纽约时报文摘 | 未来世界主导权之争:美国该如何对抗中国的高科技野心

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How to Combat China’s Rise in Tech: Federal Spending, Not Tariffs
对抗中国的高科技野心,美国也需要“卫星时刻”

  • 卫星时刻是指前苏联在1957年发射人类首枚人造卫星,美国受到刺激,掀起科研热情,此后数十年的科技领先。

At the heart of the trade war between the United States and China lies a profound and unsettling question: Who should control the key technologies that will rule tomorrow?
美中贸易战的核心存在着一个深刻而令人不安的问题:由谁来控制将在未来占据主导地位的关键技术?

These advances could alter everything about how we live and work. Shouldn’t some other entity, like maybe a democratically elected government, have some input in their rollout?
这些进步可能改变我们的全部生活与工作方式。其他一些实体,例如民主选举出来的政府,是否应该在它们的起始阶段做一些投入?

Here is a crazy idea. The United States could outline a plan for and put money behind an alternative vision for the global technology industry. If executed carefully, such a plan could stimulate wider competition in tech, and allow for broader economic and social gains. Perhaps a whole set of new companies, rather than just the giants you are used to, could plan a role in the future.
我有个疯狂的想法。美国可以为全球科技产业的另一个愿景制定计划,并为其提供资金。如果这样一个计划被认真执行,它还可以刺激更广泛的科技竞争,得到更广泛的经济和社会收益。也许在未来扮演重要角色的是一整套新公司,而不仅仅是你熟悉的那些巨头。

Does this sound un-American? It should not. Not long ago, when Americans faced the possibility of being left behind by other countries’ advancing tech, the federal government stepped in with nearly endless resources to stimulate the creation of vast new industries.
这听起来很不美国吗?就应该这样。不久前,当美国人在先进科技领域面临被其他国家超过的可能性时,联邦政府介入其中,动用了几乎是无限的资源来刺激创造大量新兴产业。

Thanks to government funding, we got the nuclear industry, the space program, the aviation industry and the internet, which was initially sponsored by the Defense Department. Just about every key component in a smartphone, from the battery to GPS, is based on research first done for the U.S. government. It is not an understatement to say that, for better or worse, the U.S. government invented the modern world.
由于政府资助,我们有了核工业、太空计划、航空业和互联网,它们最初是由国防部赞助的。从电池到GPS,智能手机中的几乎每个关键部件都是基于最早由美国政府进行的研究。毫不保守地说,无论好坏,是美国政府发明了现代世界。

But today in the United States, venture capitalists and multinational corporations lead the development of — and will own — tomorrow’s technologies. Meanwhile, the Chinese government is playing the role the United States once did. Over the past decade, China has pushed an aggressive series of plans meant to gain dominance in technological areas it considers crucial to the global economy.
但在今天的美国,风险资本家和跨国公司领导着未来技术的发展,并且还将拥有这些技术。与此同时,中国政府正在扮演美国曾经扮演的角色。在过去十年中,中国推出了一系列积极的计划,希望在它认为对全球经济至关重要的技术领域内获得主导地位。

One program, Made in China 2025, outlines a road map for China to become a world leader in advanced manufacturing (things like robotics, aircraft and machine tools). Another plan calls for China to achieve dominance in artificial intelligence. Based on similar initiatives, the Chinese have already seen big wins. Americans invented the modern solar power industry, but thanks to Chinese government intervention, China’s solar industry leads the world. So does its high-speed rail system.
其中一个项目《中国制造2025》绘制了中国成为先进制造业(机器人、飞机和机床等)世界领导者的蓝图。另一项计划要求中国在人工智能方面取得优势。基于类似的举措,中国人已经看到了巨大的胜利前景。美国人发明了现代太阳能产业,但由于中国政府的干预,中国的太阳能产业目前已在世界领先。它的高铁系统也是如此。

The Trump administration objects to China’s tech visions. It has cited Chinese government support for tech as a primary reason for imposing tariffs on Chinese goods. But its objections only put the disconnect in stark relief. If the United States is worried that the Chinese will win the future because they are actually spending money to win the future, why aren’t we doing the same?
特朗普政府反对中国的技术愿景。它以中国政府对科技的支持为理由,对中国商品征收关税。但它的反对只能令这种脱节更加显而易见。如果美国担心中国人会赢得未来,因为他们实际上是靠花钱赢得未来,那么为什么我们不这样做呢?

纽约时报文摘 | 未来世界主导权之争:美国该如何对抗中国的高科技野心

“It is a waste that we are not using the rise of China as a galvanizing cry to invest more in science and technology in America,” said Yasheng Huang, an economist who studies Chinese politics and business at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management. He has argued that rather than imposing tariffs to respond to programs like Made in China 2025, Americans should respond as we did in 1957, when we sharply increased government spending on science after the Soviet Union launched the world’s first man-made satellite, Sputnik 1.
“我们并没有把中国的崛起作为一种激励的呐喊,要求美国对科技进行更多投入,这是在浪费机会,”麻省理工学院斯隆管理学院(Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management)研究中国政治和商业的经济学家黄亚生说。他认为,为了应对《中国制造2025》这样的计划,美国应该像1957年苏联发射世界上第一颗人造卫星斯普特尼克一号的时候那样,大量增加政府在科学方面的开支,而不是通过征收关税。

You might argue that the modern world bears little resemblance to the Sputnik era. Today, we have vibrant tech industry. Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft and lots of venture capitalists are already investing heavily in the future. Why should the government step in?
你可能会说现代世界与苏联人造卫星的时代几乎没有相似之处。今天,我们有充满活力的科技产业。亚马逊、苹果、谷歌、Facebook、微软和许多风险投资家已经为未来投入巨资。政府为什么要介入?

But that is a shortsighted view. Huang points out that the established tech industry is mainly funding the most immediately applicable technologies. “Life science and software get a lot of money,” he said.
但这是一个短视的观点。黄亚生指出,成熟的科技产业主要是为最能直接应用的技术提供资金。“生命科学和软件行业获得了大量资金,”他说。

More speculative technologies that don’t offer any obvious payoff are not as lucky. “Everything else is underfunded,” Huang said, noting that as a percentage of the overall economy, federal spending on research and development has fallen since the 1970s.
更多没有任何明显收益的投机性技术则不是那么走运。“其他所有领域都资金不足,”黄亚生说,他指出,自1970年代以来,联邦政府在研发方面的支出占整体经济的百分比一直下降。

But beyond simply opening the spigot to more money, we should push the U.S. government to create an alternative to China’s vision for tech dominance for another reason: It would be a way to develop a more accessible tech industry.
但是除了简单地投入更多资金之外,我们应该为了另一个理由,推动美国政府创造一种中国主导科技领域之外的愿景:这种方式能够发展更容易为人们所享用的科技产业。

One huge problem with today’s tech business is the unequal way it distributes its gains. Tech advances have created immense wealth, but much of the money has gone to just a small number of people clustered around two cities on the West Coast. Now — as we are suddenly realizing the power that tech giants can exercise over politics, news, our psyches and other basic aspects of democracy — there is a real question about whether they face any meaningful challenge to their rise.
如今,科技产业的一个巨大问题是分配收益的方式不平等。技术进步创造了巨大的财富,但是大部分资金只流向聚集在西海岸两个城市里的少数人。现在,我们突然意识到科技巨头对政治、新闻、我们的心理以及民主的其他基本方面拥有何其巨大的影响力,而这些人在崛起过程中能否得到真正意义上的挑战,这成了一个真正的问题。

Government spending can help there, too. When the government creates tech, its gains tend to be spread widely. The internet is the open system it is today because it was sponsored by the government, not private telecom giants like AT&T. The GPS satellite system is available to anyone who wants to use it because taxpayers paid for it. The same can be true of much of what we invent tomorrow. If the U.S. government decided to plan for the future, rather than sit on the sideline as it came to pass, it could spur the development of the same kind of decentralized, open tech infrastructure that fostered today’s miracles.
政府支出也可以在这个领域发挥作用。当政府创造技术时,其收益往往会得到广泛传播。互联网成为如今这样的开放系统,是因为它是由政府资助的,而不是像AT&T这样的私人电信巨头。任何人都可以使用GPS卫星系统,这是由于纳税人为此付费。我们未来发明的大部分东西也可以是这样。如果美国政府决心为未来做好准备,而不是坐在场外,任凭未来在眼前溜走,那么它应该刺激一种去中心的、开放的技术基础设施的发展,当初正是这种做法促进了今天的奇迹。

It is a matter not just of access but of agency, too. Many of the technologies that will dominate the future could change life in substantial ways. Artificial intelligence and robotics could reshape labor markets and much else about how Americans work. Energy technologies might transform your city. Yet we really have no good way to prepare for these changes.
这不仅关乎技术的享用,也关乎技术的作用。许多将主导未来的技术可以在很大程度上改变生活。人工智能和机器人技术可以重塑劳动力市场以及美国人的工作方式。能源技术可能会改变你的城市。然而,我们目前真的没有什么好的办法为这些变化做好准备。

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