剑桥雅思5 Test 3阅读Passage 3原文翻译 The return of Artificial Intelligence 人工智能的回归
剑桥雅思5 Test 3 Passage 3阅读原文翻译
After years in the wilderness, the term ‘artificial intelligence’ (AI) seems poised to make a comeback. AI was big in the 1980s but vanished in the 1990s. It re-entered public consciousness with the release of AI, a movie about a robot boy. This has ignited public debate about AI, but the term is also being used once more within the computer industry. Researchers, executives and marketing people are now using the expression without irony or inverted commas. And it is not always hype. The term is being applied, with some justification, to products that depend on technology that was originally developed by AI researchers. Admittedly, the rehabilitation of the term has a long way to go, and some firms still prefer to avoid using it. But the fact that others are starting to use it again suggests that AI has moved on from being seen as an over-ambitious and under-achieving field of research.
在荒废多年之后，“人工智能”（AI ）一词似乎势必卷土重来。AI在20世纪80年代十分流行，但在20世纪90年代消失了。一部关于机器人男孩的电影《AI》的发布重新唤起了公众的意识。这点燃了关于AI的公开辩论，但该术语也再次被计算机行业使用。研究人员，管理人员和市场营销人员现在正在使用该表述，而不会产生讽刺或带有引号。而且它并不总是炒作。该术语被合理地用于描述一些产品。它们建立在最初由AI研究者所开发的技术之上。诚然，该术语的恢复还有很长的路要走，并且一些公司仍然希望避免使用它。但是，其他人再次开始使用它的事实表明，AI 已从被视为过于雄心勃勃且成绩欠佳的研究领域大步向前发展。
The field was launched, and the term ‘artificial intelligence’ coined, at a conference in 1956 by a group of researchers that included Marvin Minsky, John McCarthy, Herbert Simon and Alan Newell, all of whom went on to become leading figures in the field. The expression provided an attractive but informative name for a research programme that encompassed such previously disparate fields as operations research, cybernetics, logic and computer science. The goal they shared was an attempt to capture or mimic human abilities using machines. That said, different groups of researchers attacked different problems, from speech recognition to chess playing, in different ways; AI unified the field in name only. But it was a term that captured the public imagination.
Most researchers agree that AI peaked around 1985. A public reared on science-fiction movies and excited by the growing power of computers had high expectations. For years, AI researchers had implied that a breakthrough was just around the corner. Marvin Minsky said in 1967 that within a generation the problem of creating ‘artificial intelligence’ would be substantially solved. Prototypes of medical-diagnosis programs and speech recognition software appeared to be making progress. It proved to be a false dawn. Thinking computers and household robots failed to materialise, and a backlash ensued. ‘There was undue optimism in the early 1980s,’ says David Leake, a researcher at Indiana University. ‘Then when people realised these were hard problems, there was retrenchment. By the late 1980s, the term AI was being avoided by many researchers, who opted instead to align themselves with specific sub-disciplines such as neural networks, agent technology, case-based reasoning, and so on.’
大多数研究人员都同意A I 在1985年左右达到顶峰。对科幻电影感兴趣，并对计算机日益强大的功能感到兴奋的公众对此寄予厚望。多年来，AI 研究人员一直暗示突破指日可待。马文·明斯基（Marvin Minsky）在1967年表示，创造“人工智能”的问题将在一代人以内得到实质性解决。医学诊断程序和语音识别软件的原型似乎正在取得进展。事实证明那是虚假的曙光。会思考的计算机和家用机器人未能实现，反弹随之而来。印第安纳大学的研究人员戴维· 莱克（David Leake ）说：“在20世纪80年代初，人们过分乐观。然后，当人们意识到这些是十分困难的问题时，紧缩就发生了。到20世纪80年代后期，许多研究人员都不再使用‘AI ’一词。他们选择将自己与特定的子学科联系在一起，例如神经网络，代理技术，基于案例的推理等等。”
Ironically, in some ways AI was a victim of its own success. Whenever an apparently mundane problem was solved, such as building a system that could land an aircraft unattended, the problem was deemed not to have been AI in the first place. ‘If it works, it can’t be AI,’ as Dr Leake characterises it. The effect of repeatedly moving the goal-posts in this way was that AI came to refer to ‘blue-sky’ research that was still years away from commercialisation. Researchers joked that AI stood for ‘almost implemented’. Meanwhile, the technologies that made it onto the market, such as speech recognition, language translation and decision-support software, were no longer regarded as AI. Yet all three once fell well within the umbrella of AI research.
具有讽刺意味的是，从某种方式上说，AI是自己成功的受害者。每当一个平凡的问题得到解决，如构建无人操作的飞机降落系统，该问题就会立刻被视为不是AI。正如Leake博士概括的那样，“如果它行的通，它就不是AI。”。这种反复移动目标方式造成了如下影响：AI 指的是距商业化还差几年的“blue-sky”研究。研究人员开玩笑说AI 代表“几乎已实现” 。同时，已经进入市场的技术，如语音识别，语言翻译和决策辅助软件等，不再被当作AI来看待。然而，这三者曾一度处于AI 研究的范围之内。
But the tide may now be turning, according to Dr Leake. HNC Software of San Diego, backed by a government agency, reckon that their new approach to artificial intelligence is the most powerful and promising approach ever discovered. HNC claim that their system, based on a cluster of 30 processors, could be used to spot camouflaged vehicles on a battlefield or extract a voice signal from a noisy background – tasks humans can do well, but computers cannot. ‘Whether or not their technology lives up to the claims made for it, the fact that HNC are emphasising the use of AI is itself an interesting development,’ says Dr Leake.
Another factor that may boost the prospects for AI in the near future is that investors are now looking for firms using clever technology, rather than just a clever business model, to differentiate themselves. In particular, the problem of information overload, exacerbated by the growth of e-mail and the explosion in the number of web pages, means there are plenty of opportunities for new technologies to help filter and categorise information – classic AI problems. That may mean that more artificial intelligence companies will start to emerge to meet this challenge.
The 1969 film, 2001: A Space Odyssey, featured an intelligent computer called HAL 9000. As well as understanding and speaking English, HAL could play chess and even learned to lipread. HAL thus encapsulated the optimism of the 1960s that intelligent computers would be widespread by 2001. But 2001 has been and gone, and there is still no sign of a HAL-like computer. Individual systems can play chess or transcribe speech, but a general theory of machine intelligence still remains elusive. It may be, however, that the comparison with HAL no longer seems quite so important, and AI can now be judged by what it can do, rather than by how well it matches up to a 30-year-old science-fiction film. ‘People are beginning to realise that there are impressive things that these systems can do,’ says Dr Leake hopefully.
1969年的电影《 2001：太空漫游指南》以一部名为HAL 9000的智能计算机为特色。除了能理解和说英语外，HAL还能下象棋，甚至学会读唇语。HAL由此代表了20世纪60年代的乐观看法，即智能计算机将在2001年得到广泛应用。但是2001年已经过去了，现在仍然没有类似HAL的计算机的迹象。存在独立的系统可以下棋或转录语音，但是机器智能的一般理论仍然难以捉摸。但是，与HAL的比较似乎不再那么重要了，现在可以通过它能做什么来判断AI ，而不是根据它与一部拥有30年历史的科幻电影的匹配程度来判断。Leake博士满怀希望地说：“人们开始意识到这些系统可以做些令人印象深刻的事情。”