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2020-11-25 17:41:41
本文摘要:Coming to San Francisco for the first time in a few years brings home how much it has been transformed. Whatever you call what is happening — a boom, a bubble or a flood of money into what was known as new technology before the “new” became redundant — has augmented the city’s reality.有些年看看过旧金山,这次回到这里,我意识到这座城市再次发生了极大的变化。


Coming to San Francisco for the first time in a few years brings home how much it has been transformed. Whatever you call what is happening — a boom, a bubble or a flood of money into what was known as new technology before the “new” became redundant — has augmented the city’s reality.有些年看看过旧金山,这次回到这里,我意识到这座城市再次发生了极大的变化。不管你怎么形容这里正在再次发生的事情——兴旺、泡沫或者大量资金流向技术(以前曾被称作“新的”技术,现在“新的”字可以省略了),这座城市的现实状况因此而提高。Once, there was a gaping divide between southern and northern California — between Hollywood and Silicon Valley. To the south was the dream factory of fantasy and imagination; in the north was science, hardware such as the transistor and chino-clad venture capitalists who worked in business parks on Sand Hill Road and lived in sprawling suburbia. San Francisco was a pretty, but unexciting tourist town.过去,加利福尼亚州的南部和北部——好莱坞和硅谷——之间不存在极大的鸿沟。南部是生产幻想和想象的梦想工厂;北部则归属于科学,归属于晶体管等硬件,以及那些在沙山路(Sand Hill Road)商业园工作、在大大扩展的广大郊区居住于、衣着休闲娱乐的风险资本家。

旧金山那时是一个美丽,但也沉闷无趣的旅游城市。It feels more like Hollywood now, full of people writing scripts and honing pitches. “Brave new world companies create something that was not there before. They do not just save somebody money,” a middle-aged man told a young entrepreneur at a nearby table in a diner on Monday morning. The ingénu should portray his venture as more than “faster, better, cheaper”.现在这里给人感觉更加像好莱坞了,剩是写出“脚本”和抛光点评词的人。那个周一的早上,餐馆邻桌的一名中年男子对一名年长创业者说道:“这些修建‘美丽新世界’的企业建构过去不不存在的事物。它们某种程度是老大某些人省了钱。

”这个生涩的小伙子应当将他的项目叙述为不只是“更加慢、更佳、更加低廉”。Later that day one venture capitalist described his own firm’s decision to turn down Uber when it was first raising money as “a lamentable failure of imagination”. The partners should have realised that the pitch for a smartphone limousine service in San Francisco implied a platform to revolutionise global transport. Instead of thinking of the legal obstacles, they ought to have suspended their disbelief.当天晚些时候,一名风险资本家描写了他自己的企业在优步(Uber)首次筹措资金时拒绝接受了它的事情,称之为那个要求是“一次令人痛惜的想象力失灵”。


他的合伙人们当时应当意识到,那场关于一款旧金山智能手机叫车软件的点评活动,伴随着一个将为全球交通上下班带给变革的平台。他们本不不应考虑到法律方面的障碍,而不应继续拿起自己的猜测。The old things are shrunken — the San Francisco Chronicle is thin and full of wire stories — and others are exploding. An entire district has sprung up around China Basin on the edge of the city; Apple, which used to carve its stores into old buildings, has levelled a building by Union Square to build a Foster + Partners retail temple; the city’s bars are sleek and vibrant.陈旧的东西正在衰退——旧金山的编年史不宽,充满著了新鲜事物——其他的东西则在发生爆炸。

在这座城市的边缘,外面China Basin,一整片城区拔地而起;过去曾将门店挤入老旧建筑中的苹果(Apple),拆毁了牵头广场(Union Square)上的一栋大楼,修建了一座由Foster + Partners建筑事务所设计的标志性零售门店;这座城市的酒吧既时髦又充满活力。Silicon Valley is at one of those historic moments when a set of technologies start to work — and to work together — in unexpected ways. In this case, the interaction of mobile, robotic and artificial intelligence is producing a wave of applications and devices, from voice-activated software to self-driving cars. The machine knows what you want and where you are, and is steadily learning how to serve you.硅谷于是以处在这样一个历史性时刻:一系列技术开始以一种意想不到的方式发挥作用——并且协同三路。

在这种情况下,移动智能、机器智能和人工智能的对话产生了大批应用于和设备,从语音转录软件到自动驾驶汽车。机器告诉你想什么,身处何地,并且大大地自学如何为你服务。Andrew McAfee, co-author of The Second Machine Age, describes the experience of being transported in one of Google’s self-driving cars as going “from terrifying to thrilling to boring in 15 minutes”. The machine not only drives competently but with tedious predictability, always observing the speed limit and slowing at every obstacle, as if constantly trying to pass a driving test.《第二次机器革命》(The Second MachineAge)的年出版者安德鲁麦卡菲(Andrew McAfee)称之为自己搭乘谷歌(Google)自动驾驶汽车的心路历程是“15分钟内从惧怕到激动到索然无味”。

机器不仅能胜任驾驶员,还开得十分标准,其驾驶员展现出没什么悬念到令人沮丧的地步——总能仔细观察到车速标志,在每一个障碍物前都会滑行,就像总在参与路考一样。Behind innovations that have suddenly come to feel routine, such as facial and voice recognition, lie rapid advances in pattern recognition and emerging forms of artificial intelligence. The capacity of computers to sift through databases and comprehend what people are saying, what they mean and what they desire is evolving faster than many researchers had anticipated.在面部和语音辨识等人们急遽感觉习以为常的创意背后,模式识别很快发展,各种新型人工智能争相兴起。计算机筛查数据库并解读人们在说什么、意思是什么、以及想什么的能力,发展得比许多研究者预期得更慢。

As a result, plenty of investors are eager to throw money at start-ups that look as if they possess a piece of technology and a business idea that will form at least part of the brave new world. The fear of missing out is overwhelming the fear of losing money, as Bill Gurley of Benchmark Capital warned recently.结果是,许多投资者迫切地向这样一些初创企业乘机投资——它们看起来享有一样技术或一个商业点子,能最少部分包含这美丽新世界。Benchmark Capital的比尔格利(Bill Gurley)最近警告称之为,错失的不安压过了赔钱的不安。

History’s famous investment bubbles often formed around such combinations of easy money and fantastical inventions, and some of today’s venture capitalists suffered through the dotcom bust of 2000. Prod them about that and the optimists respond that the $48bn invested by US venture capital funds last year is only half the amount sloshing around at the last peak 15 years ago.历史上知名的投资泡沫往往打消于这种只能求得的金钱和动人非凡的发明者的融合。如今的风险资本家中,有一些曾经历过2000年互联网泡沫的幻灭。我蓄意问道关于那次泡沫的事情,一些悲观的人对此说道,美国风投基金去年投资了480亿美元,这仅有是15年前上一次高峰时期总额的一半。



This ignores the fact that a lot of the new money is coming not from venture funds but from other investors, including mutual funds such as T Rowe Price and Fidelity. Three-quarters of recent fundraising rounds by “unicorns” — start-ups valued at $1bn or more — were led by “non-traditional” investors, according to a recent study by Fenwick West, a Silicon Valley law firm.这种众说纷纭忽视了一点,很多新的投资并非来自于风投基金,而是来自其他投资者,还包括普信集团(T Rowe Price)和富达(Fidelity)等联合基金。硅谷律师事务所Fenwick West的近期研究指出,“独角兽”公司(指价值10亿美元或者以上的初创企业)最近几轮融资中,有四分之三是由“非传统”投资者联合。One is Carl Icahn, the activist investor, who this week put $100m into Lyft, a rival to Uber. Mr Icahn often makes life difficult for his investment targets but is as enamoured as everyone else with his Silicon Valley picks. “We’ll be the first to admit that you are more knowledgeable in these areas than we are,” he wrote fulsomely to Apple this week.维权投资者卡尔伊坎(Carl Icahn)就是其中之一。