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  • We are built out of very small stuff,

    我們由極小的物質所構成,

  • and we are embedded in a very large cosmos,

    我們生活在一個巨大的宇宙中,

  • and the fact is that we are not very good at understanding reality

    然後實際情況是, 我們並不是真正了解這個世界

  • at either of those scales,

    無論是大型或微型的世界,

  • and that's because our brains

    這是因為我們的大腦

  • haven't evolved to understand the world at that scale.

    還沒有發達到理解 這個世界有多大。

  • Instead, we're trapped on this very thin slice of perception

    相反的, 我們被局限在這個狹小的

  • right in the middle.

    感知範圍中。

  • But it gets strange, because even at that slice of reality that we call home,

    但是奇怪的是, 即使像我們撥電話回家這樣的事,

  • we're not seeing most of the action that's going on.

    這其中大部分的動作 我們都沒有看清是怎麼一回事。

  • So take the colors of our world.

    看看我們所處世界的色彩。

  • This is light waves, electromagnetic radiation that bounces off objects

    它是由物體反射的光波,電磁波。

  • and it hits specialized receptors in the back of our eyes.

    射線直接擊中位於我們眼球後部 的一個專門接收部位。

  • But we're not seeing all the waves out there.

    但是我們看不到所有的波。

  • In fact, what we see

    事實上,我們看到的

  • is less than a 10 trillionth of what's out there.

    不到 10 兆分之一。

  • So you have radio waves and microwaves

    所以,你們現在正被無數的 無線電波、微波、

  • and X-rays and gamma rays passing through your body right now

    X 光、伽馬射線穿過身體

  • and you're completely unaware of it,

    卻渾然不知。

  • because you don't come with the proper biological receptors

    因為人類沒有適當的生物感覺器官

  • for picking it up.

    來感知這些波。

  • There are thousands of cell phone conversations

    此時,數以萬計的通話訊號

  • passing through you right now,

    正從你身邊通過,

  • and you're utterly blind to it.

    你完全看不見這些波。

  • Now, it's not that these things are inherently unseeable.

    這並不是因為這些波本身不可見。

  • Snakes include some infrared in their reality,

    蛇可以看到某些紅外線,

  • and honeybees include ultraviolet in their view of the world,

    蜜蜂可以看到紫外線,

  • and of course we build machines in the dashboards of our cars

    我們可以在汽車儀表板內安裝裝置,

  • to pick up on signals in the radio frequency range,

    來接收無線電波的信號,

  • and we built machines in hospitals to pick up on the X-ray range.

    醫院裡使用相關設備來接收 X 光。

  • But you can't sense any of those by yourself,

    我們無法以五官去感受這些波,

  • at least not yet,

    至少在目前階段無法做到,

  • because you don't come equipped with the proper sensors.

    因為你的身體 沒有適當的裝備來接收它們。

  • Now, what this means is that our experience of reality

    這意味著我們對於真實世界的感知力

  • is constrained by our biology,

    受限於我們本身的生物構造,

  • and that goes against the common sense notion

    這有違常理,

  • that our eyes and our ears and our fingertips

    若我們的眼睛、耳朵、指尖

  • are just picking up the objective reality that's out there.

    只能感知到我們周圍客觀存在的資訊。

  • Instead, our brains are sampling just a little bit of the world.

    相反地,我們的大腦 只在這其中揀取了很小一部分。

  • Now, across the animal kingdom,

    在整個動物王國,

  • different animals pick up on different parts of reality.

    不同的動物會感知不一樣的實況。

  • So in the blind and deaf world of the tick,

    在蝨子黑暗無聲的世界裡,

  • the important signals are temperature and butyric acid;

    溫度和丁酸是重要信號;

  • in the world of the black ghost knifefish,

    在黑魔鬼刀魚的世界裡,

  • its sensory world is lavishly colored by electrical fields;

    電磁場 構建了 其色彩斑斕的感官世界;

  • and for the echolocating bat,

    而對於靠迴聲定位的蝙蝠,

  • its reality is constructed out of air compression waves.

    空氣壓縮波 構建了它們的世界。

  • That's the slice of their ecosystem that they can pick up on,

    這就是牠們生態系統構造特點 讓他們獲取片斷的信息,

  • and we have a word for this in science.

    在科學領域有一個詞

  • It's called the umwelt,

    叫做「客觀世界」(umwelt),

  • which is the German word for the surrounding world.

    這是一個德語詞彙, 意指周圍的環境。

  • Now, presumably, every animal assumes

    或許,每一種動物都假設

  • that its umwelt is the entire objective reality out there,

    牠的「周圍環境」 就是牠的整個客觀存在的世界,

  • because why would you ever stop to imagine

    因為動物一般都不會無端端地想

  • that there's something beyond what we can sense.

    在我們感知範圍外, 還有其他的東西存在。

  • Instead, what we all do is we accept reality

    相反的,我們只接受

  • as it's presented to us.

    實際環境呈現給我們的訊息。

  • Let's do a consciousness-raiser on this.

    讓我們提高這方面的意識。

  • Imagine that you are a bloodhound dog.

    想像你是一隻警犬。

  • Your whole world is about smelling.

    你的整個世界是聞氣味。

  • You've got a long snout that has 200 million scent receptors in it,

    你有一個長長的鼻腔, 裡面密布 2 億個嗅覺接收器。

  • and you have wet nostrils that attract and trap scent molecules,

    你濕潤的鼻子 用以接收和捕捉氣味,

  • and your nostrils even have slits so you can take big nosefuls of air.

    你的鼻孔甚至有縫隙 讓你可以大口吸氣。

  • Everything is about smell for you.

    與你而言,一切東西都是氣味。

  • So one day, you stop in your tracks with a revelation.

    某一天,你停下腳步,突然想到

  • You look at your human owner and you think,

    你望著你的主人,在想:

  • "What is it like to have the pitiful, impoverished nose of a human?

    人類擁有一個可憐又沒特點的鼻子 那會是個什麼情況啊?

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • What is it like when you take a feeble little noseful of air?

    如果你微弱地嗅著空氣, 會是怎麼樣?

  • How can you not know that there's a cat 100 yards away,

    你怎能不知道 100 碼以外有隻貓,

  • or that your neighbor was on this very spot six hours ago?"

    或 6 小時前你的鄰居在這呆過?

  • (Laughter)

    (笑聲)

  • So because we're humans,

    因為我們是人,

  • we've never experienced that world of smell,

    從來沒有感知過這樣的嗅覺世界,

  • so we don't miss it,

    所以我們也不覺得遺憾,

  • because we are firmly settled into our umwelt.

    因為我們堅守地生活在自己的環境。

  • But the question is, do we have to be stuck there?

    但問題是, 我們是否必須困在此環境中?

  • So as a neuroscientist, I'm interested in the way that technology

    身為一個神經學家, 我對運用某種科技很感興趣,

  • might expand our umwelt,

    可以用它來拓展我們的環境,

  • and how that's going to change the experience of being human.

    以及如何改變人類的感知和經歷。

  • So we already know that we can marry our technology to our biology,

    我們都知道生物學 和科技可以結合在一起,

  • because there are hundreds of thousands of people walking around

    因為已經有成千上萬的人 透過人工耳

  • with artificial hearing and artificial vision.

    人工視覺在生活。

  • So the way this works is, you take a microphone and you digitize the signal,

    方法是, 拿著一個麥克風,把信號數位化,

  • and you put an electrode strip directly into the inner ear.

    將一個電極帶植入內耳。

  • Or, with the retinal implant, you take a camera

    在視網膜植入一個攝像頭

  • and you digitize the signal, and then you plug an electrode grid

    把信號數位化,然後插入一個電極柵

  • directly into the optic nerve.

    直接傳導進入視神經。

  • And as recently as 15 years ago,

    就在 15 年前,

  • there were a lot of scientists who thought these technologies wouldn't work.

    很多科學家認為這些技術不可行。

  • Why? It's because these technologies speak the language of Silicon Valley,

    為什麼呢?因為這些高科技 只是矽谷的方法,

  • and it's not exactly the same dialect as our natural biological sense organs.

    它們和生物學的各個器官不完全相同。

  • But the fact is that it works;

    但事實上這是可行的;

  • the brain figures out how to use the signals just fine.

    只要大腦知道 怎麼運用這些信號就可以了。

  • Now, how do we understand that?

    但是我們怎麼讀懂它們的語言呢?

  • Well, here's the big secret:

    這裡有個秘密:

  • Your brain is not hearing or seeing any of this.

    大腦本身其實根本就 看不見也聽不懂任何東西。

  • Your brain is locked in a vault of silence and darkness inside your skull.

    大腦如同被你的腦殼 封閉在一個無光無聲的世界。

  • All it ever sees are electrochemical signals

    大腦所看到的是電化學訊號

  • that come in along different data cables,

    這些訊號來自不同的資料傳輸源。

  • and this is all it has to work with, and nothing more.

    這就是大腦要處理的東西,別無其它。

  • Now, amazingly,

    令人驚訝的是,

  • the brain is really good at taking in these signals

    大腦真的很善於獲取這些訊號,

  • and extracting patterns and assigning meaning,

    萃取其模式, 以及它們所代表的含意。

  • so that it takes this inner cosmos and puts together a story

    將內心世界的元素 組合在一起,

  • of this, your subjective world.

    構建了你的主觀世界。

  • But here's the key point:

    但是這個關鍵在於:

  • Your brain doesn't know, and it doesn't care,

    你的大腦並不知道,也不在乎

  • where it gets the data from.

    這些訊號從何而來。

  • Whatever information comes in, it just figures out what to do with it.

    資訊進來了,大腦就做對應的處理,

  • And this is a very efficient kind of machine.

    就如同一台高效運轉的機器。

  • It's essentially a general purpose computing device,

    這本質上就是一台 一般用途為目標的計算設備,

  • and it just takes in everything

    接收每一個訊息,

  • and figures out what it's going to do with it,

    然後分析做出相對應的回應,

  • and that, I think, frees up Mother Nature

    然後,釋放出自然的天性

  • to tinker around with different sorts of input channels.

    修補來自不同的輸入通道。

  • So I call this the P.H. model of evolution,

    我將之命名為「PH 演化模式」,

  • and I don't want to get too technical here,

    我不想太著重於技術層面,

  • but P.H. stands for Potato Head,

    PH 代表「馬鈴薯頭」 (Potato Head),

  • and I use this name to emphasize that all these sensors

    我採用這個名字是為了強調, 所有的感知受體

  • that we know and love, like our eyes and our ears and our fingertips,

    像是我們所知所愛的 眼睛、耳朵、手指,

  • these are merely peripheral plug-and-play devices:

    這些僅僅是周邊隨插即用的設備:

  • You stick them in, and you're good to go.

    插上它們,即可使用。

  • The brain figures out what to do with the data that comes in.

    大腦會根據進來的資訊 決定下一步做什麼。

  • And when you look across the animal kingdom,

    當你綜覽動物的世界,

  • you find lots of peripheral devices.

    你會看到許多這樣的周邊設備。

  • So snakes have heat pits with which to detect infrared,

    蛇有感受熱能的小洞 用來探測紅外線

  • and the ghost knifefish has electroreceptors,

    魔鬼刀魚有視網膜電圖,

  • and the star-nosed mole has this appendage

    北美星鼻鼹鼠

  • with 22 fingers on it

    擁有 22 個指頭

  • with which it feels around and constructs a 3D model of the world,

    牠感受並建構三度空間立體世界,

  • and many birds have magnetite so they can orient

    許多鳥類擁有磁感應 所以牠們能夠

  • to the magnetic field of the planet.

    透過地球的磁場確定方向。

  • So what this means is that nature doesn't have to continually

    這意味著 大自然不需持續

  • redesign the brain.

    重新設計大腦。

  • Instead, with the principles of brain operation established,

    相反地,大腦運作基本原理的建立,

  • all nature has to worry about is designing new peripherals.

    大自然只需要設計新的周邊設備。

  • Okay. So what this means is this:

    好。這意味著:

  • The lesson that surfaces

    它所呈現的結果

  • is that there's nothing really special or fundamental

    是關於我們所討論的生物學

  • about the biology that we come to the table with.

    沒有牽涉到特別的東西或原理。

  • It's just what we have inherited

    這只是我們

  • from a complex road of evolution.

    從複雜的進化過程繼承來的。

  • But it's not what we have to stick with,

    但這不是我們要去堅持的,

  • and our best proof of principle of this

    最好的證明原理

  • comes from what's called sensory substitution.

    來自所謂的感官替代。

  • And that refers to feeding information into the brain

    透過獨特的感官通道,

  • via unusual sensory channels,

    提供訊息給大腦,

  • and the brain just figures out what to do with it.

    大腦就做相對應的處理。

  • Now, that might sound speculative,

    或許聽起來頗具推測性,

  • but the first paper demonstrating this was published in the journal Nature in 1969.

    但這是第一篇相關論證的文章, 發表於 1969 年的自然雜誌。

  • So a scientist named Paul Bach-y-Rita

    一位叫做 保羅·巴赫·瑞塔的科學家

  • put blind people in a modified dental chair,

    把盲人置於改裝過的牙科椅,

  • and he set up a video feed,

    他裝設一台錄影設備,

  • and he put something in front of the camera,

    在攝影機前放某個東西,

  • and then you would feel that

    你可以感覺到那東西

  • poked into your back with a grid of solenoids.

    從背後插入一個電磁開關電網。

  • So if you wiggle a coffee cup in front of the camera,

    所以如果你在攝影機前擺動咖啡杯,

  • you're feeling that in your back,

    你的背部可以感受到它,

  • and amazingly, blind people got pretty good

    令人訝異的是, 盲人相當擅長於

  • at being able to determine what was in front of the camera

    判定攝影機前的東西

  • just by feeling it in the small of their back.

    只透過背部的一小部分 就感受它。

  • Now, there have been many modern incarnations of this.

    現在,有許多這種現代化的概念。

  • The sonic glasses take a video feed right in front of you

    聲波眼鏡在你眼前錄影

  • and turn that into a sonic landscape,

    再將影像轉變為聲景,

  • so as things move around, and get closer and farther,

    就像事物環繞, 走近,走遠,

  • it sounds like "Bzz, bzz, bzz."

    聽起來就像「吱吱,吱吱,吱吱。」

  • It sounds like a cacophony,

    聽起來刺耳,

  • but after several weeks, blind people start getting pretty good

    但幾週之後, 盲人就很擅長

  • at understanding what's in front of them

    依據他所聽到的

  • just based on what they're hearing.

    來理解他面前的事物。

  • And it doesn't have to be through the ears:

    而且不必透過耳朵:

  • this system uses an electrotactile grid on the forehead,

    這個系統使用前額上的電網格,

  • so whatever's in front of the video feed, you're feeling it on your forehead.

    不管前面拍攝到什麼影像, 你的前額可以感應到。

  • Why the forehead? Because you're not using it for much else.

    為什麼用前額? 因為你很少使用前額做其他事。

  • The most modern incarnation is called the brainport,

    最為現代的儀器稱為 「腦端口」(brainport),

  • and this is a little electrogrid that sits on your tongue,

    這是一個小的電網格 安裝在舌頭上,

  • and the video feed gets turned into these little electrotactile signals,

    將影像轉變成小的電觸覺訊號,

  • and blind people get so good at using this that they can throw a ball into a basket,

    盲人很擅長使用這個設備 能將球投進籃子,

  • or they can navigate complex obstacle courses.

    或是可以在複雜的 障礙賽跑訓練場行走。

  • They can come to see through their tongue.

    他們透過舌頭看見東西。

  • Now, that sounds completely insane, right?

    這聽起來相當瘋狂,對吧?

  • But remember, all vision ever is

    但是記住,所有看見的東西

  • is electrochemical signals coursing around in your brain.

    是流過大腦的電化學訊號。

  • Your brain doesn't know where the signals come from.

    你的大腦不知道訊號來自何處。

  • It just figures out what to do with them.

    大腦只做相對應的處理。

  • So my interest in my lab is sensory substitution for the deaf,

    我在實驗室為聾人 做感官替代的研究,

  • and this is a project I've undertaken

    這是我和一位研究生

  • with a graduate student in my lab, Scott Novich,

    史考特.諾維奇所做的專案,

  • who is spearheading this for his thesis.

    他的論文在這方面有領先的成果。

  • And here is what we wanted to do:

    以下是我們想要做的:

  • we wanted to make it so that sound from the world gets converted

    我們要讓來自外界的聲音 以某種方式進行轉變

  • in some way so that a deaf person can understand what is being said.

    讓聾人可以聽懂他人說的話。

  • And we wanted to do this, given the power and ubiquity of portable computing,

    為提供普遍性高的可擕式設備 我們想要這麼做,

  • we wanted to make sure that this would run on cell phones and tablets,

    要確定這些功能可以在 手機和平板電腦上執行,

  • and also we wanted to make this a wearable,

    我們也想把它做成 穿戴式電子裝置,

  • something that you could wear under your clothing.

    一件可以穿在裡面的裝置。

  • So here's the concept.

    就是這個概念。

  • So as I'm speaking, my sound is getting captured by the tablet,

    如我所說的, 平板電腦接收到我的聲音,

  • and then it's getting mapped onto a vest that's covered in vibratory motors,

    然後對映對到有振動馬達的背心,

  • just like the motors in your cell phone.

    就如你手機的馬達。

  • So as I'm speaking,

    當我講話時,

  • the sound is getting translated to a pattern of vibration on the vest.

    聲音被轉換為背心上的震動模式

  • Now, this is not just conceptual:

    這不只一種概念:

  • this tablet is transmitting Bluetooth, and I'm wearing the vest right now.

    平板傳送藍牙訊號 而且我正穿著這件背心。

  • So as I'm speaking -- (Applause) --

    當我講話時 -- (掌聲)--

  • the sound is getting translated into dynamic patterns of vibration.

    聲音被轉變成震動的動能模式。

  • I'm feeling the sonic world around me.

    我感覺到周圍的有聲世界。

  • So, we've been testing this with deaf people now,

    我們正和聾人做這樣的測試,

  • and it turns out that after just a little bit of time,

    結果在很短的時間之後,

  • people can start feeling, they can start understanding

    聾人開始感覺,開始理解

  • the language of the vest.

    背心的語言。

  • So this is Jonathan. He's 37 years old. He has a master's degree.

    這是強納生,37 歲, 擁有碩士學位。

  • He was born profoundly deaf,

    他天生全聾,

  • which means that there's a part of his umwelt that's unavailable to him.

    那表示有一部分的環境他無法感受到,

  • So we had Jonathan train with the vest for four days, two hours a day,

    所以我們讓強納生穿上背心 訓練 4 天,每天 2 小時。

  • and here he is on the fifth day.

    這是第 5 天.

  • Scott Novich: You.

    史考特·諾維奇:你。

  • David Eagleman: So Scott says a word, Jonathan feels it on the vest,

    大衛.伊葛門:史考特說一個字, 強納生透過背心感受到了,

  • and he writes it on the board.

    他把它寫在板子上。

  • SN: Where. Where.

    史考特:那裡。那裡。

  • DE: Jonathan is able to translate this complicated pattern of vibrations

    大衛:強納生能夠將 複雜的震動模式

  • into an understanding of what's being said.

    翻譯成能理解的語言。

  • SN: Touch. Touch.

    史考特:摸。摸。

  • DE: Now, he's not doing this --

    大衛:他沒做這個 --

  • (Applause) --

    (掌聲)--

  • Jonathan is not doing this consciously, because the patterns are too complicated,

    強納生不是有意識去做這個, 因為模式太過複雜,

  • but his brain is starting to unlock the pattern that allows it to figure out

    但他的大腦正在開啟這個模式

  • what the data mean,

    以理解這些資料的意義,

  • and our expectation is that, after wearing this for about three months,

    我的期望是, 穿上這件背心三個月之後,

  • he will have a direct perceptual experience of hearing

    他能直接感受聽覺的經驗

  • in the same way that when a blind person passes a finger over braille,

    與盲人點字相同的經驗,

  • the meaning comes directly off the page without any conscious intervention at all.

    沒有任何意識干預下, 也可以馬上理解符號的意義。

  • Now, this technology has the potential to be a game-changer,

    這項技術有改變遊戲規則的潛力,

  • because the only other solution for deafness is a cochlear implant,

    因為幫助聾人的另一個唯一的方法是 植入人工電子耳,

  • and that requires an invasive surgery.

    人工電子耳是一種侵入性手術。

  • And this can be built for 40 times cheaper than a cochlear implant,

    而且我說的這項技術 比人工電子耳便宜 40 倍,

  • which opens up this technology globally, even for the poorest countries.

    這技術打入全球市場, 最為貧窮國家的人民也可行。

  • Now, we've been very encouraged by our results with sensory substitution,

    我們受到感官替代成果的鼓舞,

  • but what we've been thinking a lot about is sensory addition.

    我們一直在思考許多 有關感官附加的技術。

  • How could we use a technology like this to add a completely new kind of sense,

    我們如何使用這樣的技術 去增加一種全新的感受,

  • to expand the human umvelt?

    去發展人類的環境?

  • For example, could we feed real-time data from the Internet

    例如,我到們能否 從網路獲得即時資料

  • directly into somebody's brain,

    再將資料提供給大腦?

  • and can they develop a direct perceptual experience?

    他們能夠直接產生感知經驗嗎?