经济学人:帝国野心 马克扎克伯格的下一个计统治地位(上)
日期:2016-05-06 17:00



Leaders Imperial ambitions
社论精粹 帝国野心
Mark Zuckerberg prepares to fight for dominance of the next era of computing
NOT since the era of imperial Rome has the “thumbs-up” sign been such a potent and public symbol of power. A mere 12 years after it was founded, Facebook is a great empire with a vast population, immense wealth, a charismatic leader, and mind-boggling reach and influence. The world's largest social network has 1.6 billion users, a billion of whom use it every day for an average of over 20 minutes each. In the Western world, Facebook accounts for the largest share of the most popular activity (social networking) on the most widely used computing devices (smartphones); its various apps account for 30% of mobile internet use by Americans. And it is the sixth-most-valuable public company on Earth, worth some $325 billion.

Even so, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's 31-year-old founder and chief executive, has even greater ambitions. He has plans to connect the digitally unconnected in poor countries by beaming internet signals from solar-powered drones, and is making big bets on artificial intelligence (AI), “chatbots” and virtual reality (VR). This bid for dominance will bring him into increasing conflict with the other great empires of the technology world, and Google in particular. The ensuing battle will shape the digital future for everyone.
即便如此,31岁的Facebook创始人及首席执行官马克·扎克伯格(Mark Zuckerberg)仍有更宏伟的志向。他计划用太阳能供电的无人机发送互联网信号,以连接贫困国家尚未连入数字世界的人,他在人工智能(AI)、聊天机器人和虚拟现实(VR)上押下重注。对统治地位的竞逐会令他和科技世界其他伟大帝国之间的冲突不断增加,尤其是同谷歌之间。今后的战斗将为每个人塑造数字化的未来。
Facebook has prospered by building compelling services that attract large audiences, whose attention can then be sold to advertisers. The same is true of Google. The two play different roles in their users' lives: Google has masses of data about the world, whereas Facebook knows about you and your friends; you go to Google to get things done, but turn to Facebook when you have time to kill. Yet their positions of dominance and their strategies are becoming remarkably similar. Unparalleled troves of data make both firms difficult to challenge and immensely profitable, giving them the wealth to make bold bets and to deal with potential competitors by buying them. And both firms crave more users and more data—which, for all the do-gooding rhetoric, explains why they are both so interested in extending internet access in the developing world, using drones or, in Google's case, giant balloons.
The task is to harness data to offer new services and make money in new ways. Facebook's bet on AI is a recognition that “machine learning”—in which software learns by crunching data, rather than having to be explicitly programmed—is a big part of the answer.


1.fight for 争取

例句:I hope they continue to fight for equal justice after I'm gone.

2.public symbol 公共标志

例句:Adds a sales and public relations symbol to your workflow flowchart.

3.account for 对…负有责任

例句:Computers account for 5% of the country's commercial electricity consumption.

4.bring to 带来

例句:The trip will bring to an end years of estrangement between the two countries.

  • rhetoricn. 修辞,华丽虚饰的语言,修辞学
  • networkn. 网络,网状物,网状系统 vt. (以网络)覆
  • commercialadj. 商业的 n. 商业广告
  • particularadj. 特殊的,特别的,特定的,挑剔的 n. 个别项目
  • cravev. 渴望,热望,恳求
  • executiveadj. 行政的,决策的,经营的,[计算机]执行指令 n
  • explicitlyadv. 明白地,明确地
  • imperialadj. 帝国(王)的,至尊的,特大的 n. 皇帝,女皇
  • vastadj. 巨大的,广阔的 n. 浩瀚的太空
  • intelligencen. 理解力,智力 n. 情报,情报工作,情报机关