The problem of robocalls has gotten so bad that many people now refuse to pick up calls from numbers they don't know. By next year, half of the calls we receive will be scams (欺诈).We are finally waking up to the severity of the problem by supporting and developing a group of tools, apps and approaches intended to prevent scammers from getting through. Unfortunately, it's too little, too late. By the time these "solutions" (解决方案) become widely available, scammers will have moved onto cleverer means. In the near future, it's not just going to be the number you see on your screen that will be in doubt. Soon you will also question whether the voice you're hearing is actually real.
That's because there are a number of powerful voice manipulation (处理) and automation technologies that are about to become widely available for anyone to use .At this year's I/O Conference ,a company showed a new voice technology able to produce such a convincing human—sounding voice that it was able to speak to a receptionist and book a reservation without detection.
These developments are likely to make our current problems with robocalls much worse. The reason that robocalls are a headache has less to do with amount than precision A decade of data breaches (数据侵入) of personal information has led to a situation where scammers can easily learn your mother's name, and far more. Armed with this knowledge, they're able to carry out individually targeted campaigns to cheat people. This means, for example, that a scammer could call you from what looks to be a familiar number and talk to you using a voice that sounds exactly like your bank teller's, ricking you into "confirming" your address, mother's name, and card number. Scammers follow money, so companies will be the worst hit. A lot of business is still done over the phone, and much of it is based on trust and existing relationships. Voice manipulation technologies may weaken that gradually.
We need to deal with the insecure nature of our telecom networks. Phone carriers and consumers need to work together to find ways of determining and communicating what is real. That might mean either developing a uniform way to mark videos and images, showing when and who they were made by, or abandoning phone calls altogether and moving towards data-based communications—using apps like Face Time or WhatsApp, which can be tied to your identity.
Credibility is hard to earn but easy to lose, and the problem is only going to harder from here on out.
Who cares if people think wrongly that the Internet has had more important influences than the washing machine? Why does it matter that people are more impressed by the most recent changes?
It would not matter if these misjudgments were just a matter of people's opinions. However, they have real impacts, as they result in misguided use of scarce resources.
The fascination with the ICT (Information and Communication Technology) revolution, represented by the Internet, has made some rich countries wrongly conclude that making things is so "yesterday" that they should try to live on ideas. This belief in "post-industrial society" has led those countries to neglect their manufacturing sector (制造业) with negative consequences for their economies.
Even more worryingly, the fascination with the Internet by people in rich countries has moved the international community to worry about the "digital divide" between the rich countries and the poor countries. This has led companies and individuals to donate money to developing countries to buy computer equipment and Internet facilities. The question, however, is whether this is what the developing countries need the most. Perhaps giving money for those less fashionable things such as digging wells, extending electricity networks and making more affordable washing machines would have improved people's lives more than giving every child a laptop computer or setting up Internet centres in rural villages, I am not saying that those things are necessarily more important, but many donators have rushed into fancy programmes without carefully assessing the relative long-term costs and benefits of alternative uses of their money.
In yet another example, a fascination with the new has led people to believe that the recent changes in the technologies of communications and transportation are so revolutionary that now we live in a "borderless world". As a result, in the last twenty years or so, many people have come to believe that whatever change is happening today is the result of great technological progress, going against which will be like trying to turn the clock back. Believing in such a world, many governments have put an end to some of the very necessary regulations on cross-border flows of capital, labour and goods, with poor results.
Understanding technological trends is very important for correctly designing economic policies, both at the national and the international levels, and for making the right career choices at the individual level. However, our fascination with the latest, and our under valuation of what has already become common, can, and has, led us in all sorts of wrong directions.
Would you BET on the future of this man？He is 53 years old. Most of his adult life has been a losing struggle against debt and misfortune. A war injury has made his left hand stop functioning, and he has often been in prison. Driven by heaven-knows-what motives, he determines to write a book.
The book turns out to be one that has appealed to the world for more than 350 years. That former prisoner was Cervantes, and the book was Don Quixote（《堂吉诃德》）. And the story poses an interesting question: why do some people discover new vitality and creativity to the end of their days, while others go to seed long before？
We've all known people who run out of steam before they reach life's halfway mark. I'm not talking about those who fail to get to the top. We can't all get there. I'm talking about people who have stopped learning on growing because they have adopted the fixed attitudes and opinions that all too often come with passing years.
Most of us, in fact, progressively narrow the variety of our lives. We succeed in our field of specialization and then become trapped in it. Nothing surprises us. We lose our sense of wonder. But, if we are willing to lean, the opportunities are everywhere.
The things we learn in maturity seldom involve information and skills. We learn to bear with the things we can't change. We learn to avoid self-pity. We learn that however much we try to please, some people are never going to love us-an idea that troubles at first but is eventually relaxing.
With high motivation and enthusiasm, we can keep on learning. Then we will know how important it is to have meaning in our life. However, we can achieve meaning only if we have made a commitment to something larger than our own little egos（自我）, whether to loved ones, to fellow humans, to work, or to some moral concept.
Many of us equate（视……等同于）"commitment" with such "caring" occupations as teaching and nursing. But doing any ordinary job as well as one can is in itself an admirable commitment. People who work toward such excellence whether they are driving a truck, or running a store-make the world better just by being the kind of people they are. They've learned life's most valuable lesson.
For Western designers, China and its rich culture have long been an inspiration for Western creative.
"It's no secret that China has always been a source(来源)of inspiration for designers," says Amanda Hill, chief creative officer at A+E Networks, a global media company and home to some of the biggest fashion(时尚)shows.
Earlier this year, the China Through A Looking Glass exhibition in New York exhibited 140 pieces of China-inspired fashionable clothing alongside Chinese works of art, with the aim of exploring the influence of Chinese aesthetics(美学)on Western fashion and how China has fueled the fashionable imagination for centuries. The exhibition had record attendance, showing that there is huge interest in Chinese influences.
"China is impossible to overlook," says Hill. "Chinese models are the faces of beauty and fashion campaigns that sell dreams to women all over the world, which means Chinese women are not just consumers of fashion — they are central to its movement. "Of course, only are today's top Western designers being influenced by China-some of the best designers of contemporary fashion are themselves Chinese." Vera Wang, Alexander Wang, Jason Wu are taking on Galiano, Albaz, Marc Jacobs-and beating them hands down in design and sales," adds Hil.
For Hill, it is impossible not to talk about China as the leading player when discussing fashion. "The most famous designers are Chinese, so are the models, and so are the consumers," she says. "China is no longer just another market; in many senses it has become the market. If you talk about fashion today, you are talking about China-its influences, its direction, its breathtaking clothes, and how young designers and models are finally acknowledging that in many ways."
During the rosy years of elementary school(小学), I enjoyed sharing my dolls and jokes, which allowed me to keep my high social status. I was the queen of the playground. Then came my tweens and teens, and mean girls and cool kids. They rose in the ranks not by being friendly but by smoking cigarettes, breaking rules and playing jokes on others, among whom I soon found myself.
Popularity is a well-explored subject in social psychology. Mitch Prinstein, a professor of clinical psychology sorts the popular into two categories: the likable and the status seekers. The likables' plays-well-with-others qualities strengthen schoolyard friendships, jump-start interpersonal skills and, when tapped early, are employed ever after in life and work. Then there's the kind of popularity that appears in adolescence: status born of power and even dishonorable behavior.
Enviable as the cool kids may have seemed, Dr. Prinstein's studies show unpleasant consequences. Those who were highest in status in high school, as well as those least liked in elementary school, are "most likely to engage(从事)in dangerous and risky behavior."
In one study, Dr. Prinstein examined the two types of popularity in 235 adolescents, scoring the least liked, the most liked and the highest in status based on student surveys(调查研究). "We found that the least well-liked teens had become more aggressive over time toward their classmates. But so had those who were high in status. It clearly showed that while likability can lead to healthy adjustment, high status has just the opposite effect on us."
Dr. Prinstein has also found that the qualities that made the neighbors want you on a play date-sharing, kindness, openness — carry over to later years and make you better able to relate and connect with others.
In analyzing his and other research, Dr. Prinstein came to another conclusion: Not only is likability related to positive life outcomes, but it is also responsible for those outcomes, too. "Being liked creates opportunities for learning and for new kinds of life experiences that help somebody gain an advantage," he said.