by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and Intel. I asked him what he’d learned most from Moore’s Law having lasted this long.在尔定律诞生50周年之际,我在旧金山探索物馆(Exploratorium)采访了现已86岁高龄的尔。那是一场为尔举办的庆祝活动,由戈登与贝蒂·尔基金会(Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation)同英特尔联合举办。我问他,尔定律的有效性持续了这么长时间,他最大的收获是什么。“I guess one thing I’ve learned is once you’ve made a successful prediction, avoid making another one,” Moore said. “I’ve avoided opportunities to predict the next 10 or 50 years.”“我想,我学到的一条是,一旦预测成功了,就要避免再做预测,”尔说。“我回避了预测接下来10年或50年会是什么情况的各种机会。”But was he surprised by how long it has been proved basically correct?但在这么长时间里,尔定律都被明基本正确,他觉得意外吗?“Oh, I’m amazed,” he said. “The original prediction was to look at 10 years, which I thought was a stretch. This was going from about 60 elements on an integrated circuit to 60,000 — a thousandfold extrapolation over 10 years. I thought that was pretty wild. The fact that something similar is going on for 50 years is truly amazing. You know, there were all kinds of barriers we could always see that [were] going to prevent taking the next step, and somehow or other, as we got closer, the engineers had figured out ways around these. But someday it has to stop. No exponential like this goes on forever.”“啊呀,我挺吃惊的,”他说。“最初是预测未来10年的情况,这我都以为是有所发挥了。也就是说,一个集成电路上的晶体管会从大约60个增加到6万个——在10年时间里提升到之前的1000倍。我以为这已经很疯狂了。类似的情形持续了50年,确实不可思议。你知道,我们总能发现,会有各种障碍阻止我们进入下一阶段,可莫名其妙地,当我们越来越接近障碍时,工程师又找到了避开它们的办法。但总有一天得停下来。像这样的指数增长不会永远持续下去。”But what an exponential it’s been. In introducing the evening, Intel’s C.E.O., Brian Krzanich summarized where Moore’s Law has taken us. If you took Intel’s first generation microchip, the 1971 4004, and the latest chip Intel has on the market today, the fifth-generation Core i5 processor, he said, you can see the power of Moore’s Law at work: Intel’s latest chip offers 3,500 times more performance, is 90,000 times more energy efficient and about 60,000 times lower cost.然而,这是一种多么惊人的指数增长啊。在主持当晚的活动时,英特尔首席执行官科再奇(Brian Krzanich)对尔定律对我们的影响行了总结。他说,看看英特尔的1971年发布第一代微芯片4004和目前市场上的最新一代英特尔芯片,也就是第五代酷睿i5(Core i5)处理器,就能看到尔定律的力量:最新一代芯片的性能提高了3500倍,能耗是原来的九万分之一,成本降至先前的六万分之一。To put that another way, Krzanich said Intel engineers did a rough calculation of what would happen had a 1971 Volkswagen Beetle improved at the same rate as microchips did under Moore’s Law: “Here are the numbers: [Today] you would be able to go with that car 300,000 miles per hour. You would get two million miles per gallon of gas, and all that for the mere cost of 4 cents! Now, you’d still be stuck on the [Highway] 101 getting here tonight, but, boy, in every opening you’d be going 300,000 miles an hour!”换个角度来看呢?科再奇表示,英特尔的工程师进行了大致的计算,如果按照尔定律下微芯片的发展速度,1971年推出的一款大众甲壳虫(Volkswagen Beetle)汽车的性能会有怎样的改进:“数据如下:(现在)这款车能开到每小时30万英里(约合48万公里)。1加仑汽油(约合4升)可以跑200万英里,而且只要花4分钱!时下,虽然今晚你可能还是会在赶来这里的途中堵在101公路上,但天哪,只要能动,你们可是会开到30万英里的时速呢!”What is most striking in Moore’s 1965 article is how many predictions he got right about what these steadily improving microchips would enable. The article, entitled “Cramming More Components Onto Integrated Circuits,” argued that: “Integrated circuits will lead to such wonders as home computers — or at least terminals connected to a central computer — automatic controls for automobiles, and personal portable communications equipment. The electronic wristwatch needs only a display to be feasible today. ... In telephone communications, integrated circuits in digital filters will separate channels on multiplex equipment. [They] will also switch telephone circuits and perform data processing.”尔1965年的那篇文章中最令人吃惊的是,他对这些稳步改善的微芯片所能带来的变化所做的许多预测都是准确的。题为《让集成电路填满更多元件》(Cramming More Components Onto Integrated Circuits)的这篇文章称:“集成电路将催生奇迹,比如家用电脑——或者至少是与中央计算机相连的终端——汽车自动控制和个人便携式通信设备。如今电子手表只需要一个显示屏就可以了……电话通信领域,数字滤波器中的集成电路将在多路传输设备上有单独的通道。[它们]还将转换电话线路,进行数据处理。”Moore pretty much anticipated the personal computer, the cellphone, self-driving cars, the iPad, Big Data and the Apple Watch. How did he do that? (The only thing he missed, I jokingly told him, was “microwave popcorn.”)基本上,尔这是预言了个人电脑、手机、自动驾驶汽车、iPad、大数据和Apple Watch的出现。他是怎么做到的?(我跟尔开玩笑,他唯一漏掉的就是“微波炉爆米花”了。)“Well,” said Moore, “I had been looking at integrated circuits — [they] were really new at that time, only a few years old — and they were very expensive. There was a lot of argument as to why they would never be cheap, and I was beginning to see, from my position as head of a laboratory, that the technology was going to go in the direction where we would get more and more stuff on a chip and it would make electronics less expensive. ... I had no idea it was going to turn out to be a relatively precise prediction, but I knew the general trend was in that direction and had to give some kind of a reason why it was important to lower the cost of electronics.”“这个嘛,”尔回答,“我一直在研究集成电路——[它们]当时还是新生事物,刚出现没几年——而且非常昂贵。有很多观点认为,它们永远都不会便宜下来。从一名实验室负责人的角度,我开始发现,这种技术未来的方向是,一枚芯片上会容纳越来越多的东西,而这会让电子产品变得更便宜……我不知道这会是一个比较准确的预测,但我知道大体趋势是这样,而它一定会提供降低电子产品成本的某种理由。”Can it continue? Every year someone predicts the demise of Moore’s Law, and they’re wrong. With enough good engineers working on it, he hoped, “we won’t hit a dead end. ... It’s [a] unique technology. I can’t see anything really comparable that has gone on for this long a period of time with exponential growth.”这样的趋势还会继续吗?每年都有人预测尔定律将被打破,但他们都错了。尔希望,凭借着足够多的优秀工程师的努力,“我们不会走投无路……这是[一项]独特的技术。我没有发现任何能与之类比的技术可以持续这么长时间的指数增长。”But let’s remember that it was enabled by a group of remarkable scientists and engineers, in an America that did not just brag about being exceptional, but invested in the infrastructure and basic scientific research, and set the audacious goals, to make it so. If we want to create more Moore’s Law-like technologies, we need to invest in the building blocks that produced that America.不过,别忘了它是靠一批杰出的科学家和工程师来实现的,而那时的美国也不会只知道炫耀自己的卓越,而是会投资于基础设施和基础科学研究,设置大胆的目标,使之成为现实。如果我们想要创造更多符合尔定律的技术,我们就需要投资于成就了当时的美国的基本要素。Alas today our government is not investing in basic research the way it did when the likes of Moore and Robert Noyce, the co-inventor of the integrated circuit and the other co-founder of Intel, were coming of age.可惜啊,今天的政府不像尔和罗伯特·诺伊斯(Robert Noyce)成长的时代那样投资基础科学研究了。诺伊斯是集成电路的联合发明人,与尔一起创立了英特尔。“I’m disappointed that the federal government seems to be decreasing its support of basic research,” said Moore. “That’s really where these ideas get started. They take a long time to germinate, but eventually they lead to some marvelous advances. Certainly, our whole industry came out of some of the early understanding of the quantum mechanics of some of the materials. I look at what’s happening in the biological area, which is the result of looking more detailed at the way life works, looking at the structure of the genes and one thing and another. These are all practical applications that are coming out of some very fundamental research, and our position in the world of fundamental science has deteriorated pretty badly. There are several other countries that are spending a significantly higher percentage of their G.N.P. than we are on basic science or on science, and ours is becoming less and less basic.”“让我感到失望的是,联邦政府似乎在减少对基础科研的持,”尔说。“基础科研真的是这些想法诞生的地方。它们需要很长时间来育,但最终会促成惊人的进步。要知道,我们整个行业都来自于对一些材料的量子力学的早期认识。我观察了一下生物领域目前的发展,也是来自对生命的原理和基因的结构等一系列问题的细致研究。这些都是一些非常基础的研究带来的实际应用,而我们在基础科学领域的地位在严重下滑。其他一些国家在基础科学或大的科学领域上的投入与国民生产总值的比值,要远远高于我们,而我们的研究越来越脱离基础科学。”How did he first get interested in science, I asked?我问他,一开始是怎么对科学产生兴趣的?“My neighbor got a chemistry set and we could make explosives,” he said. “In those days, chemistry sets had some really neat things in them, and I decided about then I wanted to be a chemist not knowing quite what they did, and I continued my work in a home laboratory for some period of time. Got to the point where I was turning out nitroglycerin in small production quantities and turning it to dynamite. ... A couple ounces of dynamite makes a marvelous firecracker. That really got my early interest in it. You couldn’t duplicate that today, but there are other opportunities. You know, I look at what some of my grandkids are doing, for example, those robotics and the like. These are spectacular. They’re really making a lot of progress.”“我的邻居有一套简易化学实验玩具,我们可以做炸药,”他说。“那个时候的实验玩具里有很棒的东西,我大概就是当时决定要当一名化学家,虽然并不知道化学家究竟是做什么的。我后来在家庭实验室里继续倒腾,做了一段时间。然后我就可以少量地生产硝化甘油了,把它们变成炸药……几盎司的炸药就能做成一个很棒的鞭炮。这真的让我早早对它产生了兴趣。你不可能在今天复制这一切,但现在有其他的机会。比如,我看到孙辈在鼓捣机器人之类的东西。这些都很棒。他们的确取得了不少进步。”Looking back on Moore’s Law and the power of computing that it has driven, I asked Moore what he thought was its most important contribution over the past 50 years.我问尔,回过头来看尔定律以及受它驱动的计算能力,他本人认为它在过去50年里的最大贡献是什么?“Wow!” he said. “You know, just the proliferation of computing power. We’ve just seen the beginning of what computers are going to do for us.”“哇!”他说。“这个,就是计算能力的爆炸性增长。关于计算机会为我们做什么,我们目前看到的不过是个开头。”How so?何以见得?“Oh, I think incrementally we see them taking over opportunities that we tried to do without them before and were not successful,” he added. “It’s kind of the evolution into the machine intelligence, if you wish, and this is not happening in one step. To me, it’s happening in a whole bunch of increments. I never thought I’d see autonomous automobiles driving on the freeways. It wasn’t many years ago [they] put out a request to see who could build a car that could go across the Mojave Desert to Las Vegas from a place in Southern California, and several engineering teams across the country set out to do this. Nobody got more than about 300 yards before there was a problem. Two years later, they made the full 25-mile trip across this desert track, and which I thought was a huge achievement, and from that it was just a blink before they were driving on the freeways. I think we’re going to see incremental advances like that in a variety of other areas.”“恩,我想我们会逐渐看到,以前没有计算机时我们试图去抓住但却没能成功的一些机会,现在正被计算机拿去实现,”他补充道。“有点像是逐渐演化出机器智能,如果你希望如此的话;而这个过程并非一蹴而就。在我看来,它是一大堆进步的累积。我以前从没想过会在高速公路上见到无人驾驶汽车。就在没多少年前,[他们]发出征集令,看谁能造出一辆无人驾驶汽车,让它从加州南部出发,穿过莫哈维沙漠,抵达。来自全国各地的几个工程师团队开始着手做这件事。起初,没有哪个团队的车子能开出300码不出问题。两年后,车子就可以在沙漠里整整行驶25英里。我当时认为那是巨大的进步。再一眨眼,它们已经在高速公路上穿行了。我认为,我们会在其他各种领域看到这类日积月累的进步。”Did he worry, I asked Moore, whose own microprocessors seemed as sharp as ever, that machines would really start to replace both white-collar and blue-collar labor at a scale that could mean the end of work for a lot of people?尔的思维看起来与昔日一样敏捷。我问他,是否担心,机器真的开始大规模取代蓝领和白领劳动者,致使一大批人失去工作?“Don’t blame me!” he exclaimed! “I think it’s likely we’re going to continue to see that. You know, for several years, I have said we’re a two-class society separated by education. I think we’re seeing the proof of some of that now.”“别怪我!”他大声说道。“我想,我们可能会持续看到这种现象。你知道,我们的社会以教育程度为界分成两个阶层,这话我已经说了好几年。我想,我们现在看到了这方面的一些据。”When was the moment he came home and said to his wife, Betty, “Honey, they’ve named a law after me?”他第一次回到家告诉妻子贝蒂,“亲爱的,他们用我的名字命名了一条定律”是在什么时候?Answered Moore: “For the first 20 years, I couldn’t utter the terms Moore’s Law. It was embarrassing. It wasn’t a law. Finally, I got accustomed to it where now I could say it with a straight face.”尔答道:“头20年,我一直无法把‘尔定律’这几个字说出口。太尴尬了。它不是什么定律。最后我终于习以为常了,现在我可以面不改色心不跳地提到它。”Given that, is there something that he wishes he had predicted — like Moore’s Law — but did not? I asked.我问,既然如此,有没有什么是他希望自己能预测到——就像尔定律那样——但实际上并未预测到的?“The importance of the Internet surprised me,” said Moore. “It looked like it was going to be just another minor communications network that solved certain problems. I didn’t realize it was going to open up a whole universe of new opportunities, and it certainly has. I wish I had predicted that.”“互联网的重要性让我感到惊讶,”尔说。“当初看来,它不过是会成为一种用于解决特定问题的不太重要的通信网络。我没意识到它会带来无数新机会,但它显然做到了。我真希望自己当年能预测到这种情况。” /201505/375318

Heaven in the Eyes of Ancient Chinese People古人观天It is said in the ancient times, Gong Gong (a half man and half snake monster) and Zhuan Xu (a god) had a hard fight for control of the heaven, with Zhuan Xu emerging as the victor.Exasperated by failure, Gong Gong went to the northwest corner of the earth and knocked down the Buzhou Mountain,which was one of the eight pillars supporting the sky. As a result, the northwest sky collapsed and the southeast earth sank. Subsequently, the sun, moon, and stars in the sky all slid to the northwest, while the water and silt on the earth flowed to the southeast.相传在远古时候,共工和颛顼两人为了争夺天下发生了争战。共工失败后,一气之下跑到了大地的西北角,撞倒了那里的不周山。不周山原是八根擎天柱之一,撞倒之后,西北方的天就塌了,东南方的地也陷了下去。于是,天上的日月星辰都滑向西北方,地上的流水泥沙都流向了东南方。Whenever encountered with natural phenorpena they could not explain, the ancient Chinese people tended to create various legends with their imagination to show their conjectures.The abovementioned is a legend vMdly showing their spec-ulation on the cosmic structure.当古人对自然现象的成因不能理解时,他们往往会借助想象,创造出各种各样的神话传说,以表达他们对自然界发生的各种现象的揣测。这则神话生动地反映了古人对于天地结构的推测。The period between the 3rd and 6th centuries witnessed enormous develop-ment in China#39;s astronomy, with the rise of many theories on the cosmic structure.The most important of these were the theory of canopy-heavens, the theonrt of sphere heavens, and the theory of expounding appearance in the night sky.公元3到6世纪是中国天文学快速发展的时代。在这段时期内,涌现了许多讨论天地结构的学说,其中最重要的是盖天说、浑天说和宣夜说。The Theory of Canopy-Heavens盖天说The oldest theory on cosmic structure, the early school of canopy-heavens claimed that the heaven, shaped like a big pan, covered the earth, shaped like a chessboard.盖天说是中国最古老的讨论天地结构的体系。早期的盖天说认为:天就像一个扣着的大锅覆盖着棋盘一样的大地。According to the theory, the sun moves all year round along seven paths,called Qi Heng, and the innermost one was called Nei Heng (Inner Path) , along which the sun moved on the Summer Solstice ( around June 22~ 23).he outer-most one was called Wai Heng ( Outer Path) ,and the sun moved along on the Winter Solstice (around December 22~ 23).During other solar terms, the sun moved along the middle five paths.Advocators of this school also claimed the sun-light could only reach a maximum distance of 167,000 11 (83,500 km) , and noth-ing could be seen beyond. Therefore, they said, the sun moved within the said distance during the day, and beyond during the night.盖天说认为,太阳在天盖上的周日运动一年中有七条道路,称为“七衡”。最内一道叫“内衡”,夏至日太阳就沿内衡走一圈;最外一圈叫“外衡”,是冬至日太阳的路径;其他节气里,太阳沿中间的五道运行。他们还主张,太阳只能照射16.7万里(83500千米),超过这个距离就什么也看不见了。因此白天就是太阳走到距离我们16.7万里以内的范围,而晚上则在该范围之外。The Theory of Sphere-Heavens浑天说In his book Note to the Arm,illary Sphere , Zhang Heng(78~ 139) , a famous astronomer in the Eastern Han Dynasty,wrote that the heaven was like an egg,with the earth as the yolk inside, and that the heaven wrapped up the earth just as the eggshell did the yolk. This represents a classic elaboration on the theory of sphere-heavens.东汉著名天文学家张衡(78—139)在《浑天仪注》一文中写道:“浑天如鸡子,天体圆如弹丸。地如鸡子中黄,孤居于内,天大地小……天之包地如壳之裹黄”。天就像一个鸡蛋,大地像其中的蛋黄,天包着地如同蛋壳包着蛋黄一样。这是对浑天说的经典论述之一。According to the theory, the heaven was higher in the north and lower in thesouth, revoMng around a north-south axis. The east-west axis, vertical to the north-south one, was the heavenly equator. The plane to which the equator is tilt-ed 24。was the ecliptic, and the sun moved along the plane.浑天说还认为.天球北高南低,通过南北天极的轴旋转。垂直于南北极轴把天球平分成南北两半的大圆就是天赤道。与赤道斜交成大约240角的大圆是黄道,太阳在黄道上运行。The theory of sphere-heavens played an important part in the history of Chi-nese astronomy, exerting significant influence on the design and manufacture of anaent astronomic instruments, as well as on the explanation of relevant astro-nomic theories.浑天说在中国天文学史上占有重要的地位,对中国古代天文仪器的设计与制造产生了重大的影响,对天文学的有关理论问题的解释也产生了重大影响。The Theory of Expounding Appearance in the Night Sky宣夜说As a legend goes, during the Warring States Period, a man from the Qi State,having known that the heaven was constituted of gas, in which the moon and stars floated, feared the heaven might collapse one day. Thinking that he would have nowhere to go by then, the man became deeply worried, and lost his appetite.One of his friends brought him to a wise man that helped him to put the things in the right perspective by saying, ;The sun, the moon, and the stars are also com-posed of gas. Even if they drop from the heaven, it would mean a collision be-tween gas, and no harm will be caused.;传说战国时期,杞国有一个人听说天是由气体形成的,日月星辰就漂浮其中之后,他非常担心天体会掉下来,让他无处躲藏,于是整日忧心忡忡,茶饭不思。朋友1把他拉到一位智者那里,智者开导他说:“日月星辰也是气体形成的,即使它们掉下来,也是气体落入气体中,不会造成任何损伤。”In the previously two cosmic theories, the sun, the moon, and the stars all had a shell, meaning there was no reason for them to fall from the heaven.Later,however, the ancient people found the celestial bodies moved freely from one place to another at a fast or slow speed, and sometimes, they might not move atall, hence giving rise to the new theory of expounding appearance in the night sky.盖天说和浑天说中的日月星辰都有一个可供附着的天壳,都不用担心会掉下来。但是后来人们观测到日月星辰的运动各自不同,有的快、有的慢,有的甚至在一段时间中停滞不前。所以就又产生了一种新的理论“宣夜说”。The advocators claimed the heaven was composed of boundless gas with no shape.They said the reason that people felt themselves so small was that the heaven was too far away from earth. The celestial bodies floated in the gas with no support, following their own movement rules. The theory broke the boundary ofheaven, exhibiting a boundless universe.宣夜说主张:天是无边无涯的气体,没有任何形质,我们之所以看天有一种苍苍然的感觉,是因为它离我们太深远了。日月星辰漂浮在空气中,不需要任何依托,因此它们各自遵循自己的运动规律。宣夜说打破了天的边界,为我们展示了一个无边无际的宇宙空间。 /201511/409354

For years, Sim Chi Yin had felt unique, if out of place, within her family. Since starting out at Singapore’s The Straits Times in 2001, and later switching careers to become a full-time photographer, she never seemed to gain their approval.多年来,沈绮颖(Sim Chi Yin)一直觉得自己是家中的异数,甚至有些不合时宜。自从2001年,她开始在新加坡的《海峡时报》做记者开始,直至后来改行成了全职摄影师,她似乎从未得到家人的认可。“The fact that I go into gold mines or get myself into dangerous situations as a journalist, they think of that as, ‘Why do you want to do that to yourself? That’s just asking for trouble,’” she said. “I have a bit of a streak of activism and kind of a sense of social justice.”“我做记者的时候,冒着危险到金矿去采访,他们觉得,‘你为什么要这样对待自己,这是自讨苦吃,’”她说。“我只是有一些行动精神和一点社会正义感。”To most in her profession this might sound noble. But it takes on the opposite meaning in an apolitical family such as her own.对于大多数这个行业内的人来说,这种行为堪称高尚。但是对于不关心政治的家人来说——比如她的家人——这其中的意义完全相反。And you can understand why.其中的原因不难理解。In 1949, her grandfather, Shen Huansheng, a school principal and chief editor for the leftist Ipoh Daily newspaper, became a “Communist martyr.” A monument in Gaoshang with the inscription, “The tomb of martyr Shen Huansheng” proves it. But Ms. Sim never knew about much of his life until seven or eight years ago, when her mother showed her a photograph of him with a twin-lens reflex camera. The sight of the mysterious photograph led Ms. Sim, who grew up in Singapore but lives in China, to start asking questions.沈绮颖的祖父沈焕盛是一位学校校长,亦是左翼报纸《保怡日报》(Ipoh Daily)的主编,1949年,他成了“共产主义烈士”。在(中国广东省)诰上村,有一块纪念碑上刻着“烈士沈焕盛之墓”,可以明这段历史。但是沈绮颖对他的生平知之甚少,直到七八年前,她妈妈把他的一张手拿双镜头照相机的照片给她看。这张神秘的照片指引着在新加坡长大的沈绮颖去追寻,如今她定居中国。In 2011, her uncle handed her a yellow piece of paper with an address and phone number. She cold-called the number. On the other end of the line, her relatives in China answered.2011年,叔父给了她一张泛黄的纸页,上面有一个地址和一个电话。她拨了这个号码,电话那头是她的中国亲戚们。“Hi, I’m Shen Huansheng’s granddaughter,” she told them. “And they were like, ‘What? After 62 years, who are you? Are you, like, a cheat?’”“嗨,我是沈焕盛的孙女,”她说。“他们说,‘什么,这都是62年前的事了,你到底是谁,你是骗子吧?’”But when they quizzed her about her father and his siblings, she passed the test and arranged a visit.When she arrived, members of the family “were bursting with stories” about her grandfather, who grew up in British Malaya but had gone back to support the “New China.” But in 1948, at the start of the Malayan Emergency, he was arrested, either for writing anticolonial editorials or for being suspected of helping secure funds for the Malayan Communist Party’s armed insurgency.但他们问了她父亲和父亲的兄弟姊的事情,她通过了“测试”,于是去了中国访问。一到那里,家庭成员们给她“讲了无数她祖父的故事”。他出生在英属马来亚,为了持“新中国”而回到中国。但是1948年,在马来亚紧急状态(Malayan Emergency)伊始,他因为写国反殖民主义的政论,或是被怀疑为马来亚共产党武装力量募集资金而遭到逮捕。He was given two choices: stay a prisoner in Malaya or be deported to his ancestral village in China. He chose the latter, promising to settle there first and then send for his family.当局给了他两个选择:在马来亚坐牢,或是被逐回中国老家的村庄。他选择了后者,承诺先过去定居,之后接来家人。But first, he joined the local Chinese Communist guerrilla army unit, which in 1949 ran into the Kuomintang. He was imprisoned and later executed. His wife and five children, all still in Malaya, did not learn of his death for another two years.但是他一到那里,就加入了当地的中国共产党游击队,1949年,这部队遇到了国民党军队,他被俘后遭到处决。他的妻子与五个孩子依然留在马来亚,两年后才得知他的死讯。Heartbroken, Ms. Sim’s grandmother banned the mention of her husband, China, or Communism in her home.沈绮颖的祖母悲痛欲绝,从此在家中禁止提起她的丈夫、中国与共产主义。Ms. Sim, a member of VII who freelances for The New York Times and others, launched “Roots” to retrace her grandfather’s past and explore her family’s connection to the wider diaspora.沈绮颖是七图片社(VII)的成员,并为《纽约时报》等媒体兼职拍摄照片,她开展了“根”(Roots)这个项目,寻觅祖父的过去,探索自己的家族与更广泛的移民社区的联系。“To me, this search for my grandfather’s story is also about finding a sense of vindication of doing what I do and being the way I am,” she said.“对于我来说,寻访祖父的故事也意味着为自己所做的事与自己所成为的人寻找意义,”她说。She will continue her project with funding from the Asia Society’s ChinaFile. But, for now, fifteen of her photographs are included in a zine as part of a group project called “TwentyFifteen” — “Twenty” because there are 20 photographers and “Fifteen” because each zine contains 15 photographs. Launched by Singaporean photographers, the publications have been released one at a time over the past two years, in honor of Singapore’s 50th anniversary. All of the staff worked on the project for free.她的项目得到了亚洲协会(Asia Society)的“中参馆”(ChinaFile)资金赞助,将会继续进行。不过目前,其中的15张照片已经被收录于一份杂志之中,这份杂志属于一个名为“TwentyFifteen”(20-15)的项目,“20”的意思是有20位摄影师参加,“15”的意思是每份杂志收录15张照片。这个项目由新加坡摄影师们发起,是为了纪念新加坡建国50周年,过去二年里,以每期推出一个人的方式发行。所有人都是免费为该项目工作。 Ms. Sim’s zine launched on September 5th.沈绮颖的专刊将于9月5日发行。“Over the last few years there have been a lot of Singaporean photographers who are doing quite well regionally as well as globally,” said Tay Kay Chin, who spearheaded “TwentyFifteen” along with Darren Soh. “And I thought the time is right for Singaporeans to photograph something close to their heart and share it with the rest of the world.”“在过去几年里,很多新加坡摄影师在国内外都有出色的成绩,”摄影师郑家进(Tay Kay Chin)说,他和达伦·苏(Darren Soh)是“TwentyFifteen”的领军人物。“我觉得现在新加坡人应该多拍贴近自己心灵的东西,与全世界分享。”Chow Chee Yong, who lives and teaches photography in Singapore, is one of the contributors. His “Senseless Spaces,” focuses on the evolution of buildings and landscapes in Singapore.赵志勇(Chow Chee Yong,音译)现居新加坡,教授摄影,也是该项目的供稿人之一,他的作品“无意义的空间”(Senseless Spaces)关注新加坡建筑与景观的进化。“I always enjoy shooting architecture and landscapes,” he said. “As such, I started noticing bits and pieces of buildings or spaces that have reconstructed, such that it looks kind of ridiculous.”“我一直喜欢拍建筑和景观,”他说。“因此,我开始关注经过重建的建筑或空间上的细节,这样的东西看上去有些荒谬。”One of the first spaces he shot was of a building with three steps, leading into a wall with no door, but several circular windows. “This is a common space where many people passed by,” he said. “However, to me, it just did not make sense. I started questioning, ‘Why are there steps? But, it does not lead to a door.’ As you can see, it is just basically senseless.”Bernice Wong, who submitted part of “School of Hard Knocks” for the zine released in March, looked at Singapore’s “urban poverty” through Mel, a single mother of seven.他拍摄的第一批空间之一,是一座有三个台阶的建筑,台阶通往一座没有门,只有几扇圆形窗子的墙壁。“这是一个普通的空间,每天有很多人从这里经过,”他说。“但是我却觉得荒谬。我开始发问,‘为什么会有这些台阶?它们并不通往一扇门。’你可以看到,这是完全没有意义的。”伯妮丝·王(Bernice Wong,音译)为杂志带来了“沉重打击的学校”(School of Hard Knocks),它是通过梅(Mel),一位七个孩子的单亲妈妈的视角观察新加坡的“城市贫民区”。“The impression that people have of Singapore is that of a first-world country, a very clean and green society, with little social ills,” she said. “But the fact is that like all developed countries, we have our fair share of social problems and a huge income inequality gap.”“人们觉得新加坡是第一世界国家,是清洁的绿色社区,社会问题不多,”她说。“但事实是,和所有发达国家一样,我们也存在着大量社会问题,以及严重的收入不平衡现象。”“The Land of My Heart” is the work of John Clang, a contemporary artist from Singapore now living in New York. In the ninth zine, issued last October, his work explores elements of time: the past conceptualized by text over image, the present shown through urban landscapes “in flux,” and the “constant” represented by “the Singapore Girl,” which he says has “always been the icon for Singapore.”汪春龙(John Clang) 是一位新加坡当代艺术家,现居纽约,他为去年十月发行的第九期杂志提供了“我的心灵国土”(The Land of My Heart)这组作品。他的探索时间的成分:被图像的文字解说所定义的过去,以及通过都市景观的“流动”而呈现出来的现在;还有“新加坡女孩”(the Singapore Girl)这组作品中所反映出来的“常态”,他说,女孩们“一直都是新加坡的符号”。One of his images shows a sculpture in front of a stark white building with three “Singapore Girls” surrounding it. Over one white row of balconies he wrote, “NO, SINGAPORE IS NOT CHINA.”他的一幅照片是一栋纯白建筑前面的一座雕塑,有三个“新加坡女孩”围绕在它周围。在一排白色的阳台上,他写道,“不,新加坡不是中国。”“We are constantly insecure about our identity,” said Mr. Clang. “It’s time we show the world who we are, and not what we have.”“我们经常对自己的身份怀有不安全感,”汪春龙说。“现在我们应该向世界展现我们是谁,而不是我们拥有什么。” /201509/401290

The development of computer programs that can beat humans at games has a long history — from the mastery of noughts and crosses in the 1950s to Deep Blue’s celebrated defeat of world chess champion Garry Kasparov in 1997. 能够在游戏中击败人类高手的计算机程序有着悠久的发展历史——从上世纪50年代掌握“井字棋”制胜之道,到1997年“深蓝”(Deep Blue;IBM研发的计算机——译者注)击败国际象棋世界冠军加里#8226;卡斯帕罗夫(Garry Kasparov)。 In recent years, however, the pace of advance has quickened. Data-crunching devices routinely notch up previously unthinkable victories. Computers can triumph in quiz games, as IBM’s Watson proved when it won the TV show Jeopardy in 2011. They also mimic human aptitudes with ever greater facility. For instance, machines play arcade games simply by observing the movement of objects on the screen. 然而,近年来进步速度加快了。能够运算海量数据的设备经常取得以往不可想象的胜利。计算机能够在智力竞赛中取胜,IBM的“沃森”(Watson)在2011年赢得电视节目《危险边缘》(Jeopardy)就是例。它们还能以越来越强大的“悟性”模仿人的天赋。例如,机器通过观察屏幕上物体的运动,就能学会玩街机游戏。 Even so, the triumph of the AlphaGo computer over the South Korean world champion Lee Se-dol in the first of a five-match series in the ancient Chinese board game of Go marks more than just a new notch on the computerised honours board. Mr Lee had been confident of victory and proclaimed himself “shocked” by his defeat. 即便如此,AlphaGo电脑在古老的中国棋盘游戏——围棋的对垒中击败韩国九段棋手李世石(Lee Sedol),在五局“人机对战”中首战告捷,不仅标志着电脑荣誉板上的一个新档次。赛前对胜利信心满满的李世石,在落败后坦承“震惊”。 Go is a little like a version of chess, only vastly more complicated. Indeed the possible moves within a game exceed the number of atoms within the universe. This is a challenge that would defeat traditional programmes. Indeed it can only be mastered by computers assembled into neural networks that teach themselves through observation and practice — abilities that remain at the frontiers of computer science. 围棋有点像国际象棋的变体,只是复杂程度高得多。的确,其棋局的变数比宇宙中的原子数量还要多。这个挑战会挫败传统的程序。事实上,只有多台计算机组成神经网络,通过观察和实践来“自学”(这些能力仍处于计算机科学的前沿),才能驾驭这种高难度挑战。 Demis Hassabis and his team at DeepMind, the UK-based artificial intelligence (AI) arm of Alphabet, deserve credit for the speed at which they have mastered this undertaking. True, AlphaGo, a formidable piece of IT, could be described as a computerised sledgehammer aimed at a recreational nut. Its victory, however, is a reminder of how fast the world is overcoming the obstacles in the way of AI, and its deployment in the world about us. 杰米斯#8226;哈萨比斯(Demis Hassabis)以及他在DeepMind(Alphabet旗下英国人工智能部门)的团队以如此快的速度掌握围棋制胜之道,这一点值得赞赏。没错,作为一件具有强大能力的信息技术设备,AlphaGo可以被形容为一把计算机化的大锤,其用途是敲开一个消遣的坚果。然而,它的胜利提醒世人,世界正在快速攻克人工智能及其实际部署所面临的障碍。 That is largely due to the huge amount of cash being poured into AI research by US and Chinese companies. These are poaching some of the brightest computer scientists from universities, giving them the capacity and tools to pursue their heart’s desire. 这在很大程度上归功于美国和中国企业对人工智能研究的巨大投入。这些企业从高校挖走一些最优秀的计算机科学家,并提供资源和工具,让这些科学家从事内心渴望的研究。 According to a recent survey, half of the world’s AI experts believe human level machine intelligence will be achieved by 2040. This opens up huge possibilities for the enrichment of mankind, from tackling climate change and treating disease to labour-saving devices. It also raises ethical questions every bit as profound as those posed by genetics. AI experts talk about the possibility of the human brain being reverse-engineered. Physicist Stephen Hawking last year warned that unless we take care, board games might be the least of it: AI could ultimately “outsmart us all”. 根据最近的一项调查,全球半数人工智能专家相信,人类水平的机器智能到2040年就能成为现实。这为增进人类福祉开启巨大可能性——从应对气候变化、治疗疾病,到节省劳动力的设备。这也引发种种道德问题,其深刻性丝毫不亚于遗传学所构成的道德问题。人工智能专家谈到人脑被“逆向工程”的可能性。物理学家史蒂芬#8226;霍金(Stephen Hawking)去年曾警告,除非我们小心,否则棋盘游戏可能是最无关紧要的问题:人工智能最终可能“比我们所有人更聪明”。 One does not have to believe in some future tech dystopia to believe that governments and wider society should take the implications of these developments seriously. Google, Facebook and other companies rushing into AI point out that they are establishing ethics panels to consider appropriate uses for these technologies. These are unlikely to be immune from commercial interests or indeed from the gung-ho enthusiasm of the researchers. 人们不一定非要相信未来将出现某种科技“敌托邦”才会认为,政府和整个社会应该认真对待这些发展的潜在影响。竞相进军人工智能领域的谷歌(Google)、Facebook等公司指出,他们正在成立伦理小组以考量这些技术的适当用途。这些小组不太可能对商业利益以及研究人员的热忱无动于衷。 Some external scrutiny akin to that supplied in the case of genetics by the UK’s Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority is needed to protect the public from developments that may threaten more than the amour-propre of a South Korean Go champion. Granted, there may yet be no evidence that computers will ever shrug off their human masters but we should still treat these developments with the humility and caution they deserve. 需要进行一些外部监督,类似于遗传学领域的英国人类受精和胚胎学(HFEA),以保护公众免受相关发展的威胁,这些威胁所牵涉的不只是韩国围棋高手的自尊。当然,目前也许还没有据表明计算机有朝一日将踢开他们的人类主人,但我们仍应该对这些发展给予应有的谦卑和审慎。 /201603/431097

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