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(语音)外媒:中国正努力成为人工智能大国,雄心不容小觑

英语音频分享2018-06-12 16:15:01

        Inside China’s race to become an AI superpower
        外媒:中国正努力成为人工智能大国 雄心不容小觑

        Over 60 years ago, in what is today southern Kazakhstan, the Soviet Union launched the world’s first artificial satellite into Earth’s orbit. The launch of Sputnik 1 provoked a panic in the United States that catalyzed a flurry of investment and research, which ultimately put man on the moon. China’s Sputnik moment came in March 2016, when AlphaGo, an artificial intelligence program developed by Google’s DeepMind, defeated South Korean Go master Lee Sedol. As The New York Times reported, AlphaGo’s victory had a profound impact on politicians in China, one that spurred increased commitment to Beijing’s effort to rule AI.
        60多年前,在今天的哈萨克斯坦南部,前苏联将世界上第一颗人造卫星送入地球轨道。Sputnik 1的发射在美国引发了恐慌,引发了大规模投资和研发热潮,促使美国最终把人类送上了月球。中国的“Sputnik 1时刻”出现在2016年3月,当时由谷歌旗下人工智能(AI)公司DeepMind开发的AI程序AlphaGo击败了韩国围棋大师李世石(Lee Sedol)。正如《纽约时报》报道的那样,AlphaGo的胜利对中国产生了深远的影响,促使中国政府加大了对AI的投入。

        In July 2017, China’s State Council published an ambitious policy blueprint calling for the country to become “the world’s primary AI innovation center” by 2030. The plan aims to grow the country’s core AI industries to over 150 billion yuan ($24 billion) by 2020 and 400 billion yuan ($63 billion) by 2025. Many in the United States have denigrated Beijing’s ambitions, contesting China merely imitates, and is oft incapable of real innovation.
        2017年7月,中国国务院发布了一份雄心勃勃的政策蓝图,宣称要在2030年成为“世界主要的AI创新中心”。该计划的目标是到2020年将中国核心AI产业的规模扩大到1500亿元(约合240亿美元),到2025年将达到4000亿元(约合630亿美元)。在美国,许多人贬低中国的雄心,认为中国只是在抄袭,而且常常无法进行真正的创新。

        However, the country’s embrace of AI comes at a critical time, as the U.S. research sector, bereft of new funding and strategic vision under the Trump administration, faces the very real possibility of losing the race for supremacy in AI. According to the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the White House aims to cut science and technology research funding by 15 percent across the government in 2018. That’s a worrying statistic, considering the Obama administration reported in 2016 that China had already overtaken America in the number of published journal articles on deep learning, a key branch of AI.
        然而,中国对AI的拥抱正值一个关键时刻,因为美国的研究部门在特朗普政府的领导下正失去资金支持和战略眼光,可能在争夺AI领域霸主地位的竞争中败北。据美国科学促进会(AAAS)的数据显示,白宫计划在2018年将科学和技术研究经费削减15%。这令人感到十分担忧,因为奥巴马政府在2016年的报告中称,中国在“深度学习”(deep learning)领域发表的论文数量已经超过了美国,而深度学习是AI的一个关键分支。

        Just as oil drove industrialization, data is driving advances in the age of artificial intelligence. To build robust AI, engineers require large quantities of data, and nothing produces data quite like 1.4 billion humans. China’s vast population, coupled with its vibrant online communities, strong propensity toward mobile payments, and negligible privacy protection, means the country is awash with data. This abundance of information is the lifeblood of AI. Each time a user interacts with one of China’s indigenous tech giants, like WeChat, Alibaba, Baidu, or Taobao, data is fed back through learning algorithms, refining their accuracy.
        就像石油推动工业化一样,数据也在驱动AI时代的发展。为了建立强大的AI,工程师需要大量的数据,而没有哪个国家能像14亿中国人那样产生如此多的数据。中国有庞大的人口,再加上其活跃的在线社区,强烈的移动支付倾向,以及微不足道的隐私保护意识,这意味着中国充斥着海量数据。这些丰富的数据信息是AI的关键命脉。每当用户与中国本土科技巨头(如腾讯、阿里巴巴、百度)互动时,数据就会通过学习算法反馈回来,从而提高其准确性。

        While this phenomenon is not isolated to China, it is the sheer scale at which the country carries out these operations that may present it with an opportunity in the future to overtake the United States in AI. For example, The Financial Times reported in February 2017 that in 2016, Chinese mobile payments were approximately 50 times greater than those in the U.S. Similarly, the China Internet Network Information Center (CNNIC) estimated the total number of internet users at approximately 731 million, with 95 percent accessing from mobile devices. In comparison, estimates say the U.S. has under half this amount, with around 286.94 million internet users.
        虽然这一现象并不是中国所独有的,但正是中国实施这些行动的规模之大,意味着其可能将来在AI领域超越美国。举例来说,《金融时报》曾于2017年2月报道称,在2016年,中国移动支付的规模就已经达到美国的50倍。中国互联网络信息中心(CNNIC)估计其互联网用户总数约7.31亿,其中95%的人通过移动设备上网。相比之下,美国的互联网用户约为2.8694亿,还不到中国的一半。

        As China’s expansion in AI continues at a dizzying pace, sourcing qualified researchers and engineers is increasingly threatening industry growth around the world. In 2016, Beijing’s Ministry of Industry and Information-Technology estimated the country needed an additional 5 million AI workers to meet the industry’s needs. However, a recent LinkedIn survey revealed that China had a paltry 50,000 people working in technology-related roles within AI, lagging far behind the United States’ 850,000.
        随着中国在AI领域的扩张正以令人目眩的速度继续前进,其大规模招募研究人员和工程师的行为正日益威胁着世界各地的行业增长。2016年,中国工信部估计,中国需要额外的500万AI专业人士才能满足这个行业的需求。然而,职业求职网站LinkedIn最近的一项调查显示,在AI领域,中国只有5万人从事与AI科技相关的工作,远远落后于美国85万人的数字。

        Furthermore, the survey showed half of China’s biggest AI employers are American firms. Many Chinese talents remain in academia rather than industry — although this will likely change as tech giants hollow out universities and research institutes with the lure of higher salaries. Chinese companies must compete against the aggressive hiring techniques of U.S. firms like Google and Amazon if they are to win the AI talent war.
        此外,调查还显示,中国最大的AI雇主有半数是美国公司。许多中国人才留在学术界而不是进入AI领域,但是这种情况可能会发生变化,因为科技巨头们正利用高薪待遇吸引大学和研究院的相关人才。如果想要赢得AI人才争夺战的话,中国公司必须与谷歌和亚马逊等美国科技巨头抗衡。

        China’s ability to couple a burgeoning private sector with significant state resources allows Beijing to rapidly make sizable leaps in AI. The country is committing ample investment and political capital to its effort to reign supreme within AI.
        中国有能力将蓬勃发展的私营部门与重要的国有资源结合起来,这使得中国能够迅速在AI领域取得重大突破。中国正向AI领域大量投入资金和政治资本,并努力在该领域占据主导地位。