科幻作家刘慈欣获克拉克奖致辞:想象力是人类之于AI的唯一优势

来源:武汉佐伊科技  作者:恰年+  日期:2018-11-12 11:27:33

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图片来源:AP

11月9日,上周五,在国内全民为双11购物狂欢摩肩擦掌时,科幻作家刘慈欣在华盛顿特区西德尼哈曼大厅(当地时间周四晚上)获得了克拉克基金会颁发的2018年克拉克想象力服务社会奖(Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society)。霍金也曾获得这个奖项,刘慈欣则是首位获奖的中国人。

国内的读者,亲切地叫他“大刘”,在2015年,凭借科幻长篇小说《三体》拿下第73届世界科幻大会颁发的雨果奖最佳长篇小说奖,世界为之瞩目,连美国前总统奥巴马也多次声称是他的粉丝,整个亚洲也为他感到骄傲。大刘此次获奖还发表了英语演讲。

大刘的代表作有长篇小说《超新星纪元》、《球状闪电》、《三体》三部曲等,中短篇小说《流浪地球》、《乡村教师》、《朝闻道》、《全频带阻塞干扰》等。其中《三体》三部曲被普遍认为是中国科幻文学的里程碑之作,将中国科幻推上了世界的高度。

克拉克奖由亚瑟·克拉克基金会为纪念著名科幻作家亚瑟·查理斯·克拉克而设立。亚瑟·克拉克·爵士(Arthur Charles Clarke)是20世纪享誉世界的英国科幻小说家,其科幻作品多以科学为依据,代表作《2001:太空漫游》于1968年被导演斯坦利库布里克拍摄成同名电影。

克拉克想象力服务社会奖于2012年开始,每年颁发一次。另外还设有两个奖项。今年,索尔克研究所主席、高通公司共同创始人兼前董事长、CDMA的联合开发商艾文·雅各布(Irwin Jacobs)赢得了终身成就奖,以及天文学家和捕捉外星文明无线电信号的先驱者吉尔·塔特(Jill Tarter)获得了创新者奖。

2017年终身成就奖的获得者是已故理论物理学家、宇宙学家和作家斯蒂芬·霍金。

“克拉克奖旨在表彰和庆祝世界上最杰出、最具创造力的思想家、科学家、作家、技术专家、商业领袖和创新者。”克拉克奖在官方网站上的一份声明称。

“亚瑟明白,人类塑造未来最有力的工具是想象力。他自己在科幻小说和科学事实上的多产,将认知和创造性元素无缝融合在一起。”

那么,大刘的想象力是如何让所有外国人惊叹的呢?一个孤独的科学家,心不在焉地监视着一个孤零零的无线电信号,突然发现了一个来自外太空的不可能的灯塔:一个外星文明,告诉人类,“你并不孤单”。这是我们在某些时候曾看过或读过的故事。

这种熟悉的场景构成了大刘《三体》三部曲的一部分,这部科幻小说在十年前首次在中国出版,广受好评,但仅在过去四年才翻译成英文。美国总统巴拉克·奥巴马在2017年1月的一次采访中称赞 “极富想象力”。亚马逊更是看重其商业价值,以十亿美元买下版权,打算将这三部曲搬上电视。

但大刘描述的宇宙中,让人格外着迷的是,外星人并不只是宣布“你并不孤单”。它们也让人类清楚地知道,当外星人乘着太空飞船抵达地球时,它们可以将像踩虫子一样轻易消灭人类。由于人类的无知和傲慢,外星人知道我们不知道的:宇宙是一个令人讨厌、害怕的地方。

大部分英语科幻小说也包含这样一个前提,即与我们接触的外星文明并不总是友好的,许多最著名的小说和电影中,它们对人类造成了严重破坏。但几乎毫无例外地,外星人最终被人类力量击败,其战斗精神或秘密技术使人类获胜。西方的科幻小说经常(有意或无意)模仿美国西部片的故事情节,人类是友好的、可爱的、致命的约翰·韦恩,或罗马征服的故事,其中人类是文明罗马人,外星人是野蛮人高卢人。两种故事情节都假设任何跨文明遭遇的最终结果将是和平共处或人类霸权。

但在大刘的三部曲中并不是这样,采取了一种更为黑暗的观点:外星文明可能根本不想与我们任何联系,实际上在发现我们的星球后立即故意摧毁人类,因为我们可能会变成威胁。在小说中称为“黑暗森林理论”的文明竞争观认为,几个世纪以来,技术变革的不可预测性必然导致星际层面的生存游戏。如果一个文明发现另一个不太先进的文明,它可能只是假设另一个文明要么和平,要么不会发展出一个技术黄金时代,让它变得更强大。或者,它们可以通过在星际地图上彻底消除其邻居,来确保其它文明永远不会有机会征服或摧毁自己。一个文明甚至对潜在的竞争对手有这样的生存哲学:“要么好好隐藏自己,要么等着被消除”。

在2017年12月的“大西洋”一文中,罗斯·安徒生指出了刘的悲观主义观与中国历史之间的相似之处。几百年来,安德森正确地将自己视为世界上最先进的文明,在19世纪的“中国王国”中,亚洲所有曾经围绕着这个世界,他们眺望大海,看到了欧洲的船只。航海帝国随之而来的入侵引发了中国与罗马沦陷相比的地位下降。“欧洲帝国的商业恳求和军事威胁因先前与中国遭遇而遭到蔑视(主要是因为他们差不多不断的冲突状态突然大大超过了中国的技术能力。结果对中国人来说是灾难性的,并且在20世纪仍然如此。课程?永远不要将你的敌人,无论多么落后,都放在他们自己的设备上。

三部曲的物理学可能是令人生畏的,尽管大刘竭尽全力地想让非专业读者也能够理解。爱因斯坦相对论,多维空间,弦理论等的变幻莫测可能读起来难懂。与此同时,复杂的物理和数学(例如,四维,或十一维或甚至二维宇宙)所提供的可能性使得大刘的小说能够大大超越西方科幻作家如艾萨克·阿西莫夫、弗兰克·赫伯特或厄休拉·勒吉恩想象力的可能性。

除了科学和历史框架之外,大刘的三部曲在采用的文学比喻方式上也与西方科幻小说明显不同。大多数美国科幻小说在基督教意义上并不明确的神学,但它的主题几乎总是具有救世主和末世论。然而,在大刘的三部曲中,文明(地球和星际)不一定以线性方式前进,甚至以不可预测的模式诞生和陨落。令人眼花缭乱的技术时代紧随其后的是田园般的简约,而处于黄金时代边缘的文明突然沦为一无所有,或者回归到基本的生存状态。

人类的最终命运包含了科学想象力的奇妙可能性,所有人迫不及待地想知道亚马逊是如何将大刘令人眼花缭乱的宇宙搬到电视上的。如果他的小说可以创造性地转化在小屏幕上,这可能是一个真正令人叹为观止的系列;如果没有,我们最终会得到像“毁经典”这样的东西。

55岁的大刘仍然关注文明危险的科幻小说。虽然他形容自己是对人类未来的乐观主义者,但他在2017年的一次采访中指出,“未来是否会变得光明或者黑暗,在很大程度上取决于我们今天做出的选择。” 那么,他的小说近年来在美国如此受欢迎,也许就不足为奇了。

加州大学圣迭戈分校亚瑟·克拉克人类想象力中心负责人谢尔登·布朗在颁奖演讲中表示,人类社会在21世纪面临新的挑战,科幻小说有助于扩展人类知识。 《三体》三部曲帮助我们看到了我们的问题。

大刘表示很荣幸能够获得冠以他最喜欢的科幻大师名字的奖项。大刘还在演讲中说,自20世纪80年代以来,克拉克一直带领着他走进科幻世界,并激发他的想象力。

以下为演讲全文:

Ladies and Gentleman,

女士们,先生们:

Good evening!

晚上好!

It’s my great honor to receive the Clarke Award for Imagination in Service to Society. Thank you.

很荣幸获得克拉克想象力服务社会奖。

This award is a reward for imagination. Imagination is a capability that should have exclusive belonged to God but we, as human beings, luckily have this too. It is far beyond our imagination to grasp the meaning of the existence of imagination. A historian used to say that the main reason why human beings have been able to surpass other species on earth and to build civilizations is that we are able to create something in our heads that does not exist in reality. In the future, when artificial intelligence becomes smarter than us, imagination may be the only advantage we have over AI.

这个奖项是对想象力的奖励,而想象力是人类所拥有的一种似乎只应属于神的能力,它存在的意义也远超出我们的想象。有历史学家说过,人类之所以能够超越地球上的其他物种建立文明,主要是因为他们能够在自己的大脑中创造出现实中不存在的东西。在未来,当人工智能拥有超过人类的智力时,想象力也许是我们所拥有的惟一优势。

Science fiction is a literary genre based on imagination. And the first sci-fi works that impressed me were those by Arthur C. Clarke. Together with Jules Verne and George Wells, Arthur Clarke was among the first Western modern sci-fi writers to enter China. In the early 1980s, the two novels 2001: A Space Odyssey and Rendezvous With Rama were published in my country. At that time, the Cultural Revolution just ended. While the old life and faith had collapsed, the new ones had not yet been established. Like other young people, I felt lost during that period. These two books, for the first time, however, brought my imagination to life. My mind opened up like it has never before. I felt like a narrow stream finally embracing the sea.

科幻小说是基于想象力的文学,而最早给我留下深刻印象的是亚瑟·克拉克的作品。除了儒勒·凡尔纳(Jules Verne)和赫伯特·乔治·威尔斯(Herbert George Wells)外,克拉克的作品是最早进入中国的西方现代科幻小说。在上世纪80年代初,中国出版了他的《2001:太空漫游》和《与拉玛相会》。当时文革刚刚结束,旧的生活和信仰已经崩塌,新的还没有建立起来,我和其他年轻人一样,心中一片迷茫。这两本书第一次激活了我的想象力,思想豁然开阔许多,有小溪流进大海的感觉。

At midnight when I finished reading 2001: A Space Odyssey, I walked out of the house and stared at the starry sky. I was able to see the galaxy, thanks to the unpolluted sky of China back then. That night, I noticed that the starry sky looked nothing like before. For the first time in my life, I was awed by the magnitude and mystery of our universe, the feeling which you only get facing religion. Later on, the novel Rendezvous With Rama stunned me by showing how imagination could build a lifelike, fantastic world. It was Arthur Clarke who opened up this world of feelings to me, and who paved my way to become a sci-fi writer.

读完《2001:太空漫游》的那天深夜,我走出家门仰望星空,那时的中国的天空还没有太多的污染,能够看到银河,在我的眼中,星空与过去完全不一样了,我第一次对宇宙的宏大与神秘产生了敬畏感,这是一种宗教般的感觉。而后来读到的《与拉玛相会》,也让我惊叹想象力是如何构造出一个栩栩如生的想象世界的。正是克拉克带给我的这些感受,让我后来成为一名科幻作家。

Today, more than 30 years later, it gradually dawns on me that people like me, who were born in the 1960s in China, are probably the luckiest people in human history. No generation is like us, no generation has been able to witness such tremendous changes in the world around us. The world we are living in today is completely different from that of our childhood. And such changes are taking place with even greater speed.

现在,三十多年过去了,我渐渐发现,我们这一代在上世纪60年代出生于中国的人,很可能是人类历史上最幸运的人。因为之前没有任何一代人,像我们这样目睹周围的世界发生了如此巨大的变化。我们现在生活的世界,与我们童年的世界已经完全是两个不同的世界,而这种变化还在加速发生着。

China is a highly futuristic country. It is true that the future of China may be full of challenges and risks, but never has this country been so attractive like today. This reality provides fertile soil for the growth of science fiction, and it is enjoying unprecedented attention in the country. As a Chinese sci-fi author, who was born in the 1960s, I’m the luckiest from the luckiest generation.

中国是一个充满着未来感的国度,中国的未来可能充满着挑战和危机,但从来没有像现在这样具有吸引力,这就给科幻小说提供了肥沃的土壤,使其在中国受到了空前的关注。作为一个在60年代出生在中国的科幻小说家,我则是幸运中的幸运。

I started writing sci-fi because I looked for a way to escape the dull life, and to reach out, with imagination, to the mysterious time and space that I could never truly reach. But then I realized that the world around me became more and more like science fiction, and this process is speeding up. Future is like pouring rain. It reaches us even before we have time to open the umbrella. Meanwhile, when sci-fi becomes reality, it loses all its magic, and that frustrates me. Sci-fi will soon become part of our lives. The only thing I can do, is to push my imagination further to even more distant time and space to hunt for the mysteries of sci-fi. As a sci-fi author, I think my job is to write things down before they get really boring.

我最初创作科幻小说的目的,是为了逃离平淡的生活,用想象力去接触那些我永远无法到达的神奇时空。但后来我发现,周围的世界变得越来越像科幻小说了。这种进程还在飞快地加速,未来像盛夏的大雨,在我们还不及撑开伞时就扑面而来。同时我也沮丧地发现,当科幻变为现实时,没人会感到神奇,它们很快会成为生活中的一部分。所以我只有让想象力前进到更为遥远的时间和空间中去寻找科幻的神奇,科幻小说将以越来越快的速度变成平淡生活的一部分,作为一名科幻作家,我想我们的责任就是在事情变得平淡之前把它们写出来。

This being said, the world is moving in the direction opposite to Clarke’s predictions. In 2001: A Space Odyssey, in the year of 2001, which has already passed, human beings have built magnificent cities in space, and established permanent colonies on the moon, and huge nuclear-powered spacecraft have sailed to Saturn. However, today, in 2018, the walk on the moon has become a distant memory. And the furthest reach of our manned space flights is just as long as the two-hour mileage of a high-speed train passing through my city.

但另一方面,世界却向着与克拉克的预言相反的方向发展。在《2001:太空漫游》中,在已经过去的2001年,人类已经在太空中建立起壮丽的城市,在月球上建立起永久性的殖民地,巨大的核动力飞船已经航行到土星。而在现实中的2018年,再也没有人登上月球,人类的太空中航行的最远的距离,也就是途经我所在的城市的高速列车两个小时的里程。

At the same time, information technology is developing at an unimaginable speed. The entire world is connected via the internet and people have gradually lost their interest in space, as they find themselves increasingly comfortable in the space created by IT. Instead of an exploration of the real space, which is full of difficulties, people now just prefer to experiencing virtual space through VR. Just like someone said, “You promised me an ocean of stars, but you actually gave me Facebook.”

与此同时,信息技术却以超乎想象的速度发展,网络覆盖了整个世界。在IT所营造的越来越舒适的安乐窝中,人们对太空渐渐失去了兴趣。相对于充满艰险的真实的太空探索,他们更愿意在VR中体验虚拟的太空。这像有一句话说的:“说好的星辰大海,你却只给了我Facebook。”

This reality is also reflected in science fiction. Arthur Clarke’s magnificent imagination about space has gradually faded away. People stopped looking at starry skies. In the sci-fi works today, there are more imagination about how we live in cyber utopia or dystopia. Writers focus more on various problems we encounter in reality. The imagination of science fiction is abandoning the vastness and profoundness that Arthur Clarke once opened up, instead people are now embracing the narrowness and introversion of cyberpunk.

这样的现实也反映在科幻小说中,克拉克对太空的瑰丽想象已经渐渐远去,人们的目光从星空收回。现在的科幻小说,更多地想象人类在网络乌托邦或反乌托邦中的生活,更多地关注现实中所遇到的各种问题,科幻的想象力由克拉克的广阔和深远,变成赛博朋克的狭窄和内向。

As a sci-fi writer, I have been striving to continue Arthur Clarke’s imagination. I believe that the boundless space is still the best direction and destination for human imagination. I have always written about the magnitude and mysteries of the universe, interstellar expeditions, and the lives and civilizations happening in distant worlds. This remains today, although this may seem childish or even outdated. It says on Arthur Clarke’s epitaph, “He never grew up, but he never stopped growing.”

作为科幻作家,我一直在努力延续着克拉克的想象,我相信,无垠的太空仍然是人类想象力最好的去向和归宿,我一直在描写宇宙的宏大神奇,描写星际探险,描写遥远世界中的生命和文明,尽管在现在的科幻作家中,这样会显得有些幼稚,甚至显得跟不上时代。正如克拉克的墓志铭所说:“他从未长大,但从未停止成长。”

Many people misunderstand sci-fi as trying to predict the future, but this is not true. It just makes a list of possibilities of what may happen in the future, like displaying a pile of cobblestones for people to see and play with. Science fiction can never tell which scenario of the future will actually become the real future. This is not its job. It’s also beyond its capabilities.

与人们常有的误解不同,科幻小说并不是在预测未来,它只是把未来的各种可能性排列出来,就像一堆想象力的鹅卵石,摆在那里供人们欣赏和把玩。这无数个可能的未来哪一个会成为现实,科幻小说并不能告诉我们,这不是它的任务,也超出了它的能力。

But one thing is certain: in the long run, for all these countless possible futures, any future without space travel is gloomy, no matter how prosperous our own planet becomes.

但有一点可以确定:从长远的时间尺度来看,在这无数可能的未来中,不管地球达到了怎样的繁荣,那些没有太空航行的未来都是暗淡的。

Sci-fi was writing about the age of digital information and it eventually became true. I now look forward to the time when space travel finally becomes the ordinary. By then, Mars and the asteroid belts will be boring places and countless people are building a home over there. Jupiter and its many satellites will be tourist attractions. The only obstacle preventing people from going there for good, will be the crazy price.

我期待有那么一天,像那些曾经描写过信息时代的科幻小说一样,描写太空航行的科幻小说也变得平淡无奇了,那时的火星和小行星带都是乏味的地方,有无数人在那里谋生;木星和它众多的卫星已成为旅游胜地,阻止人们去那里的唯一障碍就是昂贵的价格。

But even at that time, the universe is still unimaginably big that even our wildest imagination fails to catch its edge. And even the closest star remains out of reach. The vast ocean of stars can always carry our infinite imagination.

但即使在这个时候,宇宙仍是一个大得无法想象的存在,距我们最近的恒星仍然遥不可及。浩瀚的星空永远能够承载我们无穷的想象力。

Thank you all.

谢谢大家。