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2018-01-25 07:44[双语新闻] 来源:互联网 评论:0条

1月19日消息, 近日百度公司董事长兼CEO李彦宏登上了美国《时代周刊》杂志的封面。在封面上,《时代周刊》称李彦宏为创新者,并称其所带领的百度正在成为美国硅谷的巨头。以下为以下为《时代周刊》全文节选。


When Robin Li looks back at the question now, he can laugh. But things were different in 1992, when the Baidu CEO was a tongue-tied Chinese student applying for a computer-graphics graduate program in the U.S. The interviewing professor asked him, “Do you have computers in China?” It left the young man stunned. “I was very embarrassed,” says Li, 49, breaking into a grin from the penthouse office of his Beijing headquarters. “I thought, One day I’ll demonstrate that China has a really powerful computer industry.”


Eight years later, he did. In 2000, Li founded Baidu, a search engine that today is second only to Google in popularity, and whose 80% market share in China makes it the world’s fourth most popular website. The company, whose name derives from a 13th century Chinese poem, has grown into a $60 billion behemoth rivaled in China only by social-media-focused conglomerate Tencent and Jack Ma’s online shopping empire Alibaba. Baidu Maps directs every Chinese motorist, Baidu search results enlighten every student. Nobody is asking Robin Li if computers exist in China anymore.


In fact, what was once a land of cheap knockoffs now has Silicon Valley losing sleep. China has nurtured a third of the world’s 262 tech “unicorns,” or private $1 billion startups, according to a recent report by the global consulting firm McKinsey. Alibaba’s 2014 stock floating remains the biggest IPO in history, valued at $25 billion. China is the world’s largest e-commerce market, accounting for almost half of all global transactions by value, up from less than 1% just over a decade ago. Its big cities are verging on a cashless society, where even steamed buns or rickshaw rides can be purchased with a flash of a smartphone QR code. It’s a far cry from when former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden scoffed that the Middle Kingdom didn’t innovate.

事实上,曾经被视为廉价仿制品所在地的中国如今却让硅谷感到坐立不安。全球咨询公司麦肯锡(McKinsey)最近发布报告称,在全球262家科技“独角兽(估值超过10亿美元的初创企业)”中,1/3位于中国。阿里巴巴2014年上市创造了历史上规模最大的IPO,筹资250亿美元。中国是全球最大的电子商务市场,占全球交易额的近一半,而10年前这一比例还不到1%。中国的许多大城市正步入无现金社会,甚至连买馒头或坐人力车也可以用智能手机扫描二维码支付。这与美国前副总统乔.拜登(Joe Biden)嘲笑“中国没有创新”的说法大相径庭。

China has now set its sights on the next tech frontier: artificial intelligence. At November’s Artificial Intelligence and Global Security Summit in Washington, Eric Schmidt, then executive chairman of Google parent Alphabet, predicted China’s AI prowess will overtake the U.S. within a decade. “By 2030, they will dominate the industries of AI,” he said. Russian President Vladimir Putin recently said that whoever masters AI will become “ruler of the world.”

中国现在将目光投向了下一个科技前沿:人工智能(AI)。去年11月,在华盛顿举行的AI与全球安全峰会上,时任谷歌母公司Alphabet执行董事长的埃里克.施密特(Eric Schmidt)预计,中国的AI技术将在10年内超过美国。他说:“到2030年,中国将成为AI领域的主导。”

No one in China takes this challenge more seriously than Robin Li. Some $1.2 billion of his firm’s $9 billion revenue over the first three-quarters of 2017 was put back into R&D, according to published accounts–much of it into AI. He believes Baidu can dominate the global market for AI by harnessing China’s greatest advantage: scale. At a basic level, AI systems replicate human learning based on empirical data: whether driving patterns, financial behavior or the true intention behind a slurred voice command. The more data, the better trained the algorithm–giving a company that serves the world’s most populous nation an obvious leg up. “[China is] a very large and uniform market,” Li says. “Everyone speaks the same language; they all obey the same law.”


A trip in Baidu’s self-driving car is not yet a comfortable ride. When TIME took a test drive around the Baidu campus, potential obstacles like trash cans or parked cars caused the vehicle to regularly jolt to a halt. The car is far from road-ready: there’s a clumsy spinning radar on the roof and a trunk full of whirring gadgetry. Still, Baidu’s driverless-car platform, Apollo, has been adopted by 130 independent manufacturers, testament to what Baidu has achieved in the field. The company has launched voice-recognition software, DuerOS, which it says recognizes Mandarin Chinese more reliably than a human being does. Its AI-driven facial-recognition software is so advanced, it is being used to reunite missing children with their parents by digitally aging and matching photographs. On Jan. 8, Baidu was ready to unveil Apollo 2.0, which enables autonomous driving on simple urban roads, at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Baidu’s message at the event said it all: “AI is changing the world, at China speed.”

百度的无人驾驶汽车还无法提供舒适的旅程。当《时代》记者在百度园区附近试驾时,像垃圾桶或停放汽车等潜在障碍都使百度的测试车辆经常颠簸而停。这辆车远未做好上路的准备,它的车顶上有个笨拙的旋转雷达,车体就像装满旋转装置的箱子。尽管如此,百度的无人驾驶汽车平台Apollo已经被130家独立制造商所采用,证明百度在这个领域取得了令人瞩目的成就。百度推出了语音识别软件DuerOS,据说能比人类更可靠地识别普通话。百度AI驱动的面部识别软件非常先进,通过数字模拟衰老功能和照片匹配,它被用来寻找失踪儿童。1月8日,百度在拉斯维加斯举行的国际电子消费展(CES)上推出Apollo 2.0,它支持在简单的城市道路上自动行驶。百度要传达的信息是:“AI正在以中国速度改变世界。”

“Our vision is that humans can interact with all devices using human language,” says Li. “The difference between humans and animals is that humans can use tools. Over the past 100,000 years, whatever tools you invent you have to learn how to use. In the future, you won’t need to do that–tools will learn how to understand human language, human intentions. That’s the future.”


For the moment at least, both are united in their goal of harnessing the potential of AI. But the technology brings awesome risks as well as rewards. Tesla boss Elon Musk says uncontrollable AI represents a “fundamental” threat to humanity, while renowned physicist Stephen Hawking fears it could “spell the end of the human race.”

就目前而言,百度的目标是充分利用AI的巨大潜力。但这项技术带来巨大回报的同时也蕴含着风险,特斯拉电动汽车公司首席执行官伊隆.马斯克(Elon Musk)认为,无法控制的AI代表了对人类的“根本性”威胁,而著名物理学家斯蒂芬.霍金(Stephen Hawking)担心这可能“意味着人类的末日”。

Li disagrees, saying, “Humans will always have the capabilities to make the world a safe place. Think about nuclear weapons: they can kill a lot of people, they killed a lot of people, but we can actually control this type of weaponry. And the real function of nuclear weapons was to end the Second World War. They did not start the Third World War.”


Not yet, at least. But fears over AI are not all about a dystopian future. The technology is already automating tasks that provided incomes to people. Driverless technology will most quickly be adopted for long-distance haulage, potentially putting up to 16 million Chinese truckers out of work. For Li, the problem is unavoidable. “When technology changes the world, then a lot of jobs are lost,” he says, comparing it to the advent of the steam engine. “You cannot change that. What you can do is continue to innovate and create more new jobs for people.”


That will require the Chinese government to remain open to the world, he suggests, and not withdraw as the U.S. appears to have done under President Trump. The White House’s proposals to limit immigration “damage the innovation environment of the U.S.,” Li says, urging China to take a different tack. “We should create a better environment for foreigners to open up here, to innovate here, to set up companies.” But for that to happen, and for Baidu to truly dominate AI, Li may have to confront China’s own ideological tightening. For now, however, Li is focused on his mission: “to make the complex world simpler.”



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