《The Man Who Solved The Market》中文版翻译连载58

著名的国际象棋电脑“深蓝”最初叫“Deep Thought” 但名字经常惹误会

《The Man Who Solved The Market》中文版翻译连载58
解决市场的人

The Man Who Solved The Market (58)

Beyond a talent for cruel and colorful nicknames, Brown stood out for having unusual commercial instincts, perhaps the result of his father’s influence. Brown urged IBM to use the team’s advances to sell new products to customers, such as a credit-evaluation service, and even tried to get management to let them manage a few billion dollars of IBM’s pension-fund investments with their statistical approach, but failed to garner much support.

除了会给别人起各种各样、残忍的绰号之外,布朗拥有不同寻常的商业直觉,这也许是受他父亲影响的结果。布朗认为IBM应该利用团队的先进技术把新产品卖给消费者,比如说信用评估服务,他甚至试图让管理层允许他们用统计方法去管理IBM的几十亿美元的养老基金,但他未能获得太多支持。

“What kind of investing experience do you have?” a colleague recalls an IBM executive asking Brown.

一位IBM的高管问布朗,“你有什么投资经验么?”一位同事回忆道。

“None,” Brown replied.

“没有,”布朗回答。

At one point, Brown learned of a team of computer scientists, led by a former Carnegie Mellon classmate, that was programming a computer to play chess. He set out to convince IBM to hire the team. One winter day, while Brown was in an IBM men’s room, he got to talking with Abe Peled, a senior IBM researcher executive, about the exorbitant cost of the upcoming Super Bowl’s television commercial. Brown said he had a way to get the company exposure at a much lower cost — hire the Carnegie Mellon team and reap the resulting publicity when their machine beat a world champion in chess. The team members also might be able to assist IBM’s research, Brown argued.

一度,布朗听说一群计算机科学家在一位卡内基梅隆大学前同学的领导下,正在为电脑编写下国际象棋的程序。他准备说服IBM雇佣这个团队。冬天里的一天,布朗在IBM的男士洗手间里,开始跟一位高级研究员主管埃布·佩莱德谈起了即将到来的超级碗电视广告的高昂成本。布朗说他有办法能让公司以较低成本曝光——雇佣卡内基梅隆大学的团队,当他们的机器打败国际象棋冠军的时候,就能收获由此带来的宣传效果。布朗认为团队成员也能协助IBM的研究。

The IBM brass loved the ideas and hired the team, which brought its Deep Thought program along. As the machine won matches and attracted attention, though, complaints emerged. It turned out that the chess machine’s name made people think of something else — famed 1972 pornographic film Deep Throat, a movie at the forefront of what is known as the Golden Age of Porn (details to follow in my next book). IBM knew it faced a real problem the day the wife of a member of the chess team, who taught at a Catholic college, spoke with the college’s president, an elderly nun, and the sister kept referring to IBM’s amazing “Deep Throat” program.

IBM的最高负责人很爱这个点子,雇佣了这个团队,并把Deep Thought程序也一并带了过来。然而在机器赢得了比赛也吸引了关注的时候,抱怨也随之而来。这台国际象棋机器的名字让人们想起了其他的东西——著名的1972年色情电影《深喉(Deep Throat)》,这是一部处于色情片黄金时代前沿的电影。一天,国际象棋团队中一名成员的妻子,在她工作的天主教大学里,跟学校主席——一位年长的修女交谈过程中,修女不断的提到IBM令人惊叹的“深喉”程序时,IBM明白他们正面临着一个真正的问题。

IBM ran a contest to rename the chess machine, choosing Brown’s own submission, Deep Blue, a nod to IBM’s longtime nickname, Big Blue. A few years later, in 1997, millions would watch on television as Deep Blue defeated Garry Kasparov, the chess world champion, a signal that the computing age had truly arrived.

IBM举行了个比赛给这台国际象棋机器重新命名,最终选择了布朗自己的提案——深蓝(Deep Blue),这是对IBM长期以来的昵称“蓝巨人(Big Blue)”的致敬。几年之后,也就是1997年,数百万人将在电视上看到“深蓝”击败了国际象棋冠军加里·卡斯帕罗夫,这标志着计算机时代真的到来了。

Brown, Mercer, and the rest of the team made progress enabling computers to transcribe speech. Later, Brown realized probabilistic mathematical models also could be used for translation. Using data that included thousands of pages of Canadian parliamentary proceedings featuring paired passages in French and English, the IBM team made headway toward translating text between languages. Their advamces partly laid the groundwork for a revolution in computational linguistics and speech processing, playing a role in future speech-recognition advances, suchas Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, Google Translate, text-to-speech synthesizers, and more.

布朗、默瑟和团队的其他人在计算机转录语音方面取得了进展。后来,布朗认识到概率数学模型也可以用来翻译。IBM团队使用的数据包括数千页的加拿大议会程序,其中有法语和英语成对的段落,团队为计算机语言学和语音处理作为翻译基石带来了革命性的进步,将在未来语音识别进步中发挥作用,诸如亚马逊的Alexa、苹果的Siri、谷歌翻译、文本转语音生成器等等。

Despite that progress, the researchers were frustrated by IBM’s lack of a clear plan to let the group commercialize its advances. Weeks after throwing Patterson’s letter in the garbage, Brown and Mercer were forced to reexamine the direction of their lives.

尽管有进展,但是研究员们对IBM在商业化方面缺乏明确计划感到沮丧。在把帕特森的信扔到垃圾桶几周后,布朗和默瑟被迫重新审视他们生活的方向。

On a late-winter day in southern Pennsylvania in 1993, Mercer’s mother was killed and his sister injured when another driver skidded on ice and crashed into their car. That Easter, twenty days later, Mercer’s father succumbed to a progressive illness. A few months later, when Patterson called to ask why he hadn’t received a response to his previous letter, Mercer began to consider a move. Mercer’s third daughter had begun college, and his family lived in a modest split-level home near ugly electrical power lines. Eating lunch out of used brown paper bags had begun to lose its charm.

1993年深冬的一天,宾夕法尼亚州南部发生了一起车祸,另一名司机在冰上打滑撞上了默瑟的车,导致默瑟的母亲丧生,他的妹妹受伤。20天后的复活节,默瑟的父亲死于不断恶化的病情。几个月之后,当帕特森给他打电话问为什么没有回信,默瑟开始考虑搬家。他的第三个女儿开始上大学,他们全家住在一栋简陋的错层房子里,房子离难看的电线很近。用使用过的棕色纸袋带午餐已经失去了吸引力。

“Just come and talk to me,” Patterson said. “What have you got to lose?”

“来跟我谈谈吧,”帕特森说。“你又有什么损失呢?”

Mercer told a colleague he was skeptical that hedge funds added anything to society. Another IBM staffer said any effort to profit from trading was “hopeless” because markets are so efficient. But Mercer came back from the visit impressed. Renaissance’s offices, in a high-tech incubator on Stony Brook campus, were quite bland. But they had been designed originally as a chemistry lab, with tiny windows high up on the walls, a layout that suggested science, not finance, was the focus of Simons’s firm, something that appealed to Mercer.

默瑟告诉一个同事说,他怀疑对冲基金对社会有什么贡献。另一位IBM雇员说,任何想从市交易里赚钱的努力都是“没希望的”,因为市场是如此的高效。但是默瑟访问回来后印象深刻。文艺复兴坐落在石溪分校校园的一个高科技孵化器里,办公室显得平平无奇。但是他们最初将其设计成一个化学实验室,高高的墙上带着小窗户,这种布局表明西蒙斯的公司专注的是科学而不是金融,这一点吸引了默瑟。

As for Brown, he had heard of Simons, but his accomplishments meant little to him. Simons was a geometer, after all, a member of a very different field. But when Brown learned Simons’s original partner was Lenny Baum, coinventor of the Baum-Welch algorithm the IBM speech team relied upon, Brown became more enthused. By then, his wife, Margret, had given birth to their first child, and he faced his own financial concerns.

同样对布朗来说,他听说过西蒙斯,但是他的成就对布朗来说没什么意义。毕竟西蒙斯是个几何学家,属于一个非常不同的领域。但是当布朗听说西蒙斯初创合伙人是莱尼·鲍姆——IBM语音团队所依赖的鲍姆-韦尔奇算法的共同发明人,布朗开始更感兴趣了。那时候,他的妻子玛格丽特已经生下他们的第一个孩子,而他则面临着自己的经济问题。

“I looked at our newborn daughter, and thought about Bob struggling with college bills, and began to think that it might actually make some sense to work in the investment area for a few years,” Brown later told a group of scientists.

“我看着我们刚出生的女儿,想到鲍勃还在为大学账单而挣扎,就开始觉得在投资领域工作几年也许不错,”布朗后来对一群科学家说。

Simons offered to double Brown’s and Mercer’s salaries and they eventually came on board in 1993 — just as tension was building over the firm’s continued inability to master stock trading. Some researchers and others urged Simons to terminate the effort. Frey and his team had spent enough time and still didn’t have much to show for themselves, these critics said.

西蒙斯给了布朗和默瑟翻倍的工资,他们1993年终于加入了公司——当时,公司一直无力掌握股票交易的紧张气氛正在不断升级。一些研究员和其他人敦促西蒙斯结束这项业务。那些批评者说,弗雷和他的团队已经花了足够多的时间,但是仍然没有取得什么成绩。

“We’re wasting our time,” one told Frey one day in the Renaissance lunchroom. “Do we really need to do this?”

“我们在浪费时间,”一天,一个人在文艺复兴的休息室跟弗雷说,“我们真的要做这个么?”

“We’re making progress,” Frey insisted.

“我们正在取得进展,”弗雷很坚持。

Some on the futures team said Frey should give up on his stock research and work on projects with them. Publicly and privately, Simons came to Frey’s defense. Simons said he was sure the team would discover ways to make huge profits in stock trading, just as Laufer, Patterson, and others had on their thriving futures-trading side business.

期货团队里的一些人说,弗雷应该放弃他的股票研究,跟他们一起做项目。无论是公开场合还是私下里,西蒙斯会为弗雷辩护。他说他确定弗雷的团队会发现在股票市场上赚取巨额利润的办法,就像劳弗、帕特森和其他人在蓬勃发展的期货交易的副业中所做的那样。

“Let’s just wait a little longer,” Simons told a skeptic.

“我们再等等,”西蒙斯告诉一名怀疑者。

Others times, he tried bolstering Frey’s confidence.

其他时候,他试图增强弗雷的信心。

“That’s good work,” Simons told Frey. “Never give up.”

“做的不错,”西蒙斯告诉弗雷。“永远别放弃。”

Brown and Mercer watched the equity team’s struggles with particular interest. Shortly after arriving from IBM, they were split up. Mercer was sent to work in the future group, while Brown helped Frey with the stock picks. Simons was hoping to better integrate them into the firm, like kids being separated in a classroom out of fear they’d only talk to each other. In their spare time, though, Brown and Mercer met, searching for ways to solve Simons’s dilemma. They thought they might have a solution. For a true break-through, however, they’d need help from another unusual IBM staffer.

布朗和默瑟以特殊兴趣看着股票团队的努力。从IBM加盟文艺复兴后不久,他们就分开了。默瑟被派去和期货团队合作,而布朗则去帮助弗雷选股。西蒙斯希望他们能更好地融入公司,就像孩子在教室里被分开,因为担心他们只会互相交流。不过在业余时间,布朗和默瑟会碰在一起寻找解决西蒙斯困境的办法。他们觉得肯定有解决办法。然而想获得真正的突破,他们还需要另一位不同寻常的IBM员工的帮助。

(免责声明:仅供个人阅读学习及翻译参考。如有不准之处,请留言帮助改进)

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