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更新时间  2022-06-01 01:53 阅读
本文摘要:I have a copy of a long-forgotten 1987 book by Arthur C Clarke: July 20, 2019: Life in the 21st century. I did not plan on mentioning it until the 50th anniversary of the first moon landings, which its title reflects. But I am breaking my


I have a copy of a long-forgotten 1987 book by Arthur C Clarke: July 20, 2019: Life in the 21st century. I did not plan on mentioning it until the 50th anniversary of the first moon landings, which its title reflects. But I am breaking my own embargo because re-reading it has given me new insight.我有一本《2019年7月20日:生活在21世纪》(July 20, 2019: Life in the 21st century)——该书为亚瑟?C?克拉克(Arthur C Clarke)所著,1987年出版发行,被人消逝已幸。我本想到登月50周年时再行驳回这本书,因为书名体现的正是这一纪念日。

但我超越了给自己设置的禁令,因为轻声这本书给了我新的看法。Clarke, a science-fiction writer, was also no slouch as a futurologist. His fictional HAL 9000 computer in 2001: A Space Odyssey, which he co-wrote, presages many of today’s fears about artificial intelligence. He was also a real scientist who, in a 1945 article, proposed communications satellites.克拉克是科幻小说作家,也擅于应验未来。他在与他人年出版的《2001:太空漫游》(2001: A Space Odyssey)一书中虚构的HAL 9000电脑,应验了如今人们对人工智能不存在的很多忧虑。

他也是一位确实的科学家,曾在1945一篇文章里明确提出了通讯卫星。Unless things change in the next 23 months, July 20, 2019 is wrong in almost every detail. Clarke suggests, for example, “amplifiers” to make us more intelligent — but makes no mention of the internet, which was in development at the time and was predicted 15 years earlier by Joseph Licklider of MIT, when he was working at the US defence department.除非接下来23个月里情况发生变化,否则《2019年7月20日》差不多在所有细节上都拢了。比如,克拉克指出“放大器”不会让我们更聪明,但没提及当时在研发中的互联网——而麻省理工学院(MIT)的约瑟夫?利克莱德(Joseph Licklider)在该书出版发行的15年前就应验了互联网,当时利克莱德在美国国防部工作。

Being wrong is just one problem I have with Clarke’s book. Like most future-gazing, it sees tomorrow entirely in terms of technology.应验错误只是我对克拉克这本书的其中一个意见。和大多数未来应验一样,该书几乎从科技的视角来看来未来。Today’s version of Clarke’s vision is that of tech as humanity’s saviour. It is overblown, and it is gathering momentum. Indeed, this relentless yapping is like some overheated PR campaign for the arrogant, prematurely moneyed young lords of Silicon Valley. There is a messianic tone that our descendants will laugh at. “[By], say, 2045, we will have multiplied?.?.?.?the human biological machine intelligence of our civilisation a billion-fold,” says Google’s Ray Kurzweil.如果把克拉克的愿景搬到到现在,那就相等于鼓吹科技是人类的救世主。


他们具有那种救世主的腔调,我们的后代认同不会取笑。“比如说,到2045年,我们将把……我们文明的人类生物机器智能减少10亿倍,”谷歌(Google)的雷?库兹韦尔(Ray Kurzweil)回应。Technology is marvellous, but it has had little or nothing to do with the best things about the world. And it will play a minor role in casting out humanity’s worst demons: poverty, ignorance and madness. What do I mean by the best things? The outlawing of racism; rights for disabled people; emancipation for women. The primacy of reason; the dwindling of superstition. Democracy, social security, animal rights, greater life expectancy and, yes, capitalism.科技很真是。



民主、社会保障、动物权益、缩短寿命,到底,还有资本主义。Sure, hygiene and medicine are technology, but the idea to distribute their benefits to all through innovations such as sewers, socialised medicine and refrigeration could only come from human empathy and creativity.当然,公共卫生和医学归属于科技的范畴,但是要把它们的浆果通过下水管道、社会化医疗和冷藏传播给全人类,就不能依赖人类的同理心和创造力了。Technology, from electric lighting to washing machines to the internet, has aided progress. But it is only part of the future. Machines help solve the “how”, not the “what” nor the “why”.从电灯到洗衣机、再行到互联网,技术推展了人类变革。

但科技只是未来的一部分而已。机器协助解决问题“怎么做”,而不是“什么”和“为什么”。I love what technology is doing for the developing world, where progress is most needed. I have written recently about ideas such as Ugogo Africa, a proposed online service that wants to enable artisans without bank accounts to sell their products globally. Genius. Even better for the developing world will be universal education, the elimination of corruption, the rule of law, perhaps democracy, although that is on my B-list. Technology will play its part, but it will not be essential.我讨厌科技对发展中世界的协助,那里最必须变革。


我最近在文章中写道Ugogo Africa(一项在线服务建议,目的让没银行账户的手工艺人可以在全球出售他们的作品)等创新。感叹天才点子。但对发展中世界来说,更加幸福的事物将是全民教育、避免贪腐、法治,也许还有民主制度,尽管最后这点在我的B表格上。

科技将充分发挥自己的起到,但它并非不可或缺。Last week, I ran this seditious notion past two big brains. First was Marc Demarest, an Oregon-based digital thinker and author. He agrees that Silicon Valley’s incessant riff is self-serving. “Like the president of the US, no statement is too outrageous, too extreme, too under-nuanced,” he says.不久前,我向两个有思想的人明确提出这种煽动性的观点。第一个是美国俄勒冈州的马克?德马雷斯特(Marc Demarest),他是一名数字化思想家和作者。

他指出,硅谷人士源源不断的严肃都是为了个人利益。他称之为:“就像对美国总统一样,对这些人来说,没什么声明是太过分、过于极端、过于没有水平的。”But he believes technology’s torrent of data tells us truths “minus our nasty predisposition to get distracted, to miss the moment, and to bend data to make it mean what we want it to mean”.但他指出科技的数据洪流告诉他我们真凶,“乘以我们更容易迟疑、错失时代脉搏、以及以我们期望的方式变形数据的偏向。

”“It is in most respects a better version of us. And [gathering data] is mostly done, one way or another, to improve the human lot.”“在大多数方面,科技是我们自己的更佳版本。(搜集数据)从总体上说道是以某种方式完备了人类。”Making sense of data, however, will remain a human activity, he says. “We are better at judgment than any machine we will be able to make for a very long time to come. Technology is only the agent of our desires. It isn’t the future; we are the future.”然而,他称之为,分析数据将依然是人类活动。“在未来很长一段时期,我们在判断力上都会比不上我们有本事用上的任何机器。

科技只是我们渴求的代理。它不是未来;我们才是未来。”I then had a drink — several, actually — with a friend who works in product development for a tech company.随后,我和一位在科技公司研发产品的朋友喝了几杯。

“I shouldn’t say this,” she said after cocktail number three, “but we just make cool s*** people love. You’re right. We’re not progressing humanity or changing the world, are we? “That’s what ideas do, and machines don’t have ideas.”“我不应这么说道,”她在喝下第三杯鸡尾酒之后说,“但我们只是做到人们青睐的时尚垃圾货。你说道得到底。我们没推展人类变革,也没转变世界,怎么会不是吗?那是思想的角色,机器没思想。”Funny. Even Clarke stopped short of predicting machines with imaginations.有意思。