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2014尼古拉斯.尼葛洛庞帝在TED的演讲

2014-06-19    来源:ted.com    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

今天,尼葛洛庞帝重返TED的舞台,在一一回顾他曾经预言的同时,也为我们再次描绘了一个崭新的未来。他的观点是,当有人指责你“大错特错”的时候,也许就是你真正投入的时候。

Back to tech’s future: Nicholas Negroponte at TED2014

Today, Negroponte is back to open TED, to reflect on predictions he’s made in the past and to spin some new ones for the future. His point is that when someone tells you that you are “dead wrong,” that you just might be onto something.

Negroponte takes us on a lightening-paced tour of his career, beginning in the 1960s when he worked on computation and creating Habitat-like structures inspired by Moshe Safdie’s Montreal buildings. He says that at the time, he and his colleagues were “considered sissy computer scientists, not the real thing.” This was still the perception in 1976, he says, when he and several others were asked to build a model of Entebbe airport so that the military could practice a rescue simulation. He and his colleagues rigged a camera to a truck to create a detailed, image-based map. It’s a set-up that will remind anyone today of the cars that roam streets, powering Google Maps.

In his first TED Talk, Negroponte shared his belief that we’d move from the computer mouse to using our fingers to control interfaces. “We picked fingers because everybody thought it was ridiculous,” says Negroponte. “They were low-resolution, there was concern that the hand would occlude what you want to see, and that the finger would get the screen dirty.” Of course, 30 years later, these concerns sound ridiculous. Or at least they do when we take out our smartphones and tablets.

“One of the things about aging is that I can tell you with great confidence that I’ve been to the future. I’ve been there actually many times,” says Negroponte. “How many times in my life have I said, ‘In 10 years this will happen … and then 10 years comes?’”

Negroponte tells the story of a Ph.D student at the MIT Media Lab who, in the early days of GPS, envisioned a system called “Backseat Driver” that would give audio directions to the driver. There were many, many challenges involved in the project but the student was beginning to work some out. However, this student was advised not to patent the technology because the liability surrounding it was just too big. “It shows you how people don’t really look at what’s already happening,” says Negroponte.

As recently as 1995, Negroponte was called crazy for predicting “that we’ll soon buy books and newspapers straight over the internet.” (By Clifford Stoll!) He says, “That gives me great pleasure.”

But there is another thing that can happen with predictions—that people follow a crazy idea, but without quite enough grand vision. Negroponte says that recent reasearch on “the Internet of Things is tragically pathetic.” He says that the idea wasn’t just to put an oven control panel on your phone — but to make the oven intelligent. “You want to put the chicken in the oven and it realizes you’re cooking it for Nicholas and he likes it this way,” Negroponte says.

Negroponte continues by looking at his work since 2000, which shifted to experiments in learning. “Learning is best approximated by computer programming,” he says. “When you write a program—and all programs have bugs—you have to debug it. And you iterate. That iteration is a good approximation of learning.” He brings up 1 Laptop Per Child, the initiative he ran for seven years that distributed 3 million laptops in 40 countries at a cost of $1 billion. The effort led Negroponte to an experiment in Ethiopia, one which resembles TED Prize winner Sugata Mitra’s “hole in the wall.” Like Mitra, Negroponte wondered: “Can learning happen where there are no schools?”

“We dropped off tablets with no instructions and let the children figure it out,” he says. “They were using 50 apps in five days. They were singing the alphabet songs in two weeks. And they’d hacked Android within 6 months.”

Negroponte sees the great challenge of the future to connect the last billion people on the planet to the internet. On a slide, he poses a bold question: “Will internet access be a human right?”

Negroponte’s latest project is using a stationary satellite to connect 100 million people living in rural areas to the internet. The effort will cost $2 billion, he says, which sounds like a lot, but is actually what the United States was spending in Afghanistan in a week.

Negroponte makes a final prediction—and a fun one. “My prediction is that we are going to ingest information—we’re going to swallow a pill and know English and swallow a pill and know Shakespeare,” he says. “It will go through the bloodstream and it will know when it’s in the brain and, in the right places, it deposits the information.”

It sounds shocking now, but will it in 30 years?

In conclusion, Negroponte leaves us with a fascinating way to think about what will come next. “The best vision to use to see the future is peripheral vision(余光),” he says.

相关介绍:

今天,尼葛洛庞帝重返TED的舞台,在一一回顾他曾经预言的同时,也为我们再次描绘了一个崭新的未来。他的观点是,当有人指责你“大错特错”的时候,也许就是你真正投入的时候。

首先,尼葛洛庞帝带我们一起闪电式地回顾了他的职业生涯。20世纪60年代,他致力于计算法的研究并且从建筑大师摩西•萨夫迪的设计理念吸取灵感发明了“栖息地式”结构。他曾坦言,在那个时候,他和他的同事被别人嘲笑为“胆小鬼”,是只关注虚拟世界而非真实事物的计算机科学家。到了1976年,这一印象并未有所改观。那时,他和同事一起研究建立恩德培机场模型,以备军方进行营救演习。他们通过操作安装在卡车上的摄像头制作出了一幅基于详细实景图像的地图。而在今天看来,这一装置正谷歌地图的原型。

在尼葛洛庞帝的首次TED演讲中,他曾与我们分享了他对未来的愿景,并预言我们将摆脱鼠标,用我们的手指来控制界面。那时,尼葛洛庞帝曾说,“我们之所以会想到用手指来替代鼠标,正是因为每个人都觉得这个想法很荒谬。有些人担心手指会遮挡视线,有些人认为手指会把屏幕弄脏。”然而30年过去了,这些担心反倒变得荒谬而可笑。至少在我们从包里取出手机和平板电脑时,这些担心的确显得荒谬。

“对于变老的问题,我可以很自信地告诉你们,我确实去过未来,并且去过那里不止一次。” 尼葛洛庞帝说道,“我这一辈子似乎总在说,‘在未来10年这些都会实现’。然后,10年过去了,他们都实现了吗?”

尼葛洛庞帝为我们讲述了麻省理工学院媒体实验室的一位博士研究生的故事。在全球定位系统GPS发明初期,这位博士生曾设想发明一个名为“后座司机”的系统,能够为驾驶员提供自动的方向指示。虽然这一项目中包含很多很多的技术难题,但这位博士生仍然下决心要把他们一一解决。然而,有人却建议他不要为这一技术申请专利,原因是这一技术所要承担的责任实在是太大了。尼葛洛庞帝说道,“这件事表明,人们有时根本不在意周边正在发生的事情。”

甚至到1995年,尼葛洛庞帝在多数人眼中仍然是疯狂的,因为他预测“我们很快将能在互联网上购买书籍和报纸。”他自嘲道,“这给我带来了很大乐趣。”

不过,可能伴随预言发生的另一种情况是:人们遵循了一个疯狂的想法,却没有足够宏伟的愿景去把它们实现。尼葛洛庞帝认为,最近有关物联网的研究是“非常悲哀的”。他说道,物联网的理念不是要将烤箱的控制面板安装在你的手机上,而是要使你的烤箱变得智能化。“比方说,你把一只鸡放进烤箱,那么它会识别这只鸡是为尼古拉斯烹饪的,而且尼古拉斯也喜欢这种烹调方式。” 尼葛洛庞帝说道。

尼葛洛庞帝转而谈及自己自2000年以来的工作。从2000年以来,他已开始专注学习过程中的体验。“学习和计算机程序最为相近,”他说:“比如你写一个计算机程序,所有的程序都有瑕疵,你需要去解决它们。在这过程中,会有重复。重复的过程就十分类似学习。”他提出了“人手一本”的项目,让每个孩子都有一个笔记本电脑。该项目已运作了七年,已向40个国家的儿童赠送了300万台笔记本,耗资10亿美元。

尼葛洛庞帝也因此在埃塞俄比亚开展了实验,类似TED获奖者苏加塔•米特拉的项目“墙上的孔”。和米特拉一样,尼葛洛庞帝也想了解:“学习是否可以在没有学校的情况下进行?”

“我们向孩子们派发了一些平板电脑,但没有附带说明书,就是让他们自己摸索,”他说:“他们在五天内使用了50个应用程序,两周内学会唱字母表之歌,六个月内成功入侵安卓系统。”

尼葛洛庞帝觉得,让世界上最后10亿人接触到互联网,是一个巨大的挑战。他在播放幻灯片的时候提出了一个大胆的问题:“上网是否会成为一项人权?”

尼葛洛庞帝最近的项目是使用同步轨道卫星将一亿生活在农村的人们用互联网连接。这项计划将耗资20亿美元,他说这听起来像是很多钱,但其实这仅是美国在阿富汗一周的开销。

尼葛洛庞帝最后提出了一个预测,一个很有意思的预测。“我的预测是,我们以后能够摄入信息——比如我们服用一种药片,就能掌握英语;服用另一种,就会理解莎士比亚,”他说,“信息就会在血液中流淌,等到流向大脑,在正确的位置,信息就会留下。”

这现在听起来会让人震惊,但30年以后还会吗?

在总结发言中,尼葛洛庞帝给大家留了一个有趣的办法用以思考未来将会怎样。“看清未来的最好办法是用余光来看,”他说。



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