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我家的智能设备在监视我吗?

更新时间:2018-6-23 8:08:38 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

Is My Not-So-Smart House Watching Me?
我家的智能设备在监视我吗?

My light bulbs sometimes go rogue.

我的灯泡有时不听话。

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.

这种事总是发生在不合时宜的时刻,比如在午夜时分,我走进卧室,发现要想打开电灯,我需要先在iPhone上升级一个应用程序。

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.

门廊的灯也经常闹情绪,拒绝自动打开,尽管我一丝不苟地给那个应用程序添加了时间表。我可以像普通人那样按开关,但那样做有什么乐趣呢?这些灯应该是智能的,应该和所有的智能产品一样,满足我的任何想法。

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.

如果我想变得超级智能,我可以把灯泡与Amazon Echo相连,对Alexa大喊,命令她用灯光照亮我的房间,或者在我情绪低落时把灯光调暗。

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.

当然,有时她可能会感到孤独,没头没脑地就谈起天气来,比如她大半夜和住在新泽西州梅普尔伍德的道琼斯新闻社(Dow Jones Newswires)编辑莎拉·科菲(Sarah Coffey)就是这么聊的。44岁的科菲说,“我不明白Alexa为什么要在凌晨3点跟我说话。”但她就这样。

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).

从我们想象家用电器的奇迹那一天起,我们就一直在和它们做斗争。1950年,在电视机进入美国家庭后不久,齐尼思无线电公司(Zenith)就发明了一种遥控器,名叫“懒骨头”(Lazy Bones)。那些长方形的小盒子本来是为了让我们的闲暇时光更悠闲,但普及开来后,它们也导致我们腰围增大,婚姻不和(当然,除非它们消失在了沙发垫里)。

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.

甚至连20世纪60年代开播的精彩的未来主义动画片《杰森一家》(Jetsons)中的人物,也在与他们的数码设备做斗争。在第一集中,自动弹射床、数码早餐机和机器人牙刷带来了更多混乱,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,我们对比自己更智能的东西的爱还在继续。根据研究公司Statista的数据,约三分之一的美国家庭拥有智能设备,预计到2022年,这个数字将超过一半。

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.

灯泡只是个开始。我可以买一个高露洁连接牙刷(Colgate Connect),它可以绘制我的口腔地图,指示我哪里刷得不够干净;一个Roomba扫地机器人,跟在我后面打扫;或者一台智能冰箱,它会提醒我牛奶快凝结了。我可以换一个带摄像头的门铃,它能向我直播UPS快递员给我送来了一个带有蓝牙功能的电饭锅,它可以监控米饭烹煮的进度。

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.”

这些时髦的盒子和数字键盘都承诺,只要再多买一件,划动一下,我们的生活会变得更轻松,我们的家也会运行得更顺畅。福德姆大学(Fordham University)的传播与媒体研究教授、《新新媒体》(New New media)的作者保罗·莱文森(Paul Levinson)表示,我们在家里时,“我们的欲望就在眼前,我们想要满足这些欲望。这是我们房子里出现的所有东西的根源”。

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上录下晚餐,我的生活会更轻松吗?我不知道。但我们的生活可能会受到更多监视。尽管我们正处于对Facebook未经允许收集和共享数据的集体恐慌之中,但我们中的许多人也正在忙着安装设备,这些设备可能会窃听我们的家庭,跟踪我们的活动、对话和日常生活。

“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.”

“我在客厅说的几乎每一句话都可能被记录下来,传输到别的地方,”伍斯特工学院(Worcester Polytechnic Institute)的计算机科学副教授克雷格·A·舒(Craig A. Shue)说。他指的是Google Home和Amazon Echo等带有扬声器和麦克风的设备。“风险是巨大的。”

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的一名记者把自己在旧金山的一居室公寓变成了一个智能住宅,将尽可能多的电器和物品连接到互联网上,包括她的床垫和咖啡壶。她觉得这种体验很烦人,另一名记者记录了她的公寓留下的所有数据。她的路由器没有一个小时是安静的——任何时候都至少有一个设备在与它的家庭服务器通讯。

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.

所有这些数据挖掘都让一些美国人踌躇不前。消费者服务外包供应商iQor的数据显示,70%的消费者担心黑客可能会访问他们家里的智能设备,58%的消费者担心可以获得他们的数据、对话、语音模式和搜索历史的制造商会侵犯隐私。

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.

但焦虑本身并没有起到威慑作用,我们仍在购买那些东西。我们给这个令人不安的事实找到了一个合理化的解释,那就是,智能技术的确有可能把我们的生活变得更轻松,或许也更安全。

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