和机器交谈 分享到:
Talking to machines 2018-06-1160928

  • 中英文对照
  • 英语原文



Hello and welcome to 6 Minute English. I’m Rob.
And I’m Dan.
Hey, Dan. What’s the time?
Time you got a new watch?
No, I didn’t ask you that, just for a joke or a sarcastic comment now, did I?
Well, no, but look, there’s a clock over there, and you are wearing a watch, you have a smartphone and a computer, all of which show the time. So why are you asking me?
Dan! I was trying to introduce today’s topic, which is all about virtual assistants or bots. You seemed to have forgotten the script.
Oh, yes, sorry. We’re talking about software that you talk to and that can talk back to you. Like Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa and Microsoft’s Cortana. It might be on your phone or computer or even a speaker in your house.
Now before we hear more about this topic, here is today’s quiz question.Do you know when was the first computer, which could recognise speech, launched? Was it in a) 1951 b) 1961 or c) 1971 ?
现在在我们听到更多关于今天主题的内容之前,是今天的测试问题。你知道第一台能识别语音的电脑什么时候开始上市的?是在a) 1951年 b) 1961年 还是 c) 1971年 ?
Oh, I have found my script, so I’ve seen the answer.But I have to say I was surprised.
OK. Don’t tell anybody, Dan, OK?We’ll give the answer for the listeners at the end of the programme. We’re going to hear now from Tom Hewitson, who is a conversation designer, working in the field of virtual assistants, talking on BBC Radio 4’s Word of Mouth programme. He talks about the whole idea of virtual assistants and how they are changing the way we interact with technology. How does he describe our existing relationship with computers?
好的,不要告诉任何人,丹,好吗?我们将会在节目最后给观众答案。我们现在要听一下汤姆•休伊森做客BBC4频道的Word of Mouth节目是怎么说的,他是从事虚拟助手领域工作的对话设计师。他谈到了虚拟助手的整体观点,以及它们如何改变我们和科技的互动。他是如何描述我们和计算机的现存联系的?
It changes the way that we think about computers. To date we’ve thought of them largely as tools. They’re just an advanced version of a calculator. They’re something you kind of use to get a specific thing done, whereas this is kind of changing them more into like an agent. They’re an active participant in the interaction and in guiding you to make the right decision.
How did he describe our existing relationship with computers then?
He said that to date, which is an expression, which means ’up until this point in time’, we have thought of them as advanced calculators.
Yes, that’s right, we use them as a tool to get things done. But he says that modern technology is turning them into an agent. This doesn’t mean a secret agent, like James Bond! In this sense an agent is something that has agency and that means it has the ability to act individually and make its own decisions.
I’m not sure I’d like my phone to have agency. It probably wouldn’t like being in my pocket all day.
Who would, Dan.But I’m not sure Hewitson is suggesting our devices would become that clever.But he did say they could become more active in our lives.
Maybe. Oh, I imagine, for example, telling us if we are spending too much time in fast food restaurants.
Maybe in your case, Dan. Mine would be telling me I spend too much time in the gym! Hewitson goes on to explain how the way we will talk to our virtual assistants will develop. What does he say we don’t need to do?
We will develop our own kind of vernacular for speaking with machines. That will be subtly different from how we speak to other people. Because as you rightly point out, you don’t need to make the machine like you. You don’t need to kind of make random chit-chat that’s just filling the time. It can be much more brusque and to the point.
A lot of what we say in human communication is to do with our relationship with the person we’re talking to.
We say things and talk about things that are maybe not directly relevant to our point. With a digital virtual assistant, we don’t need to do that, so we don’t need to make the machine like us.
Hewitson said that we will develop our own vernacular, this is a general word for a native language. This vernacular will be a little bit different from our everyday vernacular.Because, as we said, we don’t need to maintain a social relationship with the artificial assistant.
This means that we won’t need chit-chat.Chit-chat is another expression for small talk.Conversation topics, which aren’t important but are part of everyday social communication, like talking about the weather.
And because we don’t need to be friends with our virtual assistants, we can be brusque and to the point. Both of these mean being very direct and not very polite.
Well, Dan, I don’t mean to be brusque, but it is time for the answer to this week’s quiz question.Earlier I asked when was the first computer which could recognise speech, launched. The options were: a) 1951 b) 1961 and c) 1971.Well, actually the first computer which could recognise speech was launched in 1961.
好的,丹,我无意这么粗鲁,但是到了揭晓本周测试问题答案的时间了。早些时候我问,第一台可以识别语音的计算机什么时候发布的?选项是a) 1951年 b) 1961年 和 c) 1971年。好的,实际上第一台可以识别语音的计算机在1961年发布。
Yep, it was called the IBM Shoebox and could recognise 16 words and the numbers zero to nine. That’s nearly as many as you!
它被叫做IBM Shoebox,并且可以识别16个单词以及0到9的数字。那几乎和你的能识别的数量一样多。
Cheeky! Right, enough of this chat-chat. Let’s recap today’s vocabulary.
Well, chit-chat was one of today’s expressions, meaning ’small talk’. But we also had the expression - to date. That means ‘up until this moment in time’.
Then we had the noun - agent. This refers to something that has agency. And that is the ability to think, make decisions and act independently.
The next word is vernacular, another word for language, particularly when talking about a native language.
And finally there was brusque, meaning ’direct and not polite’ and to the point, which also means ’direct and without unnecessary information’.
Hey, Rob.
Yes, what can I do for you, Dan?
End the programme.
Certainly, Dan. Well, that’s all from us today.Be sure to check us out on all the usual places: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.And of course please don’t forget our website bbclearningenglish.com. Bye for now!


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When was the first computer which could recognise speech, launched? Was it in:
A  1951
B  1961
C  1971