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  • Last year, I told you the story, in seven minutes, of Project Orion,

    譯者: Yi Lu 審譯者: Wang-Ju Tsai

  • which was this very implausible technology

    去年我花了7分鐘和你們講了“獵戶座計劃”的故事,

  • that technically could have worked,

    那是種令人難以置信的科學技術

  • but it had this one-year political window where it could have happened.

    理論上是可行的

  • So it didn't happen. It was a dream that did not happen.

    但由於只有一年的政治窗口期

  • This year I'm going to tell you the story of the birth of digital computing.

    所以它成了一個從未實現的夢。

  • This was a perfect introduction.

    今年我將和你們談一談數位計算的誕生

  • And it's a story that did work. It did happen,

    這是一個完美的介紹,

  • and the machines are all around us.

    並且這是真實發生的故事,

  • And it was a technology that was inevitable.

    類似的機器在我們身邊無處不在。

  • If the people I'm going to tell you the story about,

    這一技術是歷史的必然產物。

  • if they hadn't done it, somebody else would have.

    今天我在演講裡提到的這群人

  • So, it was sort of the right idea at the right time.

    就算他們沒有研發這一技術,一定會有別的人來研發。

  • This is Barricelli's universe. This is the universe we live in now.

    所以數位計算算是種順應當時的時代的理念。

  • It's the universe in which these machines

    這是Barricelli世界。這也是今天我們所生活的世界。

  • are now doing all these things, including changing biology.

    正是在這樣的世界裡,

  • I'm starting the story with the first atomic bomb at Trinity,

    這些機器現在正做著各種各樣的工作,比如改變我們的生物學研究。

  • which was the Manhattan Project. It was a little bit like TED:

    首先我想談一談在Trinity進行的第一次原子彈試驗

  • it brought a whole lot of very smart people together.

    也就是曼哈頓計劃,這有點像我們TED

  • And three of the smartest people were

    都是把很多絕頂聰明的人匯集在一起。

  • Stan Ulam, Richard Feynman and John von Neumann.

    其中3個最聰明的人是

  • And it was Von Neumann who said, after the bomb,

    斯塔尼斯拉夫·烏拉姆,理查德·費曼和約翰·馮·紐曼

  • he was working on something much more important than bombs:

    在研究完原子彈以後,馮紐曼說

  • he's thinking about computers.

    他正研究一件比原子彈更重要的事

  • So, he wasn't only thinking about them; he built one. This is the machine he built.

    那就是電腦。

  • (Laughter)

    他不僅僅是空想而已,他還造了一台。這就是他造的機器。

  • He built this machine,

    (笑聲)

  • and we had a beautiful demonstration of how this thing really works,

    他造了這台機器

  • with these little bits. And it's an idea that goes way back.

    並且他漂亮的演示了這台機器如何以位元為單位運轉

  • The first person to really explain that

    位元這一概念其實很早就有了

  • was Thomas Hobbes, who, in 1651,

    第一個真正解釋這一概念的人

  • explained how arithmetic and logic are the same thing,

    叫湯馬斯·霍布斯

  • and if you want to do artificial thinking and artificial logic,

    1651年,他解釋了算數和邏輯從某種意義上說其實是一回事

  • you can do it all with arithmetic.

    如果你想實現人工思考和人工邏輯,

  • He said you needed addition and subtraction.

    你都可以用算數的方法來實現。

  • Leibniz, who came a little bit later -- this is 1679 --

    他說你只需要做加法和減法就行了。

  • showed that you didn't even need subtraction.

    在他之後的萊布尼茨

  • You could do the whole thing with addition.

    在1679年證明你甚至都不需要做減法

  • Here, we have all the binary arithmetic and logic

    只需要做加法就行了。

  • that drove the computer revolution.

    我們有了所有的二進制運算和邏輯

  • And Leibniz was the first person to really talk about building such a machine.

    這些帶來了電腦革命

  • He talked about doing it with marbles,

    萊布尼茨是第一個真正討論建造這一機器的人

  • having gates and what we now call shift registers,

    他想利用大理石讓機器實現這樣的運算和邏輯

  • where you shift the gates, drop the marbles down the tracks.

    這樣的機器有一種“門”,我們今天稱之為移位寄存器

  • And that's what all these machines are doing,

    當你打開“門”時,大理石就會從門裡穿過掉在軌道上

  • except, instead of doing it with marbles,

    其實這就是今天我們所有類似機器的運作原理

  • they're doing it with electrons.

    但是用的不是大理石

  • And then we jump to Von Neumann, 1945,

    而是電子。

  • when he sort of reinvents the whole same thing.

    接著我們跳到1945年

  • And 1945, after the war, the electronics existed

    馮諾曼發明了一個幾乎一樣的東西。

  • to actually try and build such a machine.

    1945年,二戰之後

  • So June 1945 -- actually, the bomb hasn't even been dropped yet --

    當時的電子工業真正的開始嘗試建造這麼一種機器

  • and Von Neumann is putting together all the theory to actually build this thing,

    所以在1945年的六月,實際上那時候原子彈還沒投下

  • which also goes back to Turing,

    馮諾曼已經把實際生產這種機器所需的一切理論準備好了

  • who, before that, gave the idea that you could do all this

    再來看看Turing (圖靈)

  • with a very brainless, little, finite state machine,

    他在之前已經有了一個想法,那就是

  • just reading a tape in and reading a tape out.

    你可以用一種非常簡單,有限狀態的機器完成所有的工作

  • The other sort of genesis of what Von Neumann did

    就好比讀取一盤磁帶

  • was the difficulty of how you would predict the weather.

    另一個馮諾曼的天才之處

  • Lewis Richardson saw how you could do this with a cellular array of people,

    就是克服預測天氣的困難

  • giving them each a little chunk, and putting it together.

    Lewis Richardson發現可以利用單元陣列的人

  • Here, we have an electrical model illustrating a mind having a will,

    給他們每人一小塊,然後拼在一起

  • but capable of only two ideas.

    這兒我們有一個電子模型,演示了一個有思維的“頭腦”

  • (Laughter)

    但只有兩個想法

  • And that's really the simplest computer.

    (笑聲)

  • It's basically why you need the qubit,

    這真的要算是最簡單的電腦

  • because it only has two ideas.

    這基本上解釋了我們為什麼需要量子位元

  • And you put lots of those together,

    一個位元只有兩種狀態

  • you get the essentials of the modern computer:

    一旦你把很多這樣的量子位元組織起來

  • the arithmetic unit, the central control, the memory,

    就成了我們今天電腦的核心部分

  • the recording medium, the input and the output.

    運算單元、中央控制器、記憶體

  • But, there's one catch. This is the fatal -- you know,

    儲存媒介,輸入和輸出

  • we saw it in starting these programs up.

    但是有個很致命的一點

  • The instructions which govern this operation

    我們在開始這個程序時會發現

  • must be given in absolutely exhaustive detail.

    指導這一操作的指令

  • So, the programming has to be perfect, or it won't work.

    必須做到非常非常的詳細

  • If you look at the origins of this,

    所以程式必須設計得非常完美,否則它就無法執行

  • the classic history sort of takes it all back to the ENIAC here.

    如果你回過頭看,

  • But actually, the machine I'm going to tell you about,

    這一切的起因都可以追溯到ENIAC計算機。

  • the Institute for Advanced Study machine, which is way up there,

    但是實際上,今天我將要介紹的機器

  • really should be down there. So, I'm trying to revise history,

    高等研究所的機器,正是擺在那邊的那台

  • and give some of these guys more credit than they've had.

    真的位置應該在這裡。所以,我正在試圖修改歷史。

  • Such a computer would open up universes,

    給這些傢伙更多褒獎。

  • which are, at the present, outside the range of any instruments.

    這樣一台電腦開創了一個新的領域

  • So it opens up a whole new world, and these people saw it.

    這是到目前為止其它任何一台工具所不能比的

  • The guy who was supposed to build this machine

    它開啟了一個嶄新的世界,這樣一群人預見到了。

  • was the guy in the middle, Vladimir Zworykin, from RCA.

    被認為是製造這台機器的人

  • RCA, in probably one of the lousiest business decisions

    就站在中間,他名叫弗拉迪米爾 佐利金,來自美國廣播公司

  • of all time, decided not to go into computers.

    美國廣播公司,當時可能做了有史以來最糟糕的決定

  • But the first meetings, November 1945, were at RCA's offices.

    那就是放棄研發電腦。

  • RCA started this whole thing off, and said, you know,

    在1945年11月,在美國廣播公司的辦公室召開了第一次會議

  • televisions are the future, not computers.

    經過了一番研究,說

  • The essentials were all there --

    電視才是未來發展的趨勢,不是電腦。

  • all the things that make these machines run.

    所有的必要元件都在這裡

  • Von Neumann, and a logician, and a mathematician from the army

    所有可以使這些機器運行的元件。

  • put this together. Then, they needed a place to build it.

    馮諾曼,和一位邏輯學家以及一位軍人數學家

  • When RCA said no, that's when they decided to build it in Princeton,

    把這些元件組裝在一起。接下來他們需要一個地方來建造

  • where Freeman works at the Institute.

    美國廣告公司拒絕了以後,他們才決定把機器建在

  • That's where I grew up as a kid.

    弗里曼工作的普林斯頓研究所。

  • That's me, that's my sister Esther, who's talked to you before,

    我從小在那長大

  • so we both go back to the birth of this thing.

    這是我和我姐姐Esther,她之前在這裡演講過

  • That's Freeman, a long time ago,

    所以我們都追溯了這一機器的誕生

  • and that was me.

    這是弗里曼很久以前的樣子

  • And this is Von Neumann and Morgenstern,

    這是我

  • who wrote the "Theory of Games."

    這是馮諾曼和Morgenstern

  • All these forces came together there, in Princeton.

    他們是博弈理論的創始人

  • Oppenheimer, who had built the bomb.

    各方的力量都匯集在普林斯頓

  • The machine was actually used mainly for doing bomb calculations.

    奧本哈默,製造原子彈的人

  • And Julian Bigelow, who took

    這台機器主要用來進行原子彈相關的運算

  • Zworkykin's place as the engineer, to actually figure out, using electronics,

    比戈洛(John Bigelow)

  • how you would build this thing. The whole gang of people who came to work on this,

    他是工程師,他用電子元件,

  • and women in front, who actually did most of the coding, were the first programmers.

    找出了製造這一機器的真正方法。這一幫人,

  • These were the prototype geeks, the nerds.

    包括那個站在前面的女士們,他們編寫了大部分的代碼。所有的這一幫人是歷史上第一批程式設計師。

  • They didn't fit in at the Institute.

    他們也是那些網路怪人,技術狂人的老祖宗

  • This is a letter from the director, concerned about --

    研究所不適合他們

  • "especially unfair on the matter of sugar."

    這是一封來自主任的信,主題為

  • (Laughter)

    “關於實驗室裏砂糖分配不平均的問題”

  • You can read the text.

    (笑聲)

  • (Laughter)

    你們可以自己讀讀原文

  • This is hackers getting in trouble for the first time.

    (笑聲)

  • (Laughter).

    這是黑客們第一次遇到麻煩

  • These were not theoretical physicists.

    (笑聲)

  • They were real soldering-gun type guys, and they actually built this thing.

    這些不是理論物理學家

  • And we take it for granted now, that each of these machines

    他們是真正的實踐者,是他們親手製造了這一機器。

  • has billions of transistors, doing billions of cycles per second without failing.

    現在我們想當然而地認為

  • They were using vacuum tubes, very narrow, sloppy techniques

    這些含有幾十億個電晶體,每秒進行幾十億次計算的機器不會出現差錯。

  • to get actually binary behavior out of these radio vacuum tubes.

    他們當時用真空管,非常不成熟的技術

  • They actually used 6J6, the common radio tube,

    運用無線電真空管實現了二進制運算

  • because they found they were more reliable than the more expensive tubes.

    他們用的是6J6,也就是通用電子管

  • And what they did at the Institute was publish every step of the way.

    因為他們發現這比那些價錢更貴的電子管更可靠。

  • Reports were issued, so that this machine was cloned

    他們把研究結果的每一步都巨細糜遺地發表

  • at 15 other places around the world.

    隨著研究報告的發布,

  • And it really was. It was the original microprocessor.

    使得世界其他15個地方也可以製造出相同的機器

  • All the computers now are copies of that machine.

    這台機器真的是微處理器的鼻祖

  • The memory was in cathode ray tubes --

    現在所有的電腦都是仿照這台機器。

  • a whole bunch of spots on the face of the tube --

    存儲器用的是陰極射線管

  • very, very sensitive to electromagnetic disturbances.

    陰極射線管表面的一簇點

  • So, there's 40 of these tubes,

    對電磁干擾十分敏感

  • like a V-40 engine running the memory.

    所以就有了40個這樣的陰極射線管

  • (Laughter)

    就好像一個用V-40發動機來跑的存儲器

  • The input and the output was by teletype tape at first.

    (笑聲)

  • This is a wire drive, using bicycle wheels.

    起初的輸入和輸出是靠電傳打字帶

  • This is the archetype of the hard disk that's in your machine now.

    使用腳踏車輪,有線驅動

  • Then they switched to a magnetic drum.

    這就是我們今天電腦裡硬碟的原型。

  • This is modifying IBM equipment,

    後來他們改用磁鼓

  • which is the origins of the whole data-processing industry, later at IBM.

    這是一種改良的IBM的設備

  • And this is the beginning of computer graphics.

    也是後來IBM整個數據處理行業的起源。

  • The "Graph'g-Beam Turn On." This next slide,

    這也是電腦圖學的開端

  • that's the -- as far as I know -- the first digital bitmap display, 1954.

    下一張幻燈片

  • So, Von Neumann was already off in a theoretical cloud,

    這是我所知道的最早的數字位圖,誕生於1954年

  • doing abstract sorts of studies of how you could build

    所以馮諾曼那時已經不再是純理論研究

  • reliable machines out of unreliable components.

    而是進行一種抽象性的研究

  • Those guys drinking all the tea with sugar in it

    希望利用不穩定的部件製造出可靠的機器。

  • were writing in their logbooks, trying to get this thing to work, with all

    這些喝著摻了糖的茶的人

  • these 2,600 vacuum tubes that failed half the time.

    正在他們的記錄本上記錄,試圖讓這一想法實現

  • And that's what I've been doing, this last six months, is going through the logs.

    他們試驗的2600個真空管,有一半時間都是閒置的

  • "Running time: two minutes. Input, output: 90 minutes."

    我過去6個月就一直在看這些記錄

  • This includes a large amount of human error.

    “執行時間:2分鐘。輸入,輸出:90分鐘。”

  • So they are always trying to figure out, what's machine error? What's human error?

    這包含了大量的人為錯誤

  • What's code, what's hardware?

    所以他們一直試著辨別到底哪些是機器故障,哪些是人為錯誤

  • That's an engineer gazing at tube number 36,

    是程式碼問題 還是硬體的問題

  • trying to figure out why the memory's not in focus.

    這是一位工程師正盯著36號電子管

  • He had to focus the memory -- seems OK.

    試圖找出內存位置不對的原因

  • So, he had to focus each tube just to get the memory up