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GRE经济学人原版双语阅读 脑机接口可能改变人类存在意义

2018年04月17日10:44 来源:互联网
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摘要:无论是GRE还是GMAT阅读都是难度较高的题型。许多考生做不好双G阅读不是语言功底不够,而是对文章话题内容本身缺乏了解。小站君精选原版优质文章,助大家积累阅读量。今日双语版阅读:脑机接口可能改变人类存在意义。

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GRE经济学人原版双语阅读 脑机接口可能改变人类存在意义图1

The next frontier

下一个前沿地带

Brain-computer interfaces may change what it means to be human.

脑机接口可能改变成为人类的意义。

Technologies are often billed as transformative.

科学技术经常被誉为是翻天覆地的。

For William Kochevar, the term is justified.

对威廉·科其瓦而言,这个词恰如其分。

Mr Kochevar is paralysed below the shoulders after a cycling accident, yet has managed to feed himself by his own hand.

在一次骑行事故后,科其瓦肩部以下瘫痪了。然而,他做到了用自己的手吃饭。

This remarkable feat is partly thanks to electrodes, implanted in his right arm, which stimulate muscles.

这一壮举部分要感谢植入他右臂中的、刺激肌肉的各种电极。

But the real magic lies higher up.

但是,真正的魔力在更高之处。

Mr Kochevar can control his arm using the power of thought.

科其瓦能够运用思维的力量控制他的手臂。

His intention to move is reflected in neural activity in his motor cortex; these signals are detected by implants in his brain and processed into commands to activate the electrodes in his arms.

他想要挪动的意图在他的运动皮层的神经元活动中得到反映;这些信号被他大脑中的植入物探测到,被加工成各种命令,以激活他手臂中的电极。

An ability to decode thought in this way may sound like science fiction.

一种以这一方式解码思维的能力,或许听起来像是科幻小说。

But brain-computer interfaces (BCIs) like the BrainGate system used by Mr Kochevar provide evidence that mind-control can work.

但是,像被科其瓦所使用的BrainGate系统这样的人脑—计算机接口(BCI)提供的是思想控制行得通的证据。

Researchers are able to tell what words and images people have heard and seen from neural activity alone.

仅仅是从神经元的活动,研究人员就能够辨识人们听到的是什么词语,看到的是什么图像。

Information can also be encoded and used to stimulate the brain.

信息也可以被转换为计算机语言,并被用来刺激大脑。

Over 300,000 people have cochlear implants, which help them to hear by converting sound into electrical signals and sending them into the brain.

超过300000人拥有耳蜗植入物,通过把声音转换为电波并将其传送给大脑,这种植入物帮助人们听声辨音。

Scientists have “injected” data into monkeys' heads, instructing them to perform actions via electrical pulses.

科学家已经把数据“注入”猴子的大脑,通过电脉冲指导它们做各种动作。

As our Technology Quarterly in this issue explains, the pace of research into BCIs and the scale of its ambition are increasing.

正如本期的《科技季刊》所诠释的那样,对BCI的研究步伐及其雄心壮志的规模正在加快和扩大。

Both America's armed forces and Silicon Valley are starting to focus on the brain.

美国军方和硅谷都正在开始聚焦人脑。

Facebook dreams of thought-to-text typing.

脸书梦想着思维转化为文字的打字技术。

Kernel, a startup, has $100m to spend on neurotechnology.

创业公司Kernel有1000万美元要花在神经技术上面。

Elon Musk has formed a firm called Neuralink; he thinks that, if humanity is to survive the advent of artificial intelligence, it needs an upgrade.

马斯克组建了一家名为Neuralink的公司。他认为,在人工智能降临之后,如果人类想生存下去,需要一次升级。

GRE经济学人原版双语阅读 脑机接口可能改变人类存在意义图2

Entrepreneurs envisage a world in which people can communicate telepathically, with each other and with machines, or acquire superhuman abilities, such as hearing at very high frequencies.

创业者们描绘了一个身在其中的人们能够相互或是与机器之间进行心灵感应式的沟通交流、或是获得诸如以甚高频听声辨音这样的超人能力的世界。

These powers, if they ever materialise, are decades away.

如果想让它们成为看得见摸得着的东西,这些力量尚有数十年之遥。

But well before then, BCIs could open the door to remarkable new applications.

但是,在那之前,BCI可能对全新的应用敞开大门。

Imagine stimulating the visual cortex to help the blind, forging new neural connections in stroke victims or monitoring the brain for signs of depression.

设想一下刺激视觉皮层以帮助盲人、在中风患者身上再造新的神经连接,或者是为了抑郁迹象而监视大脑等诸如此类的应用前景吧。

By turning the firing of neurons into a resource to be harnessed, BCIs may change the idea of what it means to be human.

把神经元的燃烧转化为一种可资利用的资源,借此,BCI或许就能改变做人意义何在的思想。

Sceptics scoff.

怀疑论者不屑一顾。

Taking medical BCIs out of the lab into clinical practice has proved very difficult.

让医用脑机接口走出实验室进入临床实践,已经被证明是非常困难的。

The BrainGate system used by Mr Kochevar was developed more than ten years ago, but only a handful of people have tried it out.

被科其瓦使用的BrainGate系统早在十多年前就被开发出来了。但是,只有屈指可数的几个人试用过这种系统。

Turning implants into consumer products is even harder to imagine.

让植入物变成消费品甚至更难想象。

The path to the mainstream is blocked by three formidable barriers—technological, scientific and commercial.

通向主流的道路被三大的障碍——技术的、科学的和商业的——给堵住了。

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