《经济学人》:产品是否货真价实? GoodGuide软件能帮你
日期:2011-11-24 09:46

(单词翻译:单击)

A guide to goodness
良品导购

Values for money
价廉物良

Want to know if a product is virtuous? There’s an app for that
想知道一个产品是否货真价实?有个软件能帮你

Someone spilled hypocrisy on aisle five
有人在5号货架的走道上洒了虚伪产品

AS HE applied sunscreen to his young daughter’s face, Dara O’Rourke, a professor of environmental and labour policy at the University of California, Berkeley, found himself wondering if the lotion was safe. He realised there was no readily available answer. The result—two years, a team of chemists, lots of testing and a chunk of venture capital later—is GoodGuide.com. Launched in 2008, this is a website and smart phone app that rates 140,000 consumer products (currently only in America) according to their safety, environmental sustainability and the ethics of the firms that make them. Now GoodGuide has created a new purchase analyser app designed to inform consumers not just about the values embedded in products, but also about whether they are the virtuous shoppers they say they want to be.
当加利福尼亚大学伯克利分校的环境与劳工政策教授多拉•欧罗克往他年幼的女儿脸上抹防晒霜时,他发现自己在怀疑这种防晒霜是否安全。他意识到这个问题没有现成的答案。历时两年,一批化学家进行了大量的测试及后期风险投资,成果是建立了指南网(GoodGuide.com)。这个成立于2008年的网站有配套的智能手机软件,它根据安全性、环境可持续性及生产厂商的道德操守对十四万种消费品(目前仅限于在美国的产品)进行了评估。现在,指南网已开发了一个新的购物分析家软件,此软件不仅旨在告诉消费者产品的内在价值,也旨在告诉消费者他们是不是自己所说的希望成为的良心购物者。

Using the new app requires selecting a series of characteristics, which can range from whether the user favours organic products to buying only from firms with a good human-rights record. (It also rates how competitively things are priced, via a partnership with Price Grabber.) The consumer then scans the bar code on a product with the camera in their smartphone. The app identifies it and checks in a database to score how it shapes up.
使用这个新软件需要对一系列特性进行选择,这些特性涵盖了从用户是否喜欢有机产品到只从人权记录良好的公司购买产品等方面。(通过与Price Grabber合作,指南网还能评估产品的定价有多少竞争力。)然后,消费者用其智能手机中的摄像头扫描产品上的条形码。软件识别条形码并在数据库中进行检索,从而为产品评分。

Much therefore depends on the quality of the data, which GoodGuide gathers from various sources, including government reports and scientific studies, and research by its own staff. If the product scores badly, the app will recommend an alternative item which is rated more highly. The app also tracks a consumer’s purchases to see how well they fit with their selected values, giving a sort of personal virtue (or hypocrisy) rating.
因此,评分结果在很大程度上取决于数据的质量,这些数据是指南网从各处搜集而来的,来源包括政府报告、科学研究及其员工所作的调查。如果产品得分很低,软件就会推荐另一种得分更高的替代产品。软件还会追踪消费者的购物记录,看看他们的购物行为在多大程度上符合自身赞同的购物观,然后给出一种个人的购物美德度(或虚伪度)等级。

So far, GoodGuide has mostly been used by shoppers who are already keen to know about any issues connected with products they buy. They are mothers concerned about a child’s health, older people facing a chronic illness or supporters of a cause, such as animal rights. The hope behind the app is that the idea of finding out about a product’s background will become mainstream.
到目前为止,使用指南网的大都是这样的购物者:他们已热衷于了解任何关于其购买的商品的问题。他们是关心子女健康的母亲、身患慢性疾病的老年人和某项事业(如维护动物权利)的支持者。这个软件背后的期望是:查清一种产品的背景信息这个理念会变成主流。

Consumers rarely change their buying habits, even when confronted with scientific and other data, says Mr O’Rourke. So he has drawn on insights from behavioural economics, which show shoppers can be greatly influenced by peer pressure and by information passed on to them by people they know. The app tries to take advantage of these pressures. The virtue rating will inform a consumer how well they are doing according to the values which they espouse. That measurement gives an incentive to do better. Soon, the rating will be able to be shared with others on social-media sites such as Facebook, which could inspire (or pressurise) a shopper to consume more thoughtfully. It might even, believes Mr O’Rourke, turn being a good shopper into an online game.
欧罗克先生说,即使面对科学数据和其他数据,消费者都几乎不会改变他们的购物习惯。于是他利用了行为经济学的观点来开发这个软件。这些观点表明,同辈压力及购物者认识的人传递给他们的信息都能对购物者产生很大的影响。这个软件尝试利用这些压力。购物美德度评估会根据购物者所赞成的购物观来告知他们其购物表现如何。这种评估会促使购物者改善其购物行为。很快,人们就能够在如脸谱网(Facebook)的社交媒介中与别人分享这种评估,这将鼓励(或施压)购物者更加理性地消费。欧罗克先生认为,这个软件可能甚至会将做一个优秀的购物者变为线上游戏。

hypocrisy n.伪善
lotion n.化妆水
embedded adj.植入的
database n.数据库
chronic adj.慢性的, 习惯性的
confront v.遭遇

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重点单词
  • qualityn. 品质,特质,才能 adj. 高品质的
  • measurementn. 测量,衡量,尺寸,大小
  • availableadj. 可用的,可得到的,有用的,有效的
  • peern. 同等的人,同辈,贵族 vi. 凝视,窥视
  • alternativeadj. 两者择一的; 供选择的; 非主流的 n. 替换
  • inspirevt. 影响,使 ... 感动,激发,煽动 vi. 吸入
  • aislen. (席位间的)通道,侧廊
  • consumev. 消耗,花费,挥霍
  • advantagen. 优势,有利条件 vt. 有利于
  • incentiveadj. 刺激的,鼓励的 n. 刺激,鼓励,动机