经济学人:悲观情绪VS科技发展(3)_国外媒体资讯 - 可可英语

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经济学人:悲观情绪VS科技发展(3)

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That points to another lesson, which is that the remedy to technology-related problems very often involves more technology. Airbags and other improvements in safety features, for example, mean that in America deaths in car accidents per billion miles travelled have fallen from around 240 in the 1920s to around 12 today. AI is being applied as part of the effort to stem the flow of extremist material on social media. The ultimate example is climate change. It is hard to imagine any solution that does not depend in part on innovations in clean energy, carbon capture and energy storage.

这就引出了另一个教训,即解决技术相关问题通常需要更多的技术。例如,安全气囊和其他安全设施的改进意味着,在美国,每行驶十亿英里的交通事故死亡人数已经从20世纪20年代的240人左右下降到今天的12人左右。人工智能正在被应用,作为阻止极端主义材料在社交媒体上流动的努力的一部分。最后一个例子是气候变化。很难想象有什么解决方案不部分依赖于清洁能源、碳捕获和能源储存方面的创新。
The most important lesson is about technology itself. Any powerful technology can be used for good or ill. The internet spreads understanding, but it is also where videos of people being beheaded go viral. Biotechnology can raise crop yields and cure diseases— but it could equally lead to deadly weapons.
最重要的教训是技术本身。任何强大的技术都可以用于好的方面,也可以用于坏的方面。互联网传播信息,但这里也是人们被砍头的视频被疯传的地方。生物技术可以提高作物产量,治愈疾病,但同样可以制造致命武器。

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Technology itself has no agency: it is the choices people make about it that shape the world. Thus the techlash is a necessary step in the adoption of important new technologies. At its best, it helps frame how society comes to terms with innovations and imposes rules and policies that limit their destructive potential (seat belts, catalytic converters and traffic regulations), accommodate change (universal schooling as a response to industrialisation) or strike a trade-off (between the convenience of ride-hailing and the protection of gig-workers). Healthy scepticism means that these questions are settled by a broad debate, not by a coterie of technologists.

技术本身没有中介:正是人们对此做出的选择塑造了这个世界。因此,技术鞭策是采用重要新技术的必要步骤。处于最佳状态,它有助于构建社会如何对待创新,并实施规则和政策来限制它们的破坏性潜力(安全带、催化转换器和交通规则),适应变化(对于工业化的回应——普及教育)或达成平衡(在叫车的方便和非正式员工的保护之间)。健康的怀疑主义意味着这些问题是通过广泛的辩论来解决的,而不是由一群技术专家来解决的。
Fire up the moral engine
点燃道德引擎
Perhaps the real source of anxiety is not technology itself, but growing doubts about the ability of societies to hold this debate, and come up with good answers. In that sense, techno-pessimism is a symptom of political pessimism. Yet there is something perversely reassuring about this: a gloomy debate is much better than no debate at all. And history still argues, on the whole, for optimism. The technological transformation since the Industrial Revolution has helped curb ancient evils, from child mortality to hunger and ignorance. Yes, the planet is warming and antibiotic resistance is spreading. But the solution to such problems calls for the deployment of more technology, not less. So as the decade turns, put aside the gloom for a moment. To be alive in the tech-obsessed 2020s is to be among the luckiest people who have ever lived.
也许焦虑的真正来源不是技术本身,而是人们越来越怀疑社会是否有能力控制住辩论,并拿出好的答案。从这个意义上说,技术悲观主义是政治悲观主义的症状。然而,这里面有一种令人不安的安慰:一场悲观的辩论总比没有辩论强。总的来说,历史仍然为乐观主义辩护。工业革命以来的技术变革帮助遏制了从儿童死亡率到饥饿和无知等各种古老的罪恶。是的,地球正在变暖,抗生素耐药性正在蔓延。但是解决这些问题需要更多的技术部署,而不是更少。因此,在这十年即将到来之际,先把悲观情绪放在一边。生活在痴迷科技的21世纪20年代,是有史以来最幸运的人之一。

译文由可可原创,仅供学习交流使用,未经许可请勿转载。

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