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金融时报:五比零:计算机完胜人类?

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2021年10月14日

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五比零:计算机完胜人类?

计算机和人类竞赛在棋类比赛中已不罕见,在三子棋、跳棋和国际象棋等棋类上,计算机都先后完成了对人类的挑战。但对拥有2500多年历史的围棋而言,计算机在此之前从未战胜过人类。而在今天谷歌宣布在人工智能领域的重要进展:程序终于首次完胜人类欧洲冠军!

测试中可能遇到的词汇和知识:

dub授予称号[dʌb]

subsidiary子公司[səb'sɪdɪərɪ]

triumph获得胜利['traɪʌmf]

nil无,零[nɪl]

intersection交叉点[ɪntə'sekʃ(ə)n]

deceptive欺诈的[dɪ'septɪv]

Google computer triumphs in complex board game battle (530words)

By Clive Cookson, Science Editor

A computer has comprehensively beaten a human champion playing Go, the board game which has been dubbed the world's most complex — achieving “a historic milestone in artificial intelligence” according to Nature, the journal publishing the science behind the feat.

The AlphaGo machine, developed by Demis Hassabis and colleagues at Google's DeepMind subsidiary in London, triumphed over Fan Hui, the European Go champion, by five games to zero.

Jon Diamond, president of the British Go Association, said: “Before this match I was expecting it to be at least five to 10 years before a programme would be able to beat the top human players.”

Of course Google, a company at the forefront of the drive to transform business through AI, is not just playing for fun. “While games are the perfect platform for developing and testing AI algorithms quickly and efficiently, ultimately we want to apply these techniques to important real-world problems,” Mr Hassabis said.

Applications will combine pattern recognition and forward planning. One early example will be an improved “intelligent personal assistant” for smartphones. Another application will be in medicine, combining images from scans and other patient data to diagnose disease and decide treatment.

The ancient game of Go, which originated in China more than 2,500 years ago, has an estimated 40m regular players worldwide and 1,000 professionals, mainly in east Asia.

Although IBM's Deep Blue computer famously beat Garry Kasparov at chess in 1997, Go has a profound complexity far exceeding that of chess, said Mr Hassabis, who is a keen player of both games. “There are more positions in Go than the number of atoms in the universe,” he added. “Go has more subtlety and intellectual depth than chess.”

Google's system defeated Fan Hui, a Chinese-born Frenchman who has played Go professionally since his teens, by five games to nil.

Google has also beaten Facebook, whose chief executive Mark Zuckerberg posted on Wednesday that his team was close to “building an AI” to win at Go.

“In March AlphaGo will face its ultimate challenge, a five-game match in Seoul against the legendary Lee Sedol — the top Go player in the world over the past decade,” Mr Hassabis said.

In a statement issued by Nature, Mr Lee said: “I heard Google DeepMind's AI is surprisingly strong and getting stronger, but I am confident that I can win at least this time.” If he is right, Google will pay him $1m; if he loses, the company gives $1m to charity.

Scientists have long used games as a testing ground for AI, to invent smart programmes that enable computers to tackle problems with something approaching human flexibility. But traditional AI methods, which search out options for all possible positions on the board, cannot work with Go.

The game looks simple. Starting with an empty square ruled with a grid of 19 by 19 lines, players alternately place white and black stones on the intersections between the lines; the aim is to control a larger area of the board than your opponent.

But the simplicity is deceptive; Go is the most complex “game of perfect knowledge” — in which luck and hidden moves play no part — played regularly anywhere in the world.

请根据你所读到的文章内容,完成以下自测题目:

1.What is the world's most complex board game according to Nature?

A. (Chinese) chess

B.(International) chess

C.Aeroplane Chess

D.Go

答案(1)

2.What is the perfect platform for developing and testing AI algorithms efficiently?

A.real-world problem

B.housework

C.game

D.nursing a sick person

答案(2)

3.Where will be application in by combining images from scans?

A.translation

B.retails

C.agriculture

D.medicine

答案(3)

4.What is Lee Sedol's attitude towards the ultimate challenge with AlphaGo in March?

A.anxious

B.hesitant

C.inimical

D.confident

答案(4)

* * *

(1)答案:D.Go

解释:《自然》表示围棋是世界上最复杂的棋盘游戏。就机器学习的角度而言,围棋的计算最大有3361种局面,大致的体量是10170,而已经观测到的宇宙中,原子的数量才1080。国际象棋最大只有2155种局面,称为香农数,大致是1047。

(2)答案:C.game

解释:哈萨比斯:尽管游戏是快速和高效率开发和检验人工智能算法的完美平台,但最终我们希望把这些方法应用于现实世界的重要问题。

(3)答案:D.medicine

解释:其他应用领域将包括医药,综合利用扫描图像和其他患者数据来诊断疾病和决定治疗。

(4)答案:D.confident

解释:从Lee Sedol的发言中可以看出他对人类获胜是有信心的。

寨卡病毒:从哪来·到哪去

世界卫生组织(WHO)昨日警告称,据信导致出生缺陷的寨卡病毒(Zika virus)快速传播,已波及中美洲和南美洲21个国家。不了解?不要紧,速读带你认识寨卡。

测试中可能遇到的词汇和知识:

rhesus monkey猕猴['ri:səs]

mild温和的[maɪld]

rash皮疹[ræʃ]

itchy skin皮肤瘙痒

foetus胎儿['fiːtəs]

semen精液['siːmən]

subtropical亚热带的[,sʌb'trɒpɪkəl]

The Zika virus — where did it come from and where will it end?(660words)

By Clive Cookson

Let's start at the beginning. Where did Zika come from? Like so many emerging viruses, Zika came out of Africa. It was first isolated in 1947 from a rhesus monkey in Uganda's Zika forest. But it did not cause significant outbreaks of human disease until 2013-14 in French Polynesia. It probably reached the Americas late in 2014, when an infected traveller was bitten by a local mosquito which then transferred the virus to other people.

What are the symptoms of Zika infection?

They are usually mild or non-existent. Most characteristic are a rash, itchy skin and red eyes. The trouble comes when pregnant women are infected. Then the virus attacks the brain of the foetus, leading to the birth of a baby with a very small head and neurological problems. Zika only began to arouse serious concern among global health experts in October, when authorities in Brazil linked it to a rapid rise in microcephaly in the country's tropical north-east where Zika cases are concentrated.

How does Zika spread?

It is a typical mosquito-borne virus, transmitted by aedes aegypti, the species that carries several other human diseases including dengue and chikungunya. It is unclear why it has spread with explosive speed in the tropical Americas over the past year. The risk of direct transmission between people is very remote, although the virus has been isolated in semen so sexual transmission cannot be ruled out.

Does the mosquito transmission mean that some parts of the world are safe from Zika infection?

Yes. Aedes aegypti only thrives in tropical and subtropical regions. It cannot survive cold winters, so most of the US and Europe are safe — unless global warming gathers pace or the virus mutates and moves into a mosquito species that lives in temperate climates. Most Europeans and Americans are vulnerable only if they travel to an infected region; a few have already returned home with Zika symptoms.

Is it safe to travel to the tropical Americas?

The only people who should worry are women who are pregnant or planning to become pregnant. They are advised not to travel to areas with high levels of infection unless really necessary, and then to take steps to avoid mosquito bites, including covering bare skin with clothing or insect repellent and using mosquito nets.

What about the Olympics in Brazil?

It is too early to predict infection levels in and around Rio in August. The authorities hope they will be very low, both because they are working to eliminate pools of stagnant water where mosquitoes breed and because the weather then will be relatively cool and dry, and therefore less hospitable to mosquitoes.

What is longer-term outlook for the epidemic?

We do not know because serious research into Zika only began three or four months ago when scientists realised the threat posed by the virus to unborn children. The optimistic view is that people in infected regions will quickly build resistance to the virus and the outbreak will burn itself out. But that might be wishful thinking.

Any chance of a treatment or vaccine?

At the moment there is no reliable diagnostic test for Zika let alone an antiviral drug or vaccine. But research is gathering pace. GlaxoSmithKline is evaluating the possibility of using its vaccine technology for Zika, and Inovio, a US biotech company, is working on a candidate.

How about attacking the mosquitoes that carry the virus?

“Vector control” is possible by avoiding the build-up of stagnant water in populated areas and attacking mosquitoes through pesticides, although this approach cannot completely eliminate the mosquitoes. A more futuristic approach, developed by Oxitec of the UK and undergoing field trials in Brazil and elsewhere, uses genetically modified insects to wipe out the mosquitoes: large numbers of GM males are released to breed with all available females, producing offspring that die young. But this technology will not be available on a large scale in time to have much effect on the current Zika epidemic.

请根据你所读到的文章内容,完成以下自测题目:

1.Where did Zika come from?

A.Africa

B.west Asia

C.South America

D.French Polynesia

答案(1)

2.Which one is not the most characteristic of Zika infection?

A.rash

B.itchy skin

C.stomachache

D.red eyes

答案(2)

3.Where are much safer from Zika infection?

A.Russia

B.Thailand

C.Indonesia

D.Columbia

答案(3)

4.Who are advised not to travel to the tropical Americas because of Zika?

A.children

B.infant

C.pregnant women

D.infant

答案(4)

* * *

(1)答案:A.Africa

解释:寨卡病毒最初来源于非洲。1948年初,人们从当地非洲伊蚊体内分离出Zika病毒。

(2)答案:C.stomachache

解释:这种病毒的症候非常轻微,最明显的就是皮疹、皮肤瘙痒和红眼。

(3)答案:A.Russia

解释:热带和亚热带地区更容易被传染。

(4)答案:C.pregnant women

解释:专家表示这种病毒会感染成长中的胎儿的大脑,因此不建议孕妇或备孕女性前往。


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