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什么是计算机科学

What is Computer Science?

大约100年前 一件令人兴奋的事情发生了
Around a hundred years ago something really exciting was happening
知识的界限在哪 这个古老的哲学问题
An age old philosophical question what is the limit of knowledge
和一个现代数学问题相冲突了
collided with the modern mathematical one
知识能否被机械化
can knowledge be mechanised
这产生了一个全新的领域
and this gave birth to a new field
计算机科学 一门关于算法的科学
Computer science the science of computation
机械化人类知识的梦想
The dream of mechanising human knowledge
受到了300多年前
was inspired by developments over 300 years ago
工业革命早期发展的启发
during the early stages of the industrial revolution
随着工业家们开始探索大规模制造和
Factories were being developed as industrialists began to explore mass production
劳动力机械化 工厂出现了
and the mechanisation of labour
渐渐地 机器被设计出来用于复制人类行为
gradually machines were designed to replicate human action
但复制人类的思维过程
but replicating human mental processes
仍是一个单纯的梦想
remained the stuff of dreams
随着机器从做加法 乘法最后发展到
And this began to change with the development of machines
可以做决定 事情才有了改变
that could add, multiply and eventually make decisions
一开始 即使是最先进的机器仍然会受限于
At first even the most advanced machines were limited to
一个指定的任务 如果你需要做一些别的事
one specific task if you needed something else done
你必须制造一个新机器
you had to build a new machine
但是 大约在两百年前
However around two hundred years ago
伟大的实业家 思想家 查尔斯•巴贝奇
a great industrialist thinker Charles Babbage
梦想着一种通用的使用符号的机器
was dreaming of a general symbolic machine
一台可以解决复杂问题的机器
one that could answer complex questions
可以把问题在逻辑和算法上分解得更小
by breaking them down into smaller questions of logic & arithmetic
并最终将他们组合到一起
and essentially braiding them together
他的最终梦想从未实现但
His final dream was never realized but
他思考的问题却并未消失
his driving question remained
是否可能创造一个通用的机器
was it possible to build a general machine
可以回答任何问题?
that could answer any question
20世纪的数学家和哲学家
Now by the 1900s mathematicians and philosophers
将该问题以不同的方式处理
were posing this question in different ways
数学家们会问什么是机器能做的
mathematicians asked what are mechanical machines capable of
它们的能力能有多强
how powerful could they be
而哲学家们则会问机器的局限性在哪里
while philosophers asked what are the limitations of mechanical machines
什么是机器永远不能做的
what will machines never do
1936年 阿兰•图灵用一份颠覆了
And in 1936 Alan Turing bridged this divide
我们理解的 关于机器能做和不能做的论文
with a paper which revolutionized our understanding
越过了这个分水岭
about what machines can and cannot do
他概述了被他称之为通用机器的蓝图
He outlined blueprints for what he called a universal machine
一种可以回答任何有答案的问题的机器
a machine that could answer anything that was answerable
他的部分见解是
Part of his great insight was
通用机器的能力
that the power of the universal machine would always
总是会跟随它其中的指令
reside in the instructions it followed
也就是后来说的软件
later known as software
而非是物理设计或者说是硬件
not the physical design of the machine or hardware
通过使用简单的语言
And using a simple language
他的这种机器能运行任何你能想象的指令
his machine would run any instructions that you could imagine
图灵的论文发表的一年后 年轻的克劳德•香农
And the year after Turing’s paper a young Claude Shannon
完成了硕士论文
completed a master’s thesis
描述了他对电信中继的智慧的见解
describing a clever insight he had about telephone relays
他发现以不同方式来安排电子开关
He realised he could arrange electrical switches in various ways
就能用电力自动实现基本逻辑操作
to perform the fundamental operations of logic automatically using electricity
突然间 制造通用机器变得可行了
suddenly it was practically possible to build the universal computer
这种机器可由振动接近光速的
powered by electrical clocks that buzzed away
电子时钟驱动
at near the speed of light
并且听从你提供的指令
and followed any instructions you provide
之后几十年 计算机的运算速度
In the decades to follow computing machines grew
和内存容量得到了发展
and their speed of operation and memory capacity
突然间 人类面对的许多难题变得容易
Suddenly many hard questions humans faced became easy or very practical
计算机能快速地做出回答
for computers to answer quickly
但更深层的问题出现了
But deeper problems emerged
仿佛出现了越来越多的看似简单的问题
There seemed to be a growing set of seemingly easy problems
例如判定一个给定数是否是质数
such as is a given number prime
在计算机上这是可以计算的
that were computable on our machines
但当给定数很大时会需要花很长时间
but took so long when the questions were large
例如给定140乘以十的三十六次方加1
such as is 140 trillion trillion trillion + 1 prime
这会花费几千年甚至几百万年
that it could take thousands or even millions of years
才能让计算机得到答案或停下来
for the computer to give you an answer or halt
因此 这些问题实际上是不可能解答的
So these problems were practically impossible to solve
这些可看做是难题
think of these as hard problems
人们想要在
and people considered drawing a line
简单的实际上容易解决的问题
in the sand between problems that were easy
和实际上困难的 不可能回答的问题间
practical to solve and problems that
做出分隔
were hard practically impossible to solve
这种尝试 即精确定义出简单和困难
And the attempt to precisely define this division
实际和不实际的问题
of easy and hard, practical and impractical problems
引导出当今计算机科学中最重要的
leads to the most important unsolved question in computer science today
未解决问题 难题为什么难
what makes hard problems hard?
是由某种在隐藏其中的数学规律导致的吗
Is it a result of some underlying mathematical pattern
或是这种困难的感觉仅仅是一种幻觉
or is the perception of hardness merely an illusion?
新的发现会不会让这些难题变简单
will new insights make these hard problems easy?
这个问题不仅出于理智上的好奇
And this question is just not an intellectual curiosity
因特网的主干
the backbone of the internet
正取决于一系列的难以回答的
depends on a set of problems being out of reach
或实际上不可能回答出的问题
or practically impossible for our machines
但我们必须从回到从前开始
But to begin we must go way back in time
重温神话中古老的预言
and revisit the mythology of ancient oracles
首先探索什么是知识
first of all explore what knowledge is
探索思考和计算意味着什么
and what it means to think or to compute

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视频概述

简要介绍了计算机科学的起源和发展史

听录译者

收集自网络

翻译译者

CZ

审核员

审核员_AK

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fjMU-km-Cso

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