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中国科技荣耀:李彦宏登上时代周刊封面

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。

中国科技荣耀:李彦宏登上时代周刊封面
_最新英语新闻

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.”

1992年,当时已经从北京大学信息管理学院毕业的李彦宏申请参加美国计算机图形研究生项目。当面试的教授问他:“你们中国有电脑吗?”这句话似乎让年轻的李彦宏惊呆了,如今49岁的他站在百度北京总部的顶楼办公室回忆说:“我感觉很尴尬。但是我想,总有一天我会证明中国拥有非常强大的计算机产业。”现在,当他重新回想起当时的场景时,似乎可以欣慰地笑了。

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.

八年后,李彦宏做到了。2000年时,李彦宏创立了百度,这是个如今仅次于谷歌的搜索引擎,其在中国的市场占有率达80%。这家公司的名字源自13世纪的中国诗歌,如今它已成长为价值数百亿美元的庞然大物。百度地图指引着每个中国司机,百度搜索结果启发着每个学生。现在,再也没有人问李彦宏“中国是否有电脑”。

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.”

在中国,没有人比李彦宏更重视这个挑战。根据百度公布的财报,该公司2017年前三个季度的90亿美元收入中,约有12亿美元被投入到研发方面,其中大部分投给了AI。他认为百度可以利用中国最大的优势——规模优势,来主导全球AI市场。在基本层面上,AI系统基于经验数据复制人类学习,无论是驱动模式、财务行为亦或是含糊语音指令背后的真实意图。数据越多,就越能更好地训练算法,为这个世界上人口最多的国家提供显而易见的优势。李彦宏说:“中国是非常庞大的统一市场,每个人都说着同样的语言。”

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.”

李彦宏说:“我们的设想是,人类可以与所有使用人类语言的设备进行交互。人类和动物之间的区别在于人类可以使用工具。在过去的10万年里,无论你发明什么工具,你都必须学会如何使用它们。将来,你不需要再学习使用工具,这些工具会学习如何理解人类语言、人类意图。这就是未来。”

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.”

李彦宏不同意这种说法,他认为:“人类总是有能力让世界变成安全的地方。想想核武器:它们可以杀死很多人,也的确杀死很多人,但是我们实际上可以控制这种武器。核武器的真正功能是帮助结束第二次世界大战,也没有引发第三次世界大战。至少,现在还没有。”

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.”

但对AI的担忧并非全是反乌托邦式的未来。这项技术已经将许多能为人们提供收入的工作自动化了。无人驾驶技术将很快被用于长途运输,可能会让1600万中国卡车司机失业。对于李彦宏来说,这个问题是不可避免的,他说:“当技术改变世界的时候,大量的工作岗位也会随之消失。”他将其与蒸汽机的出现相提并论,并说:“你不能改变这一点,你能做的就是继续创新,为人们创造更多的就业机会。”

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.”

李彦宏认为,这要求中国继续向世界开放,而不是像特朗普治下的美国政府那样选择退缩,白宫限制移民的提议“破坏了美国的创新环境”。他敦促中国采取不同的策略,并表示:“我们应该为外国人创造更好的环境,让他们在这里创新、建立公司。”但为了实现这一目标,为了让百度真正成为AI领域的主宰,李彦宏可能需要专注于他的使命:“让复杂的世界变得更简单。”


【看这里~】

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