订阅

多平台阅读

微信订阅

杂志

申请纸刊赠阅

订阅每日电邮

移动应用

商业 - 科技

TED现场报道:拉里•佩奇揭秘“探月工程”

Adam Lashinsky 2014年03月25日

谷歌探月大奖赛要求参赛团队主要借助私人赞助将月球车发射到月球上,并至少行进500米,向地球发回高清视频及其他数据。谷歌为什么要发起这个项目?谷歌CEO拉里•佩奇解释说,谷歌总是着眼于大家不关注的地方。或许这就是谷歌成功的秘诀。

现场主持查理•罗斯和谷歌公司首席执行官拉里•佩奇在温哥华TED大会上。

    会议往往就像现场版的话剧。由于人为因素的存在,总是无法达到完美,就算TED大会也不例外。上周,这个兼容并包的盛会在加拿大不列颠哥伦比亚省的温哥华举行。但是就在这次盛会上,一些奇妙的时刻不期而至,让我们明白,为什么任何现场版的活动都是那么特别,值得参与,而且不可能被变成标准化的商品。

    上周三的TED大会上,这个奇妙的时刻发生在麻省理工学院(MIT)教授休•赫尔介绍仿生学的时候。赫尔本人就是一位双侧截肢者,他对自己的计算机辅助修复手术中所采用的科学做了引人入胜的讲解,同时向大家演示,他戴着假肢照样能跳上跳下。亲眼目睹他像那些自如踱步的演讲者一样在台上从容行走实在令人叹为观止。他明确告诉大家,仿生学现在已经取得重大进步,在不远的将来,那些四肢健康的病人可能也会希望通过仿生学来增强自己的肢体功能。赫尔说:“装在我们身体上的机械部件会让我们更强壮、更敏捷。”但是当赫尔说起自己与阿德里安娜•哈斯利特-戴维斯打交道的经历时,这个奇妙的时刻才真正来临。她是一名舞者,在震惊世界的波士顿马拉松恐怖炸弹袭击中失去了一条腿。赫尔在麻省理工媒体实验室(Media Lab)的团队研究了交际舞舞者的动作,以便为她设计一条新的腿。随后他就把她和一位舞伴请上台来跳了一小段舞蹈,此情此景让在场观众无不动容。可能这么说有点俗套,但当时现场确实没有人不为之眼眶湿润的。

    罗伯•奈特的演说不那么让人动感情,但也许却更有影响力。他是一名“微生物生态学家”,向大家介绍了健康患者的“肠道细菌”与患有严重痢疾的病人的肠道菌群混合后,好细菌战胜了坏细菌,从而治好了病人。奈特还介绍,相关研究表明,自然分娩的婴儿出生时携带“阴道微生物”,而剖腹产婴儿带有“皮肤微生物”。后一类婴儿更易患哮喘和肥胖等慢性病,而前一类似乎更健康。通过控制微生物来治疗疾病目前尚处试验阶段,但奈特相信相关药物可能五年内就能问世。

    上周三的TED舞台上,新闻评论员兼脱口秀主持人查理•罗斯采访了谷歌公司(Google)首席执行官拉里•佩奇。佩奇并没有取得什么重大的新进展。由于长期患病,他的声音比较微弱,听起来颇为刺耳。但尽管如此,佩奇呈现在大家面前的却是一位大局在握、充满自信、高瞻远瞩且领先业界的高管形象。他谈起了谷歌打造由气球构成的“全球网”的宏大计划,这项计划能让那些普通服务难以覆盖的地区也用上互联网——没人会认为他这些话听起来像纯属狂想。他还回顾了自己对改善交通条件的那番热忱,包括谷歌研发自动驾驶汽车的行动。他表示,这一切都源于他还在密歇根读大学时大冷天等公车时产生的厌恨。最有意思的是,佩奇通过向大家介绍谷歌对它所谓探月行动的热衷介绍了“额外性”这一数学概念。他说:“我们总能着眼于没人在做的事。”这一点无可辩驳——或者也正是这种思路成就了谷歌今天非凡的成功。

    这一届TED有太多值得报道的内容,不过我将在下一篇报道中再和读者分享。上周三大会临近结束时,TED的负责人克里斯•安德森宣布,美国国家安全局副局长里克•雷杰特已同意接受视频采访,对安德森在周二对流亡告密者爱德华•斯诺登所做的采访做出回应。这个采访一定十分吸引人,大家可以看到雷杰特在对斯诺登的指控为国安局——同时也为自己做辩护时是否会像斯诺登攻击国安局时一样激情昂扬。这个采访计划于太平洋夏令时上午8:30开始。(财富中文网)

    译者:清远

    Conferences are like live theater. With the human element, nothing's perfect, not even at TED, the eclectic conference taking place this week in Vancouver, British Columbia. But then magic happens, which reminds you why live events of any kind are special, worth the effort of attending, and impossible to commoditize.

    Such a magical moment happened Wednesday at TED during a presentation about bionics by MIT professor Hugh Herr. A double amputee, Herr gave a mesmerizing talk about the science that went into his computer-assisted prosthetics, including a demonstration of how he can jump up and down in them. Watching him amble around the stage like any wandering speaker was a sight to behold, and he explained how bionics have come so far that in the not-so-distant future patients with healthy limbs may want bionics to augment their performance. "Machines attached to our bodies will make us stronger and faster," Herr said. But the magical moment came as Herr explained how he met Adrianne Haslet-Davis, a dancer who lost a limb in the Boston Marathon terror-bombing. His team at MIT's Media Lab studied the movements of ballroom dancers in order to program a new limb for Haslet-Davis. Then he introduced her and a dance partner to a stunned audience, as they performed a short number. It may be a little cliché to say, but there wasn't a dry eye in the house.

    Less emotional but perhaps more impactful was a presentation by Rob Knight, a "microbial ecologist," who explained how "gut microbes" from a healthy patient could be mingled with the microbes of patients with severe diarrhea, resulting in the good bugs winning out over the bad ones and curing the patient. Knight also explained how research shows that babies born in natural childbirth have "vaginal microbes" at birth, while C-section babies have "skin microbes." The latter cohort are more susceptible to chronic problems like asthma and obesity, while the former appear to be healthier. Microbial manipulation as a form of treatment remains experimental, but Knight believes actual medicines may be as little as five years away.

    Newscaster and talk show host Charlie Rose interviewed Google CEO Larry Page Wednesday on the TED stage. Page didn't break any new ground, and his faint voice due to a persistent medical condition was jarring to hear. But what emerged from Page was a portrait of an in-control, confident, strategic and industry-leading executive. He talked about Google's plans to build a "worldwide mesh" of balloons to bring the Internet to tough-to-serve areas -- and no one thought he sounded crazy.He reflected on his obsession with improving transportation, including Google's quest for self-driving cars, saying it dates to his hatred for waiting in the cold for buses in the wintertime when he was a college student in Michigan. Most interestingly, Page referred to the mathematical concept of "additionality," by way of explaining Google's penchant for what it likes to call moon shots. "We look at things no one else is working on," he said. It's hard to argue with that -- or that this mentality is what accounts for Google's impressive successes.

    There's so much more to report from TED, but I'll save these things for my next dispatch. At the very end of the day Wednesday, TED head Chris Anderson announced that Rick Ledgett, deputy director of the National Security Agency, had agreed to be interviewed by video in order to respond to Anderson's interview on Tuesday with fugitive whistleblower Edward Snowden. It will be fascinating to learn if Ledgett is willing to be as demonstrative in defending the NSA against Snowden's accusations as Snowden was in attacking the NSA -- and defending himself. The session is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. PDT.

我来点评

  最新文章

最新文章:

500强情报中心

财富专栏