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OpenBazaar could be America's most dangerous tech startup

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 楼主| 发表于 2015-7-4 13:44:21 | 显示全部楼层 |阅读模式
Reports emerged last week that venture capital giants Andreessen Horowitz and Union Square Ventures are investing $1 million in OpenBazaar, an online platform where users can buy and sell pretty much anything using the digital currency, bitcoin. If this sounds all too familiar, recall Silk Road, the bitcoin marketplace that U.S. authorities shut down last year for facilitating drugs sales. It’s rise and dramatic fall is the stuff of dark fiction, and I would argue that OpenBazaar is much worse.
   上周有报道说,风投大佬安德森•霍洛维茨和广和投资共同向OpenBazaar投资100万美元。OpenBazaar是一家用比特币交易的在线购物平台,基本上可以用数字货币购买或出售任何物品。这让人感觉有点似曾相识,并不禁联想到“丝绸之路”网站。该网站去年已被美国政府以协助贩毒为由关停,它的崛起和骤然衰落简直就是黑暗小说的题材,然而我要说的是,OpenBazaar其实要危险得多。
    Unlike its predecessor, OpenBazaar is completely decentralized and exists wholly within the network of users themselves. In other words, even if a criminal buys guns over the peer-to-peer system, he can’t be shut down without shutting down every computer in the network (which isn’t really feasible) since there’s no central hub for law enforcement to target.
       与之前的在线交易平台不同的是,OpenBazaar是一家完全去中心化的公司,完全存在于用户网络中。换言之,由于不存在管理中心,执法人员无法进行信息定位,就算一个罪犯通过点对点系统购买枪支也没法阻止,除非关掉网络中的每台电脑,显然这是不现实的。
    The company has repeatedly made it clear that it isn’t trying to create a “Silk Road 3.0,” and lead developer Brian Hoffman told Business Insider that the company wouldn’t tolerate “misuse” of the platform, yet it’s unclear how the company would prevent illegality given its diffused architecture and professed desire to stay out of their users’ way.
       OpenBazaar也一再重申并不想创造“3.0版本的丝绸之路”,开发负责人布莱恩•霍夫曼接受Business Insider采访时说,公司不会姑息任何对平台的“不当使用”,然而由于其系统架构分散,又明确表态不干预用户,如何防范违法交易这一问题尚无结论。
    While Hoffman could be right that OpenBazaar will revolutionize online commerce, its business model could also potentially threaten America’s tech industry. The wild and uncontrollable nature of OpenBazaar’s technology, especially if it winds up being used to facilitate terrorism, could push authorities to launch a broad crackdown on other technologies as well that law enforcement considers an impediment to its work.
       霍夫曼声称的OpenBazaar将对在线商务产生革命性的影响可能没错,但该公司的商业模式也可能成为美国技术产业的潜在威胁。OpenBazaar的技术本质上是野蛮生长且不可控的,一旦最后为恐怖主义所用,当局可能启动更为广泛的打压行动,将执法者认为妨碍其职责的其他技术也列入打击范围。
    And if the potential harm from a marketplace seems limited to you, consider what could happen from the combination of this type of technology with Artificial Intelligence. As AI evolves, even tech visionaries like Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Tesla chief Elon Musk have expressed concern over the ability of humans to control the outcome, especially if machines are eventually able to ‘think’ autonomously. Now apply OpenBazaar’s decentralized and police-resistant model to this and you have a recipe for disaster: machines with free will and the ability to communicate with each other under the human radar. Maybe an Isaac Asimov-inspired fantasy at one time, this is hardly an impossible scenario anymore given the rapid pace of technological development.
       如果你认为该平台的潜在威胁对你来说还不算大,那么想一想这种技术和人工智能结合的后果。随着人工智能技术不断发展,连微软创始人比尔•盖茨和特斯拉领袖埃隆•马斯克等科技界大牛都表示,如果有一天机器终于学会自主“思考”,很担心人类能否控制最后的结果。其实只要把OpenBazaar的去中心化和抗拒监管的模式与人工智能结合,爆发灾难的要素就齐全了:一群有自由思想的机器,在人类眼皮底下悄悄地互相交流。这或许很像艾萨克•阿西莫夫(译者注:艾萨克•阿西莫夫是美国著名科幻小说家)风格的科幻作品,但随着技术的飞速发展,这一幕将很有可能实现。
    The point is that the real threat isn’t just OpenBazaar but the larger trend it could spawn.
       问题是真正的危险还不仅是OpenBazaar本身,而是它可能催生的一大波新技术。
    To be fair, peer-to-peer networks that facilitate illicit transactions will continue to exist regardless of any controls, but the support and deep coffers of the venture capital community could help OpenBazaar attain scale faster than usual. That could make this small startup bigger and deadlier than Silk Road before people even realize what’s happening.
       平心而论,无论是否控制,能协助非法交易的点对点系统都会继续存在,但是风投圈的支持和强大的资金注入可能会帮助OpenBazaar更快地扩张。这家小创业公司可能在人们还没意识到发生了什么之前,就已变成比丝绸之路规模更大和更具杀伤力的企业。
    As technology evolves, the sector needs to think of ways to police itself. While most large companies in the space have yet to figure out how to do that without compromising their users’ rights and interests, their centralized technologies do provide the possibility of accountability. OpenBazaar, on the other hand, is predicated on the very lack of oversight and so hoping for anything other than chaos is naïve, unless of course the company figures out and implements crucial safeguards.                       
       随着技术的进步,整个行业应该思考该如何自我监管。虽然业内多数大公司还没能实现在不牺牲用户权益的情况下加强监管,但其集中式技术起码还提供了问责的可能性。另一方面,OpenBazaar已被明确认定为极度缺乏监管,所以除非该公司弄清状况并实施关键的安全措施,否则祈祷未来不出乱子只是幼稚的做法。                       
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