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我家的智能設備在監視我嗎?

Is My Not-So-Smart House Watching Me?
我家的智能設備在監視我嗎?

My light bulbs sometimes go rogue.

我的燈泡有時不聽話。

Invariably, this happens at some inopportune moment, like at midnight, when I walk into my bedroom and discover that to turn on the lights, I first need to install a software update to an app on my iPhone.

這種事總是發生在不合時宜的時刻,比如在午夜時分,我走進臥室,發現要想打開電燈,我需要先在iPhone上升級一個應用程序。

The porch light periodically misbehaves, too, refusing to automatically turn on, despite the schedule I diligently added to that same app. I could flip the switch like normal people do, but what would be the fun in that? These lights are supposed to be Smart, with a capital S, responding to my whim as all Smart things do.

門廊的燈也經常鬧情緒,拒絕自動打開,盡管我一絲不茍地給那個應用程序添加了時間表。我可以像普通人那樣按開關,但那樣做有什么樂趣呢?這些燈應該是智能的,應該和所有的智能產品一樣,滿足我的任何想法。

If I wanted to get super smart, I could connect the bulbs to an Amazon Echo and shout at Alexa, commanding her to flood my room with light, or dim it to a sultry glow whenever the mood strikes.

如果我想變得超級智能,我可以把燈泡與Amazon Echo相連,對Alexa大喊,命令她用燈光照亮我的房間,或者在我情緒低落時把燈光調暗。

Of course, there’s a chance she might feel lonely, and randomly decide to talk about the weather, as she does in the middle of the night with Sarah Coffey, an editor for Dow Jones Newswires, who lives in Maplewood, New Jersey. “I don’t understand why Alexa is speaking to me at 3 in the morning,” Coffey, 44, said. But she is.

當然,有時她可能會感到孤獨,沒頭沒腦地就談起天氣來,比如她大半夜和住在新澤西州梅普爾伍德的道瓊斯新聞社(Dow Jones Newswires)編輯莎拉·科菲(Sarah Coffey)就是這么聊的。44歲的科菲說,“我不明白Alexa為什么要在凌晨3點跟我說話。”但她就這樣。

For as long as we’ve been imagining the wonders of household gadgets, we’ve been struggling with them. No sooner did Americans have TVs in their homes than Zenith invented a remote control, calling it Lazy Bones, in 1950. These little rectangular boxes were intended to make our leisure time more leisurely, but as they have become commonplace, they have contributed to our growing waistlines and marital discord (except, of course, when they are lost in the couch cushions).

從我們想象家用電器的奇跡那一天起,我們就一直在和它們做斗爭。1950年,在電視機進入美國家庭后不久,齊尼思無線電公司(Zenith)就發明了一種遙控器,名叫“懶骨頭”(Lazy Bones)。那些長方形的小盒子本來是為了讓我們的閑暇時光更悠閑,但普及開來后,它們也導致我們腰圍增大,婚姻不和(當然,除非它們消失在了沙發墊里)。

紐約時報中英文網 http://www.zvkdrb.live/

Even the Jetsons, the fabulously futuristic cartoon characters from the early 1960s, struggled with their digital devices, as automatic bed ejectors, digital breakfast makers and robotic toothbrushes caused more chaos than convenience in the cartoon’s first episode.

甚至連20世紀60年代開播的精彩的未來主義動畫片《杰森一家》(Jetsons)中的人物,也在與他們的數碼設備做斗爭。在第一集中,自動彈射床、數碼早餐機和機器人牙刷帶來了更多混亂,而非便利。

Yet our love affair with stuff smarter than us continues. Roughly a third of U.S. households already have smart gadgets, and by 2022, more than half of all households will, according to the research firm Statista.

但是,我們對比自己更智能的東西的愛還在繼續。根據研究公司Statista的數據,約三分之一的美國家庭擁有智能設備,預計到2022年,這個數字將超過一半。

Light bulbs are just the beginning. I could get a Colgate Connect toothbrush to map my mouth and give me pointers; a Roomba vacuuming robot to clean up after me; or a smart refrigerator to warn me that the milk might curdle. I could swap out my doorbell for one with a camera, delivering me live footage of the UPS driver dropping off a Bluetooth-enabled Instant Pot that can monitor how quickly the rice cooks.

燈泡只是個開始。我可以買一個高露潔連接牙刷(Colgate Connect),它可以繪制我的口腔地圖,指示我哪里刷得不夠干凈;一個Roomba掃地機器人,跟在我后面打掃;或者一臺智能冰箱,它會提醒我牛奶快凝結了。我可以換一個帶攝像頭的門鈴,它能向我直播UPS快遞員給我送來了一個帶有藍牙功能的電飯鍋,它可以監控米飯烹煮的進度。

All those sleek boxes and digital keypads carry the promise that, with just one more purchase and a swipe right, our lives will be easier, and our homes will run more smoothly. When we are at home, “our desires are right up front and we want those desires satisfied,” said Paul Levinson, a professor of communication and media studies at Fordham University and the author of “New New Media.” “That is the basis for all these things that we have in the house.”

這些時髦的盒子和數字鍵盤都承諾,只要再多買一件,劃動一下,我們的生活會變得更輕松,我們的家也會運行得更順暢。福德姆大學(Fordham University)的傳播與媒體研究教授、《新新媒體》(New New media)的作者保羅·萊文森(Paul Levinson)表示,我們在家里時,“我們的欲望就在眼前,我們想要滿足這些欲望。這是我們房子里出現的所有東西的根源”。

紐約時報中英文網 http://www.zvkdrb.live

Would my life be easier if I could keep track of dinner on my iPhone? I don’t know. But it probably would be more monitored. Even as we are in the midst of a collective freakout about the data that Facebook has been gathering and sharing without our permission, many of us are busily installing equipment that potentially bugs our homes and tracks our movements, conversations and routines.

如果我能在iPhone上錄下晚餐,我的生活會更輕松嗎?我不知道。但我們的生活可能會受到更多監視。盡管我們正處于對Facebook未經允許收集和共享數據的集體恐慌之中,但我們中的許多人也正在忙著安裝設備,這些設備可能會竊聽我們的家庭,跟蹤我們的活動、對話和日常生活。

“Pretty much anything that I say in my living room could be recorded and could be transferred somewhere else,” said Craig A. Shue, an associate professor of computer science at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, referring to devices with speakers and microphones like Google Home and Amazon Echo. “The risks are substantial.”

“我在客廳說的幾乎每一句話都可能被記錄下來,傳輸到別的地方,”伍斯特工學院(Worcester Polytechnic Institute)的計算機科學副教授克雷格·A·舒(Craig A. Shue)說。他指的是Google Home和Amazon Echo等帶有揚聲器和麥克風的設備。“風險是巨大的。”

Last December, a Gizmodo reporter turned her one-bedroom San Francisco apartment into a smart home, connecting as many appliances and belongings to the internet as possible, including her mattress and coffee maker. While she found the experience mostly annoying, another reporter kept tabs on all the data that left her apartment. Not a single hour went by when her router was quiet — at all times, at least one gadget was communicating with its home server.

去年12月,Gizmodo的一名記者把自己在舊金山的一居室公寓變成了一個智能住宅,將盡可能多的電器和物品連接到互聯網上,包括她的床墊和咖啡壺。她覺得這種體驗很煩人,另一名記者記錄了她的公寓留下的所有數據。她的路由器沒有一個小時是安靜的——任何時候都至少有一個設備在與它的家庭服務器通訊。

All that data mining has given some Americans pause. Seventy percent of consumers worry that hackers might access their smart devices at home, and 58 percent fear a lack of privacy from manufacturers that have access to their data, conversations, voice patterns and search history, according to iQor, a customer service outsourcing provider.

所有這些數據挖掘都讓一些美國人躊躇不前。消費者服務外包供應商iQor的數據顯示,70%的消費者擔心黑客可能會訪問他們家里的智能設備,58%的消費者擔心可以獲得他們的數據、對話、語音模式和搜索歷史的制造商會侵犯隱私。

But anxiety alone hasn’t been a deterrent, since we keep buying the stuff. We rationalize this uncomfortable truth because smart technology does have the potential to make life easier and, perhaps, safer.

但焦慮本身并沒有起到威懾作用,我們仍在購買那些東西。我們給這個令人不安的事實找到了一個合理化的解釋,那就是,智能技術的確有可能把我們的生活變得更輕松,或許也更安全。

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