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谷歌出问题了吗?

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小编摘要:看起来,谷歌的好时光似乎已一去不返,正被Facebook取而代之。不过也许实际上谷歌在竞争中已遥遥领先,只是我们没搞清楚状况。






谷歌(Google)究竟怎么了?当然,上周四,美国总统奥巴马还在硅谷的技术高管聚会上接见了埃里克?施密特,不过与另外两位与会者——苹果(Apple)首席执行官史蒂夫?乔布斯和Facebook创始人马克?扎克伯格获得的高度关注相比,施密特几乎像是个陪衬。事实上,当今的世界似乎越来越像是Facebook的天下——社交网络的世界,而谷歌则越来越显得和这个时代格格不入。(上周四,谷歌宣布将更好地把社交数据加入到搜索产品中,从而实际上承认了用户需要社交数据。)虽然谷歌的搜索算法曾经无比强大,但如今它被狡猾的搜索优化技术击败,谷歌搜索也许因此面临灭顶之灾。而谷歌开发出的每项新功能,似乎不过是为其“无回报创新”博物馆又新增加了一项特别的藏品。
What is going on with Google? Sure, today President Obama will be meeting with Eric Schmidt at a tech executive meet-up in Silicon Valley, but he almost seems an also-ran compared to the attention focused on two other confirmed attendees, Apple (AAPL) CEO Steve Jobs and Facebook creator Mark Zuckerberg. In fact, each month, it looks more like this is Facebook's world -- the world of the social web -- and Google is just growing irrelevant inside it. (Just today, Google made an announcement that it would do a better job adding social data to its search product, essentially admitting that's what users want from it.) Search, in fact, may be broken, as cunning SEO spammers outwit Google's once-formidable algorithms. Each new feature the company rolls out seems like another quaint addition to its museum of unmonetized innovations.
谷歌创立仅12年,然而它的美好时光似乎就已经一去不返。过去三年,其股价一直没有起色。顶尖人才纷纷跳到Facebook,一些人评论这是因为谷歌“笨拙”的文化。谷歌对此做出的回应是,全员加薪10%和扩招数千人,但不久之后,谷歌又对执掌公司10年之久的三巨头进行职位调整,让人们觉得该公司内部出现了分裂。
It almost looks like Google's (GOOG) best years are behind it only 12 years after its founding. The stock has moved sideways for the last three years. Top talent is defecting Google for Facebook, with some citing its "unwieldy" culture. The company has responded by spending more -- 10% raises, across the board -- and plans to hire thousands more. But a rejiggering of the "triumvirate" managing Google for the last decade came across as an acrimonious breakup.
随着联合创始人拉里?佩奇接任首席执行官,谷歌进入了新时期,它可能面临两种结局。第一种可能是谷歌将成为雅虎(Yahoo)的翻版——曾经的网络巨头由创始人执掌,而创始人疲于奔命,以期扭转公司不可避免的颓势;第二种可能是谷歌会成为一个由人工智能驱动的,组织全世界所有信息的庞大平台。这是佩奇和谢尔盖?布林自始至终的梦想,而现在才刚刚开始。
As Google enters a new period with co-founder Larry Page taking over as CEO, it's going to become one of two companies. The first Google is Yahoo (YHOO) redux -- a onetime web giant managed by a founder who thrashes about for solutions to reverse an inevitable decline. The second Google is the company Page and Sergey Brin wanted Google to be all along -- a vast platform powered by artificilal intelligence to organize all the world's information -- which is just getting started.
眼下看来,第一种情况似乎可能性更大,但我认为再过几年,我们将看到第二种可能性越来越大。目前,谷歌正处在一个短暂混乱的时期——员工出走、管理层调整以及面临Facebook等新的竞争对手。
The first scenario may have more currency right now, but I think we'll start to see the second scenario start to prevail in the next few years. Right now, Google is in a period of short-term chaos with defecting employees and management changes and new rivals like Facebook.
过去十年,谷歌的创始人多次发表言论,指出谷歌要组织全世界的信息,以至于这套说辞听来让人感觉空洞而老套。不过该公司确实将信息收集技术发展到了令人赞叹的程度。在2000年10月的一次采访中,时任谷歌首席执行官的佩奇谈到:“基本上,谷歌的终极发展目标是人工智能。我们将拥有终极版的搜索引擎,能够理解互联网上的所有东西。它能精确理解你的需求,然后为你提供最好的答案。显然,只有人工智能才能回答任何问题,原因在于所有的一切都在互联网上。对吧?”
Google's founders have uttered their mantra of organizing the world's information so many times in the past decade it feels like a hollow cliché. But the company has hewed to it to an impressive degree. In an interview in October 2000, Page -- who was Google's CEO at the time -- said, "Basically, artificial intelligence would be the ultimate version of Google. So we have the ultimate search engine that would understand everything on the Web. It would understand exactly what you wanted, and it would give you the right thing. That's obviously artificial intelligence, to be able to answer any question, basically, because almost everything is on the Web, right?"
佩奇在2002年谈到搜索引擎时指出,“当你查询时,搜索引擎能精确理解你的需求,然后将最好的答案提供给你。”在2004年接受《花花公子》(Playboy)采访时,布林谈到了搜索引擎未来的发展,“使全世界的信息都触手可得。”他举例提到,你可以对着手机说出“任何你想搜索的内容,然后你就能得到搜索结果。”
Back in 2002, Page talked of a search engine "which would understand exactly what you wanted when you typed in a query, and it would give you the exact right thing back." In a 2004 interview with Playboy, Brin spoke of moving beyond search engines "to having the entirety of the world's information as just one of our thoughts." For example, Brin said, you could say into a phone "what you want to search for, and it will be pulled up."
在当时看来,这样的创新颇有些科幻意味,不过今天,语音搜索成了谷歌搜索引擎和Android生态系统的标准配置。到2006年,布林又开始酝酿以下技术:我们现在所熟知的自动完成;谷歌翻译(Google Translate)的实时翻译功能,以及谷歌Goggles的光学字符识别功能。(更多关于佩奇和布林在人工智能方面的创新,请参阅相关网站。)
These innovations may have sounded futuristic at the time, but today they are standard features of Google's search engines and its Android ecosystem. By 2006, Brin was dreaming of a technology we now know of as autocomplete, as well as the simultaneous translation of Google Translate and the optical character recognition of Google Goggles. (More AI quotes from Page and Brin can be found here.)
到2011年,搜索在互联网里的中心地位有所下降,互联网正在向复杂化和社交化方向发展,通过社交伙伴获取信息变得和搜索同样重要。如果谷歌继续仅仅致力于搜索,那么它的发展就会受到限制。谷歌在社交网络领域的失利更加深了人们对它的担忧。不过谷歌所追求的人工智能,不是能够在益智节目Jeopardy(IBM开发的超级计算机沃森,于2月17日在美国Jeopardy节目中一举夺魁。——译注)中获胜的超级计算机。谷歌设想的是一种比社交网络宽广得多的系统,但该系统不可能一蹴而就。
In 2011, search is less central to the web, as it evolves into a more complex, social structure where discovery through your contacts matters as much as search. So if Google were committed to search alone, its future would be limited. The company's failure to offer a popular social network underscores this perception. But when Google imagines artificial intelligence, it's not thinking of a computer that can win on Jeopardy. It's thinking of something at once much broader than social networks but that is assembled piece by piece.
谷歌的人工智能服务已经在社交网络中找到了用武之地。例如Follow Finder能分析你的社交网络图,从而帮你在Twitter上找到新的可关注的用户。我还能通过Google Transliteration向我讲日语的朋友发送更新材料,我要做的只是简单地敲些单词即可。最近,谷歌翻译进行了重大更新。虽然它仍然有不少问题,但许多译文感觉很自然、很口语化。例如,你可以点击此处查看用谷歌翻译的《荒野侦探》(The Savage Detectives)这部小说的前几页。
Already, Google's AI features are finding their way into the social web. Follow Finder analyzes your social graph to find new people to follow on Twitter. Google Transliteration lets me send updates to my Japanese speaking friends simply by typing the phonetic words. And Google Translate has improved with great strides recently. It still has bugs, but many translations have a natural, often colloquial feel to them. Here, for example, is Google's translation of the first pages of The Savage Detectives.
谷歌实验室和谷歌博客显示,谷歌在搜索、地图、gmail、应用、Chrome和Android方面缓慢但稳定的创新。虽然每次创新都很小,无法影响大局,但谷歌确实在一步步向成为日常设备的人工智能平台这个目标努力。这一平台包括Google Body、WalkieTalkie、Google Art Project以及Ngram Viewer等。
Google Labs and Google's blog show a slow, steady production of innovations for search, maps, gmail, apps, Chrome and Android – each by itself too incremental to be game changing, but each a small step towards Google's goal of being an AI platform for everyday devices: Google Body, WalkieTalkie, the Google Art Project, the Ngram Viewer.
从总体来看,这些微创新要比Facebook更具广度。不过Facebook在其它几个方面占据了优势。用户在Facebook网站上花费的时间更多,网络广告也随之转移到Facebook上。天才的开发人员从谷歌跳到Facebook,一方面是由于Facebook的创业文化,另一方面则是希望获得上市前期权。
Taken as a whole, this network of micro-innovations is broader than what Facebook is offering. But Facebook is winning on several other fronts. Users are spending more online time on Facebook's site, so ad dollars are migrating there as well. Engineering talent is also flowing from Google to Facebook, drawn by its startup culture and promise of pre-IPO options.
同时,谷歌的绝大部分创新并不赚钱。投资者们经常无法忍受谷歌这些新技术带来效益所需的时间。在谷歌收购YouTube 近5年之后,这家视频网站才终于开始盈利。此外,虽然现在移动广告收入已经超过Android的研发和维护支出,但Android为谷歌带来的收益还是远远比不上苹果的吸金利器iOS。
Meanwhile, most of the innovations coming out of Google aren't making money. Investors are often impatient with the time Google needs to monetize technologies: Nearly five years after Google bought YouTube, the video site is finally showing a profit. And while mobile ads are covering the costs of developing and maintaining Android, the mobile OS is far from the profit machine that iOS is for Apple.
不过只要谷歌搜索的收益持续增长,谷歌就没必要从其创新技术中牟利。总有一天,Google Body能向医疗保健行业卖广告;而谷歌地图中将出现本地广告,向用户提供附近的特价信息。如果现在就在新产品中加上广告,那无异于杀鸡取卵,会使得这些产品失去用户群。
But Google doesn't need to monetize these new initiatives as long as search continues to deliver growing profits. And in time, Google Body could serve ads for health care, or Maps could include local ads that notify users of nearby bargains. For now, slapping ads on new products would strangle their adoption.
谷歌固然在按部就班地开发新产品,不过有可能其中大部分产品都将无法吸引到足够的用户。但也可能有一天,人们会厌倦Facebook的封闭世界,转而投身Facebook帝国之外更加开放的具有社会化结构的互联网。而在过去10年里,谷歌一直在帮助我们通过搜索探索这一领域。
The risk with Google's steady stream of new features is that most will not click with enough consumers. But it's just as likely that people will tire of Facebook's walled garden and migrate over time to a more open, socially-structured web that exists beyond the Facebook empire. That open web is the realm Google has helped us navigate for the past decade through search.
在Facebook主导互联网之前,谷歌的搜索引擎曾带给我们极大的帮助,如果在导航后Facebook网络方面,谷歌正在一步步打造的人工智能平台像其之前的搜索一样好用,那么谷歌就不是大限将至,而是恰恰相反——它的未来才刚刚展开。
If the AI platform Google is building piecemeal proves to be as helpful in navigating a post-Facebook web as its search engine was before we all joined social networks, then it's future is far from over. It's only now beginning.
标签:谷歌 出问题
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2011-02-24 11:53 编辑:kuaileyingyu
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  • wyw656141 说:

    fb和gg不可能互相竞争,gg的未来一片大好,作者也真饶了一个大圈子

    2011-03-01 01:30 回复 支持(0) 反对(0) 沙发
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