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2014年TED大会:尼葛洛庞帝要让最后10亿人上网

2014-06-19    来源:BBC    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

如果科技领域有名人的话,那么尼古拉斯•尼葛洛庞帝便属于顶级明星之列。他最知名的身份是麻省理工学院媒体实验室的创办人,以及“一个孩子一部笔记本电脑”(One Laptop Per Child OLPC)项目主席,但他现在更大的野心是要帮助这颗星球上最后那批游离在互联网外的十亿人上网。

Ted 2014: Negroponte on plans to connect last billion

By Jane Wakefield

Technology reporter

If the technology industry had celebrities, then Nicholas Negroponte would be on the A-list.

Best known as the founder of the Massachusetts's Institute of Technology's Media Lab and the driving force behind the One Laptop Per Child project, he now has ambitious plans to help connect the last billion people to the internet.

Ahead of Prof Negroponte's opening speech at the 30th anniversary Ted (Technology, Entertainment and Design) conference, the BBC was granted an exclusive interview.

He explained how he wanted to help provide free net access to Africa via low-cost satellites.

"It is a satellite system, first over Africa, that will serve, to start, 100 million people free, expanding to one billion. These people are the world's poorest and also the world's most remote. Namely, low density and rural. The idea is to do this in 18 months," he told the BBC.

"We can do it now, very inexpensively, without research and for less than $1bn," he said.

Prof Negroponte did not go into details about the project, but he is looking at a range of options, including low-orbit satellites.

But, unlike with the One Laptop Per Child project, he doesn't want to be in the driving seat.

"I am not trying to start another mega-project, but help others to do so," he said.


Nicholas Negroponte will open TED 2014 in its new home in Vancouver

Swallowing knowledge

Prof Negroponte was chosen to open the 30th anniversary conference not just because of his heavyweight tech credentials but also because he spoke at the very first Ted in 1984.

Then he showed off primitive e-books and predicted that multi-touch screens would become standard.

He also predicted how CD-Roms and web interfaces would develop as well as pre-empt his own project to fund a cheap laptop for the developing world.

He is not about to predict what the next 30 years will hold, although there is one thing he would like to see come true - the ability to literally swallow knowledge.

"I am dyslexic and for that reason I feel that the normal human sensory system is very limiting," he told the BBC.

"We subscribe to the New York Review of Books at home and I look at the advertisements, love the book jacket designs in those advertisements and wish I had read most of the books. I can't, so swallowing them would be ideal," he said.
 

Insulting Apple

Ted is a conference attempting to bring together the three diverse worlds of technology, entertainment and design.

It has become synonymous with showing off cutting-edge technology, with many innovative designs launched on the Ted stage.

It attracts some of the world's most high profile people and this year's conference will see speeches from astronaut Chris Hadfield, Microsoft founder Bill Gates and musician Sting.

Speakers are very carefully chosen and their talks, often vetted beforehand, are restricted to 18 minutes.

But Prof Negroponte revealed that he may not be doing things quite as the organisers may like.

"Ted's insistence on written speeches, which I am ignoring, has become a weakness in my opinion. Talks today are too stilted, too tight, too homogeneous and too managed."

He is sure about one thing though.

"I am likely to insult a large number of people."

Chief among them may be Apple, for whom Prof Negroponte has very little time.

"They buy companies and then put everything into secrecy," he said.

"Even Microsoft, whom I do not admire generally, has a huge research lab that publishes widely and advances knowledge."

He knows what he doesn't like, so what has impressed him in the world of technological development over the past 30 years?

"Many things are astonishing, some in their myopia and some in their vision. The plethora of apps is amazing and GPS [global positioning system] applications terrific," he said.

He is not so convinced about artificial intelligence.

"The ability of machines to draw inferences and have common sense is abysmal."

Laptop project

Prof Negroponte was closely associated with the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) project, an ambitious plan launched in 2005, with the aim of developing a $100 laptop to empower the world's poorest children.

Much of its raison d'etre has since been overtaken by the proliferation of cheap tablets.

He remains proud to have been associated with it.

"OLPC did what it had to do, with about three million laptops in 40 countries and 25 languages. People no longer ask if every child should have a connected laptop or tablet. They only ask how to pay for it," he told the BBC.

相关介绍:

如果科技领域有名人的话,那么尼古拉斯•尼葛洛庞帝便属于顶级明星之列。

他最知名的身份是麻省理工学院媒体实验室的创办人,以及“一个孩子一部笔记本电脑”(One Laptop Per Child OLPC)项目主席,但他现在更大的野心是要帮助这颗星球上最后那批游离在互联网外的十亿人上网。

就在尼葛洛庞帝教授在TED(TED是英语中“技术、娱乐和设计”的缩写)30周年大会上致开幕词之前,他接受了BBC的独家专访。他在采访中说,他想要通过低成本卫星来给非洲提供免费的网络连接。

“这是首个覆盖非洲的卫星系统,最初将让一亿人能免费上网,然后扩展至10亿人。这些人是世界上最穷的人群,也处在世界最偏远的角落。因为那里人口密度低,大多都是农村。我打算在18个月内实现这个想法。”他对BBC说。

“我们现在就可以启动了,一点都不贵,不需要研究,花费也不会超过十亿美元。”他说。

尼葛洛庞帝教授并没有透露这个项目的细节,但他正在考虑很多选择,包括低轨运行的人造卫星。

但是,和“一个孩子一部笔记本电脑”项目不同,他并不想在这个项目占据领导地位。

“我并不是要亲自开启一个巨大的新项目,我只是想帮别人来做。”他说。

“吞咽”知识

尼葛洛庞帝教授获邀在TED30周年大会上致开幕词,不仅因为他是科技界的泰斗,也因为他1984年在第一届TED大会上进行了演讲。

当时他展示了最原始的电子书,并预言多点触摸屏会成为标准。

他也预言了光驱和网络界面将如何发展,并先行启动了他自己的项目来为发展中国家投资研制便宜的笔记本电脑。

他并不打算预言接下来30年要发生什么,尽管有一件事是他乐见其成的——即“吞咽”知识的能力。

“我有阅读障碍,因此我感觉正常人的感官系统是非常有限的,”他告诉BBC说。

“我们在家订阅了纽约书评,我看到了那些广告,喜欢广告中书封的设计,并希望我可以读其中大部分书。但我不能,所以把他们囫囵吞咽下去就好,”他说。

抨击苹果公司

TED大会正尝试着将技术、娱乐、设计三类完全不同的领域融合在一起。

换句话说,它就是要秀一下尖端的科技,让充满创意的设计在TED的舞台上与公众见面。

大会经常会吸引世界知名人士参与,而今年将会有宇航员克里斯•哈德菲尔德、微软创始人比尔•盖茨和音乐人斯汀在会上发言。

大会对发言人的选择是非常谨慎的,他们的演讲在会前都会经过审查,而且发言时间也严格限制在18分钟之内。

不过尼葛洛庞帝教授称他要做的事可能与组织者想要的不尽相同。

“TED大会坚持备稿发言,而我却不以为然,在我看来,这种做法使大会减色不少。如今的大会发言都太生硬,太紧促,它们都是雷同的,而且是事先预备好的。”

不过教授对有一点倒是挺肯定的,那就是他很可能会骂很多人。

首当其冲的便是苹果公司,对于这家公司尼葛洛庞帝实在是不太耐烦。

“他们收购了其他的公司,然后对一切都守口如瓶。”他说道。

“即便是我不怎么欣赏的微软,它还有个大型研究实验室,出版了大量刊物,并不断更新前沿知识。”

他知道自己不喜欢什么,那他是否知道30年以来什么样的科技发展给他留下的印象最为深刻呢?

“令人吃惊的事情有很多,这里有一些是缺乏远见的,而有一些是富于眼光的。大量乃至过剩的APP让人吃惊,还有全球定位系统(GPS)程序,那简直太棒了。”

不过他对于人工智能倒不是特别确定。

“让机器拥有推理能力并懂得常识,这太可怕了。”

笔记本电脑项目

尼葛洛庞帝教授与“一个孩子一部笔记本”的项目联系紧密。这个目标宏伟的计划始于2005年,旨在发明制造出100美元(约合人民币623元)左右的笔记本电脑来为世界上最穷的孩子提供通往知识的窗口。

不过现在市场上大肆流行的廉价平板电脑已经很大程度上取代了这项计划存在的意义。

然而教授却依旧为自己与这个项目有关而倍感骄傲。

“OLPC项目做了他们必须做的事情,为40个操着25种不同语言的国家提供了大约300万台笔记本电脑。现在人们再也不会问每个孩子是不是应该有一台可以联网的笔记本电脑或平板。他们现在只关心如何付款。”教授对BBC说道。



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