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      商业 - 科技

      人工智能不是骗局,只是过度炒作

      Adam Lashinsky 2019年01月29日

      能赚钱的创新必然会引发炒作,人工智能也不例外。

      世界经济论坛年会于上周在瑞士达沃斯召开。(我今年没有参加,因为办公室还有很多工作要做。)像去年一样,人工智能是达沃斯论坛2019年日程上最重要的议题之一。AI无疑是席卷全球商界的重要科技趋势,同样也被大肆炒作。

      毕竟,技术和商业界有一条亘古不变的法则:一旦出现了任何复杂的发展变化,都会有人自封为该领域的传教士,试图吓唬其他一知半解的人,让他们购买自己的商品?#22836;?#21153;。今年达沃斯论坛上有大量专门讨论?#27809;?#39064;的小组,这是上述法则的必然结果。正如?#20197;?#26412;期《财富》杂志的另外一篇文章中所述,今年至少有11个会议谈到了人工智能。但这却未必会带来启发。

      人工智能不是骗局。能赚钱的创新必然会引发炒作。正如我的文章中各位专家解释的那样,关键是了解AI可以做什么,不能做什么。它们能做设计师训练它们学习的离散型任务,不能做任何需要辨识细微差别、需要利用同情心或智慧等人类品质的事情。

      ***

      我通常会在达沃斯论坛举办前打电话给政治情报咨询公司欧亚集团(Eurasia Group)的?#20064;?#20234;恩·布雷默,他也没有参加今年的会议。布雷默经常和世界各地的政客来往,向企业客户提供与政府打交道的建议。以下是他从远方围观达沃斯论坛的一些主题:

      ***

      *欧洲的弱点。因为离得近,欧洲的大量政商界领袖出席了达沃斯,布雷默说:“他们也是在勉为其难,尽管眼下他们也提不出什么建设性的看法。”英国脱欧乱局、法国马?#32902;?#30340;困境、德国被迫结束的默克尔时代、欧洲各地的各?#26234;?#20154;——没有一件好事。布雷默称,唐纳德·特?#21183;?#23613;管十分努力,却“无法破坏美国的制度?#20445;?#19982;之相比,“欧洲的领导者们试图破坏制度”——而且成功了。

      *受到?#36130;?#30340;科技巨头。“很明显,尽管科技公司拼尽全力,说‘我们将建立一个新的世界秩序,我们已经有解决方案’,他们却受到各方打压。”布雷默说。“中国人提出了新方案,却无处投资。这些科技公司受到来自美国公众和欧洲监管机构的阻力,甚至彼此间也相互阻?#21360;!逼还?#20844;司抨击谷歌和Facebook,微软则在讨论隐私问题时?#33529;?#22320;建议对其中极窄的一部?#32440;?#34892;监管——面部识别。

      *上层人士的压力(更大)。达沃斯会议有时是不同场景的荒诞并存,一边是对如何修复世界进行高尚的长篇大论,另外一边,公司大佬在荒唐的派对上花的钱足够国内好些个营地里无家可归的人们花好几年,俄罗斯寡头们在镇外别墅里举办种种堕落放荡的活动。从根本上说,商人们?#21019;?#27779;斯是为了做生意,只有他们坚持假装自己另有所求时才会出现问题。“问题不是全球化被打破了。”布雷默说。“不是的。而是人?#24378;?#21040;精英阶层利?#27599;?#25918;的国界发家致富。尽管克劳斯·施瓦布(世界经济论坛的铁腕创始人)希望在方框里打上勾,表明他已经解决了这个问题,但事实是人们真正想谈的是他们的股东、他们的商?#30340;?#24335;,诸如此类。他们对研究自己的商?#30340;?#24335;会如何被打破、威胁他们的是什么并不真的?#34892;?#36259;。”

      关于布雷默的最后一点,从2018年12月初我就开始随身携带戴维·莱昂哈特的专栏“如果CEO们关心美国?#20445;?#32447;上标题:“美国?#26102;局?#20041;失灵了?#20445;6杂?#36798;沃斯的大佬而言,他们在寒冷的瑞士小镇乘坐开足暖气的轿车从一个活动前往下一个活动时,这是很不错的短篇读物。(财富中文网)

      译者:Agatha

      The World Economic Forum annual meeting convened last week in Davos, Switzerland. (I’m skipping this year; there’s a lot to be done in the office.) One of the biggest topics on the 2019 agenda, as it was last year, is artificial intelligence. That’s because A.I. is at once an irrefutably important technological trend sweeping the business world and the subject of a commensurate amount of hype.

      After all, an immutable law of technology and business is that any complicated development brings with it self-proclaimed priests of said subject intent on frightening the less-informed into buying their goods and services. A corollary to this law is that the program in Davos will include oodles of panels devoted to the subject. As I note in this article from the current issue of Fortune, no fewer than 11 sessions reference A.I. this year. Enlightenment isn’t promised to follow.

      A.I. is no hoax. Hype is the natural byproduct of innovations that can make people money. The point, as various experts explain in my article, is to understand what A.I. can do—discrete tasks its designers have trained it to learn to do—and what it can’t, just about anything that requires the human qualities of nuance, empathy, or wisdom.

      ***

      Ahead of Davos, I typically call Ian Bremmer, boss of political-intelligence consultancy Eurasia Group, who’s also sitting out this year’s proceedings. Bremmer travels the world checking in on politicos and advising corporate clients on how to deal with governments. Here are a few of the themes he’s watching it from afar:

      ***

      * Europe’s weakness. Given their proximity, European political and business leaders show up in force at Davos, Bremmer notes, “hitting above their weight, even though they have very little constructive to say right now.” The Brexit mess, Macron’s woes in France, the forced end of the Merkel era in Germany, various strongmen around Europe’s edges—none of it is good. Contrasted with the United States, where Bremmer notes Donald Trump “can’t undo American institutions,” try as he may, “in Europe you have leaders trying to undo institutions”—and succeeding.

      * Big Tech in duress. “It is very clear that for all the efforts of the tech companies to say ‘We’re going to build a new world order where we’ve got the solutions,’ they are getting hit from all sides,” says Bremmer. “The Chinese are building alternatives they can’t invest in. And they’re getting pushback from the U.S. public, from European regulators, even from each other,” as Apple bashes Google and Facebook while Microsoft slyly recommends regulation of a narrow sliver of the privacy debate, facial recognition.

      * (More) pressure on elites. The Davos meeting is a sometimes surreal juxtaposition of high-minded bloviating about repairing the world even while corporate honchos spend enough on over-the-top parties to feed multiple homeless encampments back home for years and Russian oligarchs host debauched after-hours affairs in the villas outside of town. At root, the businesspeople are in Davos to do business, which is only problematic to the extent they insist on pretending otherwise. “It’s not that globalization is broken,” says Bremmer. “It’s not. It’s the perception that elites have used open borders to enrich themselves. As much as Klaus [Schwab, the iron-fisted WEF founder] wants to check the box and show he has addressed it, the fact is that what people really want to talk about are their shareholders, their business models, etcetera. They’re not really interested in trying to explore how their biz models may be broken and what’s threatening them.”

      To Bremmer’s final point, I’ve been carrying around with me for a bit now this David Leonhardt column from early December 2018, “When C.E.O.s Care About America.” (The online headline: “American Capitalism Isn’t Working.”) It’d be a good short read for the pooh-bahs in Davos to read while being shuttled in their heated sedans from one event to the next in the frigid Swiss town.

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