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你不必成为解决重大问题的专家 – 译学馆
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你不必成为解决重大问题的专家

You don't have to be an expert to solve big problems | Tapiwa Chiwewe

几年前 一个冬季的早晨
One winter morning, a couple of years ago,
在开车去约翰尼斯堡上班的路上
I was driving to workin Johannesburg, South Africa,
我注意到城市上空笼罩着一片阴霾
and noticed a haze hanging over the city.
我大部分时间都会开车
I make that drive on most days,
所以 我以前没有注意到这一点 这是不寻常的
so it was unusualthat I hadn’t noticed this before.
约翰内斯堡以其独特的天际线而闻名
Johannesburg is knownfor its distinctive skyline,
我很少在早晨看见它
which I could barely see that morning.
没多久我意识到
It didn’t take long for me to realize
我注视着的是一片巨大的
that I was looking at an enormous cloud
空气污染的云
of air pollution.
我所认识的优美环境和这
The contrast betweenthe scenic environment I knew
被烟雾覆盖的天际线的对比
and this smog-covered skyline
在我的内心激起了某种东西
stirred up something within me.
我被这座明亮而生动的日落之城
I was appalled by the possibility
被笼罩在一片雾霾中
of this city of bright and vivid sunsets
的可能性惊呆了
being overrun by a dull haze.
就在那时
At that moment,
我感到自己强烈地希望去做些什么
I felt an urge to do something about it,
但是我不知道能做什么
but I didn’t know what.
我只知道 我不能只是无所事事地袖手旁观
All I knew wasI couldn’t just stand idly by.
我主要面临的挑战是
The main challenge was,
我不太了解环境科学
I didn’t know muchabout environmental science
空气质量管理以及大气化学
air-quality management or atmospheric chemistry.
我是一个电脑工程师
I am a computer engineer,
我相当确定 我无法找出
and I was pretty sure I couldn’t code my way
解决空气污染问题的办法
out of this air pollution problem.
(笑)
(Laughter)
我是谁 能在这个问题上起到任何作用吗?
Who was I to do anything about this issue?
我只不过是一个老百姓
I was but a citizen.
但在接下来的几年里 我学到了很重要的一课
In the following years,I learned a very important lesson,
一节 如果我们要朝着更美好的未来努力
a lesson we all need to take to heart
需要牢记在心的课
if we are to work towards a better future.
即使你不是一个特殊领域的专家
Even if you’re not an expertin a particular domain,
你的外部专业知识
your outside expertise may hold the key
可能是解决该领域内重大问题的关键
to solving big problemswithin that domain.
有时 你拥有的的独特观点
Sometimes the unique perspective you have
可以引起 能够改变事情走向的非常规思维
can result in unconventional thinkingthat can move the needle,
但你需要大胆尝试
but you need to be bold enough to try.
只有这样你才会知道你能做些什么
That’s the only way you’ll ever know.
我当时所知道的是
What I knew back then
如果我
was that if I was even
想要改变
going to try to make a difference,
那么我必须先了解空气污染问题
I had to get smartabout air pollution first,
所以我又成为了一名学生
and so I became a student again.
我做了一点基本研究
I did a bit of basic research
很快就知道 空气污染是世界上最大的环境健康风险
and soon learned that air pollution is the world’s biggest environmental health risk.
来自世界卫生组织的数据显示
Data from the World Health Organization
2012年 在世界范围内 大约14%的死亡
shows that almost 14 percentof all deaths worldwide in 2012
是由于家庭和环境的空气污染造成的
were attributable to householdand ambient air pollution,
其中大多数发生在低收入和中等收入国家
with most occurringin low- and middle-income countries.
仅环境空气污染每年造成的死亡人数
Ambient air pollution alonecauses more deaths each year
就超过疟疾和艾滋病毒/艾滋病
than malaria and HIV/AIDS.
在非洲 与空气污染造成的死亡相比
In Africa, premature deathsfrom unsafe sanitation
不安全的卫生设施或儿童营养不良
or childhood malnutrition pale
造成的过早死亡相形见绌
in comparison to deaths due to air pollution,
这是一个巨大的经济代价:
and it comes at a huge economic cost:
根据经济合作与发展组织的一项研究
over 400 billion US dollars as of 2013,
截至2013年 代价已经超过4000亿美元
according to a study by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development. Now,
在我的工作中
in my work,
我探索人工智能的新领域
I explore new frontiersfor artificial intelligence,
在那里 人与机器之间的共生关系
where the symbiotic relationshipbetween man and machine
可以找到一个有益的立足点 帮助我们做出更好的决策
can find a beneficial footing and help us to make better decisions.
当我思考空气污染问题的时候
As I thought aboutthe air pollution problem,
很明显
it became clear
我们需要找到一种更好的方法来决定
that we needed to find a way to make better decisions
我们如何管理空气污染
about how we manage air pollution,
并且考虑到这个问题的规模
and given the scale of the problem,
我们有必要以一种协作的方式来做这件事
it was necessary to do it in a collaborative way.
所以我决定我最好
So I decided I’d better get to
认识一些在这个领域工作的人
know some people working within the field.
我开始与约翰内斯堡市和其他周边城市的官员交谈
I started to speak to officialsfrom the City of Johannesburg
并与当地科学界进行了接触
and other surrounding cities, and I engaged the localscientific community,
还打了几个陌生电话
and I also made a few cold calls.
我开始的参与进程
The process of engagement I embarked upon
帮助我对这个问题有了更深入的了解
helped me to developa deeper understanding of the problem.
这也帮助我避免了我这个职业的人
It also helped me to avoid the trap
在尝试创新的时候陷入困境
people in my profession sometimesfall into when trying to innovate,
在我们牢牢抓住问题所在之前
where we are quick to apply a technology
我们很快就应用了一项技术
before we’ve firmly graspedthe problem at hand.
我开始想出一个办法
I began to develop an idea
来改善这种情况
about what I could doto improve the situation.
我一开始只是问自己
I started by simply asking myself
我怎样才能以某种有意义的方式
how I could bring togetherin some meaningful way
把我在软件工程和人工智能方面的技能
my skills in software engineeringand artificial intelligence
以及我接触到的人的专业知识集中起来
and the expertise of the peopleI’d reached out to.
我想创建一个在线空气质量管理平台
I wanted to create an onlineair-quality management platform
它将揭示污染趋势和未来的项目
that would uncover trends in pollution
以确定什么样的结果是可以预期的
and project into the future to determine what outcomes can be expected.
我决心将我的想法
I was determined to see my idea translate
转化为一种实际的解决办法
into a practical solution,
但我面临着不确定性
but I faced uncertainty
无法保证取得成功
and had no guarantee of success.
我所拥有的是一套非常特殊的工程技能
What I had was a very particular setof engineering skills,
是我在职业生涯中获得的技能
skills I’d acquired over my career
(笑)
(Laughter)
对于那些多年来
that were new to people who
一直致力于解决空气污染问题的人来说
had been working on the air pollution problem
这是一件新鲜事
for so many years.
我所意识到的是
What I have come to realize is
有时候只有一个全新的视角
that sometimes just one fresh perspective,
一种新的技能
one new skill set,
可以使某些事情发生的条件变得正确
can make the conditions right for something remarkable to happen.
我们的意志力和想象力是一种指路明灯
Our willpower and imaginationare a guiding light,
使我们能够规划新的道路 并穿越障碍
enabling us to chart new pathsand navigate through obstacles.
配备更坚定对空气污染问题的理解
Armed with a firmer understandingof the air pollution problem,
并设法处理价值超过十年的
and having managed to sourceover a decade’s worth of data
在约翰内斯堡的内部及周边的
on air pollutant levels and the meteorological conditions
空气污染物水平和气象条件的数据
for in and around Johannesburg,
来自南非和中国的同事和我自己
my colleagues from South Africaand China and myself
为大气创建了一个
created an air-qualitydecision support system
空气质量决策支持系统
that lives in the cloud.
该软件系统分析历史数据和实时数据
This software systemanalyzes historical and real-time data
揭示污染的时空趋势
to uncover the spatial-temporaltrends in pollution.
然后 我们使用新的机器学习技术
We then used newmachine learning technology
提前几天
to predict future levels of pollution
预测几种不同污染物的未来污染水平
for several different pollutantsdays in advance.
这意味着公民可以更好地决定
This means that citizenscan make better decisions
他们的日常行动 和在哪里定居他们的家庭
about their daily movements and about where to settle their families.
我们可以提前预测不利的污染事件
We can predict adversepollution events ahead of time,
确定严重的污染源
identify heavy polluters,
有关当局可以
and they can be ordered by the relevant authorities
命令他们缩减经营规模
to scale back their operations.
通过协助情景规划
Through assisted scenario planning,
城市规划者还可以更好地决定
city planners can also makebetter decisions
如何扩展诸如人类住区
about how to extend infrastructure,
或工业区等基础设施
such as human settlementsor industrial zones.
我们完成了一项
We completed a pilot of our technology
为期120天的技术试术
that was run over a period of 120 days,
覆盖了整个南非
covering all of South Africa.
我们的研究结果得到了证实
Our results were confirmed when we demonstrated a tight correlation
因为我们证明了预测数据
between the forecasting data
与地面数据之间的紧密联系
and the data we were gettingon the ground.
通过我们的领导 我们带来了
Through our leadership, we have brought cutting-edge,world-leading assets
有着前所未有的分辨率和准确性的
that can perform air-quality forecasting
空气质量预测
at an unprecedentedresolution and accuracy,
这使这个城市收益
benefiting the city that I drove
我在不久前一个冬天的早晨驱车进入这个城市
into one winter morning not very long ago,
并对自己说:
and thought to myself,
“这里有些问题 我想知道我能做些什么?”
“Something is wrong here.I wonder what can be done?”
所以这是关键:
So here is the point:
如果我没有进一步调查空气污染的问题会怎样?
What if I’d not investigatedthe problem of air pollution further?
如果我没有表现出
What if I’d not shown some concern
对环境状况的关注
for the state of the environment
只是希望有人在某个地方处理这件事
and just hoped that someone, somewhere,
会怎么样?
was taking care of the matter?
我学到的是
What I have learned is that,
当我们开始挑战
when embarking on a challenging endeavor
我们坚信的事业时
that advances a causethat we firmly believe in,
关注成功的可能性
it is important to focuson the possibility of success
并考虑不采取行动的后果是很重要的
and consider the consequenceof not acting.
我们不应该因为反抗和反对而分心
We should not get distractedby resistance and opposition,
但这应该能激励我们走的更远
but this should motivate us further.
所以无论你身在何处
So wherever you are in the world,
当下一次你发现
the next time you find
有一些天生的好奇心被激发
that there’s some natural curiosity you have
关于你所关心的事
that is being piqued, and it’s about something you care about,
你有一些疯狂的或大胆的想法
and you have some crazy or bold ideas,
也许是你的专业领域外
and perhaps it’s outsidethe realm of your expertise,
问问你自己:为什么不呢?
ask yourself this: Why not?
为什么不直接着手解决这个问题
Why not just go aheadand tackle the problem
以你自己的方式呢
as best as you can, in your own way?
你可能会感到惊喜
You may be pleasantly surprised.
谢谢大家
Thank you.
(鼓掌)
(Applause)

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视频概述

即使你不是一个特殊领域的专家,你的外部专业知识,可能是解决该领域内重大问题的关键。你需要大胆尝试,这样才会知道你能够做些什么。

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收集自网络

翻译译者

Anny

审核员

审核员YZ

视频来源

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEydHbngSz0

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