您现在的位置: 纽约时报中英文网 >> 纽约时报中英文版 >> 科技 >> 正文

我们成了手机的奴隶,苹果能解决这个问题吗?

更新时间:2018-1-22 19:41:27 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

It’s Time for Apple to Build a Less Addictive iPhone
我们成了手机的奴隶,苹果能解决这个问题吗?

It’s not Apple’s fault that you feel enslaved by your phone. But the company that gave the world the modern smartphone has a perfect opportunity this year to create a brave and groundbreaking new take on that device: a phone that encourages you to use it more thoughtfully, more deliberately — and a lot less.

你感觉自己成了手机的奴隶并非苹果的错。但今年,这家为世界送来了新潮智能手机的公司有了一个完美的机会,为这个设备创造出一个勇敢的、开创性的新诠释:一部鼓励你使用得更用心、更自主——并且使用得更少的手机。

Tech “addiction” is a topic of rising national concern. I put the A-word in quotes because the precise pull that our phones exert over us isn’t the same as that of drugs or alcohol. The issue isn’t really new, either; researchers who study how we use digital technology have for years been warning of its potential negative effects on our cognition, psyche and well-being.

科技“成瘾”是愈发引人关注的全国性话题。我把“瘾”字打上了引号,是因为我们的手机施加于我们的这种吸引力与毒品或酒精不同。并且,这也不是一个很新的话题;研究我们如何使用电子科技的研究人员们,多年来一直在警告它对我们的认知、心理和健康潜在的负面影响。

What is new is who has joined the ranks of the worried. Recently, a parade of tech luminaries, including several former Facebook employees, have argued that we’re no match for the sophisticated machinery of engagement and persuasion being built into smartphone apps. Their fears are manifold: They’re worried about distraction, productivity, how social networks alter our emotional lives and relationships, and what they’re doing to children.

新的地方在于,是谁加入了担心的行列。最近,包括几名Facebook前员工在内的一队科技明星提出,面对构建在智能手机应用内的这台精密的互动与说服机器,我们是无力招架的。他们的担心是多方面的:他们担心分心、生产率,担心社交网络如何改变了我们的情感生活和人际关系,以及它对孩子们的影响。

Also, what do we do about it?

此外,我们对此该怎么办?

Like air pollution or intrusive online advertising, tech addiction is a collective-action problem caused by misaligned incentives. Companies that make money from your attention — that is, ad-supported apps like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and YouTube — now employ armies of people who work with supercomputers to hook you ever more deeply into their services. Sure, we should call on them to act more ethically — and Facebook, for its part, has said it’s willing to lose money to improve its users’ well-being — but I’m skeptical they’ll be able to suppress their economic interests.

和空气污染和干扰性的在线广告一样,科技成瘾是一个由错位刺激引起的集体行为问题。从你的注意力挣钱的公司——即Facebook、Instagram、Snapchat和Youtube等广告支持的应用——现在正雇佣着一大批人使用超级计算机,将你往他们的服务中越引越深。当然了,我们应该呼吁他们更合乎道德地行事——就Facebook来说,它已表示愿意为改善用户的福祉而承担金钱上的损失——但我对他们是否能缩减经济利益表示怀疑。

Government regulation and more restraint from users might also help, but the former is unlikely and the latter is insufficient. So who’s left?

政府监管和用户更加克制或许也有帮助,但前者可能性不大,后者则不够。那还能有谁?

The same company that always seems to turn up when it’s time to cross into a new era of technology: Apple.

依然是那个每次到了跨入技术新时代那一刻总会出现的公司:苹果。

I got to thinking about Apple’s responsibility last week when two large investors wrote an open letter asking the company to do more about its products’ effects on children. I was initially inclined to dismiss the letter as a publicity stunt; if you’re worried about children and tech, why not go after Facebook?

上周,当两名大投资人写了一封公开信要求苹果公司在产品对孩子的影响方面作出更大努力时,我开始考虑苹果公司的责任。起初,我倾向于把这当做一个宣传噱头不予理会;如果你们担心孩子和科技,为什么不去找Facebook呢?

But when I called several experts, I found they agreed with the investors. Sure, they said, Apple isn’t responsible for the excesses of the digital ad business, but it does have a moral responsibility to — and a business interest in — the well-being of its customers.

但是,在我致电几名专家后,我发现他们对投资者的说法表示同意。他们说,当然了,苹果对过量的数字广告业务并不负有责任,但它在道德上——以及在商业利益上——对用户的健康有责。

And there’s another, more important reason for Apple to take on tech addiction: because it would probably do an elegant job of addressing the problem.

此外还有一点,是苹果着手解决科技成瘾问题的更重要的原因:因为它可能会漂亮地解决这个问题。

“I do think this is their time to step up,” said Tristan Harris, a former design ethicist at Google who now runs Time Well Spent, an organization working to improve technology’s impact on society.

“我确实认为该他们站出来帮忙了,”特里斯坦·哈里斯(Tristan Harris)说。他之前在谷歌(Google)负责设计伦理,现在运营着一个名为“合理利用时间”(Time Well Spent)的组织。该组织致力于改善科技对社会的影响。

“In fact,” Harris added, “they may be our only hope.”

“实际上,”哈里斯补充说,“他们可能是我们唯一的希望。”

For one thing, Apple’s business model does not depend on tech addiction. The company makes most of its money by selling premium devices at high profit margins. Yes, it needs to make sure you find your phone useful enough to buy the next one, but after you purchase your phone and sign up for some of its premium services, Apple doesn’t really need you to overdo it. Indeed, because it can’t make infinite battery life, Apple would probably be OK if you cooled it with your phone a little.

首先,苹果的商业模式不依赖科技瘾。它的大部分利润来自销售高利润率的高价设备。确实,苹果必须确保你认为自己的手机足够好用,才能再次购买它的手机;但在你购买手机并购买了它昂贵的服务之后,苹果其实并不需要你过度使用它。实际上,因为它无法让电池寿命无限,如果你让手机歇一会儿,苹果可能还觉得挺好的。

Yet even though Apple is not part of the ad business, it exerts lots of control over it. Every tech company needs a presence on the iPhone or iPad; this means that Apple can set the rules for everyone. With a single update to its operating system and its app store, Apple could curb some of the worst excesses in how apps monitor and notify you to keep you hooked (as it has done, for instance, by allowing ad blockers in its mobile devices). And because other smartphone makers tend to copy Apple’s best inventions, whatever it did to curb our dependence on our phones would be widely emulated.

尽管并没有参与广告业务,苹果在其中还是拥有很大的控制权。每一家科技公司都希望出现在iPhone或iPad上,这意味着苹果可以为所有人制定规则。只需要升级操作系统和应用商店,苹果就可以遏制那些监控并通知你,导致你沉迷其中的格外恶劣的过度行为(比如通过允许移动设备运行广告拦截器,苹果已经这么做了)。并且,由于其他智能手机制造商倾向于模仿苹果的优秀发明,苹果无论采取什么措施限制我们对手机的依赖,都可能会被广泛效仿。

Another thing that Apple is good at is marketing, and I suspect it could make a lot of gauzy ads showing people getting more out of iPhones and iPads by unplugging from them for a little while. Note that it already sells a device, the Apple Watch, whose marketing extols the magic of leaving your phone behind.

苹果擅长的另一个领域是营销。我猜它可以创作大量轻松的广告,展示人们通过离开iPhone和iPad一段时间得到更多收获。要注意到,苹果已经在销售的Apple Watch的营销,宣传的就是放下手机的魔力。

Done right, a full-fledged campaign pushing the benefits of a more deliberative approach to tech wouldn’t come off as self-interest, but in keeping with Apple’s best vision of itself — as a company that looks out for the interests of humanity in an otherwise cold and sometimes inhumane industry.

如果方法得当,一场完全成熟的、宣传用更加审慎的态度对待科技的好处的运动,不仅不会损害自身利益,还符合苹果为自己设计的最佳愿景:做一家在原本冷漠甚至有时不人道的行业里兼顾着全人类利益的公司。

“How we live with technology is the cultural issue of the next half-century,” said James Steyer, the founder and chief executive of Common Sense Media, a nonprofit group that studies how children are affected by media.

“我们如何与科技共处,是下半个世纪最重要的文化问题,”研究媒体如何影响儿童的非营利组织常识媒体(Common Sense Media)的创始人兼首席执行官詹姆斯·施泰尔(James Steyer)说。

He suggested that the feeling was ripe for Apple to tap into. “It’s something that everyone cares about — whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, liberal or conservative, whether you live in San Francisco or Biloxi, Mississippi, you know that you and your kids are part of the arms race for attention,” he said.

他表示,这种想法已经成熟,苹果公司可以加以利用。“这是人人都关心的事情——无论你是共和党还是民主党,是自由派还是保守派,无论你住在旧金山还是密西西比州的比洛克西,你都知道自己和孩子成了注意力争夺大赛的一部分,”他说。

Apple released a statement last week saying it cared deeply “about how our products are used and the impact they have on users and the people around them,” adding that it had a few features on addiction in the works.

苹果于上周发布声明,称其深切关注“我们的产品是如何使用的,以及它们对用户和他们身边的人的影响”,并补充说它针对科技瘾的一些功能正在准备过程中。

Apple hardly ever talks about future products, so it declined to elaborate on any of its ideas when I called. Let’s hope it’s working on something grand.

苹果几乎从不谈论未来的产品,因此当我致电时,公司拒绝详细介绍自己的任何想法。希望它正在做一件大事吧。

“全文请访问纽约时报中文网,本文发表于纽约时报中文网(http://cn.nytimes.com),版权归纽约时报公司所有。任何单位及个人未经许可,不得擅自转载或翻译。订阅纽约时报中文网新闻电邮:http://nytcn.me/subscription/”

相关文章列表