CNN科技2013年度十大思想家(上)

#研究分享#【CNN科技2013年度十大思想家(上)】1.Caroline Buckee:哈佛大学流行病学家,研究手机数据来追踪和防控疟疾;2.Regina Dugan:谷歌摩托罗拉移动VP,电子纹身密码、思维控制假肢等;3.Tony Fadell:Nest Labs CEO,iPod之父,智能恒温器引发家居能耗革命;4.Mary Lou Jepsen:谷歌X,正在研发下一代电脑显示器;5. Sugata Mitra:纽卡斯尔大学教授,为贫困儿童带去免费在线教育。

The CNN 10: Thinkers

Thinkers introduction graphic

Illustration by Michael Manisa

The phones in our pockets and the Web at our fingertips. The way we live, the ways our children learn and the discoveries that make us excited about the days ahead.

None materialized out of thin air.

Great advances come from great ideas. And great ideas come from great thinkers.

CNN is honoring the visionaries whose ideas are shaping our future by highlighting 10 of our favorite thinkers in science and technology. These are people who have shoved conventional wisdom aside and are changing the world with their insights and innovations.

We consulted our colleagues and examined a range of fields to assemble our list. They come from different countries, backgrounds and disciplines, but all our honorees are actively working to make an impact for the greater good. Their ideas run a wide gamut, from making the world more energy efficient to using data to fight disease to finding new ways to continue humanity's quest into outer space.

They inspire us, and we hope they will inspire you as well.

May we present The CNN 10: Thinkers.

Caroline Buckee

Illustration by Michael Manisa

Caroline Buckee

1 of 10
ROLE
Epidemiologist, Harvard School of Public Health
AGE
34
IDEA
Using cell phone data to track and fight malaria
QUOTE
“You can't make headway without thinking about a problem for a long time, in collaboration with smart researchers from different fields, as well as reading a lot. But sometimes that hard work reaches fruition or comes together at a random time once you have let thoughts settle down.”

By Brandon Griggs, CNN

Every year, malaria kills more than 600,000 people in the developing world, the vast majority of them young children in Africa. The disease jumps from person to person through mosquito bites and can become a full-blown epidemic when it spreads to areas where residents have not built up immunity. It’s crucial for those fighting malaria to understand how and where the disease spreads, although data on such transmissions has been hard to find.

Until now. Caroline Buckee, an epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, has found a way to track the spread of malaria in Kenya by studying cell phone data. Her research, published in the journal Science, has the potential to help public health officials around the globe control outbreaks – not just of malaria but of other deadly diseases as well.

It started when Buckee and her husband, Nathan Eagle, moved to Kenya in 2006. She was doing research on malaria, while he was developing a cell phone-programming curriculum at the University of Nairobi. Before long, their work merged in unexpected ways.

“Nathan was analyzing call data records from Kenya to understand the business side of how people are using phones,” Buckee said. But she soon realized that the same data could be used to observe human travel on a population level. “This gives us, for the first time, a huge amount of information about the human dynamics that are responsible for spreading disease.”

Between 2008 and 2009, Buckee and other researchers mapped every call or text made by almost 15 million Kenyans to one of thousands of cell towers in 692 towns and villages across the country. They cross-referenced the phone users’ locations against a malaria map to discover clear patterns in the spread of the disease: namely, that it largely originates in Kenya’s Lake Victoria region and moves east, toward Nairobi.

Armed with this knowledge, health workers could send warning text messages to residents in affected areas, urging them to use mosquito netting.

Other countries have approached Buckee to see how her research might help them as well.

“This provides us with a tool to map human mobility that spreads all diseases,” Buckee said. “If there is an outbreak of influenza, for example, these types of data can yield accurate forecasts of where the disease will spread and how quickly. For policy-makers, that makes it a very powerful approach.”

Regina Dugan

Illustration by Michael Manisa

Regina Dugan

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ROLE
Senior vice president, head of Advanced Technology & Projects (ATAP) group at Google, Motorola Mobility
AGE
50
IDEA
Pushing high-wire innovation by embracing the risk of failure
QUOTE
"Our lives are so full of activity and ‘chatter’ it’s difficult to find quiet time… Those are the moments that are the most creative for me. The location is less important than the choice to turn other things off. Because I find that the quietest times of my life speak the loudest."

By Heather Kelly, CNN

The way corporations approach innovation is decades out of date, saysRegina Dugan.

The head of special projects at Google-owned Motorola Mobility is trying to change the way big companies come up with ideas by emphasizing urgency and not being afraid to fail.

"The path to truly new, never-been-done-before things always has failure along the way,” she said. “It’s supposed to be hard.”

A mechanical engineer by trade, Dugan has unique experience with big technological innovations. Before coming to Motorola last year, she was director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the government arm that develops cutting-edge technology -- including the precursors to GPS and the Internet itself -- for the Pentagon.

Dugan's approach to problem-solving starts with a taste for tackling difficult real-world problems with serious science.

It’s already bearing fruit at Motorola, where she has revealed glimpses of her team’s new boldness. Dugan showed up at a tech conference in May wearing a prototype of an electronic tattoo that can be used to authenticate a user instead of a password.

Applying the DARPA model for churning out breakthrough innovations to a large corporation is no easy task. Her Motorola team hires technical project leads for two years only, creating a built-in timeline for getting results.

Coming up with the ideas is the first challenge. But turning an experimental project into a viable commercial product requires a certain amount of discomfort, Dugan said, because engineers often don’t know until the last minute whether an idea is a winning concept.

"Solving the problem must matter. It must instill a sense of urgency,” she said. “And that urgency cannot be created in the abstract; it has to be real to inspire greater genius.”

Tony Fadell

Illustration by Michael Manisa

Tony Fadell

3 of 10
ROLE
CEO, Nest Labs
AGE
44
IDEA
To revolutionize home energy consumption
QUOTE
"That’s really where the inspiration comes from – this frustration I have with products that really have meaning to me and I wanted to go off and fix them and make them better."

By Doug Gross, CNN

You probably don't think your thermostat has a whole lot in common with your iPod. And that's why you're not Tony Fadell.

"They might look like totally different products to the consumer," said Fadell, the man some call the "father of the iPod" for his work at Apple designing that game-changing device. "But on the inside, they're very similar."

After a stint at Philips Electronics in the mid-1990s, Fadell formed his own company, Fuse. One of the products he hoped to develop there was a small disk-drive-based music player.

But when funding for the company fell through, he was lured to Apple and tasked with overseeing the design and production of what in 2001 would become the iPod.

At the time, Fadell was what Steve Jobs’ biographer Walter Isaacson described as a "brash entrepreneurial programmer with a cyber-punk look." In the course of developing the iPod and helping design the iPhone, he became one of Jobs’ top lieutenants and even accomplished the rare feat of winning an argument with the mercurial CEO.

Now, through his own Nest Labs, Fadell has reinvented the humble home thermostat. His digital Nest device is handsome to look at, is Wi-Fi enabled and learns its users’ habits to increase efficiency. The programmable thermostat can be controlled remotely with a smartphone and claims to cut users’ heating and cooling costs by up to 20%. Nest devices have saved more than 1 billion kilowatt hours in energy, Fadell says.

Not content to stop there, Nest just introduced a next-generation smoke detector that issues vocal warnings during emergencies and can be turned off by a wave of the hand.

Disparate though they may seem, Fadell says, both the iPod and the Nest were born from the same place.

“Both of the products helped to fix some real frustrations I had in my life,” he said. “That’s really where the inspiration comes from: this frustration I have with products that really have meaning to me. I wanted to go off and fix them and make them better.”

The iPod came about because Fadell was a DJ and got tired of lugging thousands of CDs from gig to gig. Later, as a homeowner, he “was spending a lot of money on energy and had to look at this ugly box I didn’t know how to use,” he said.

Another key to innovation, Fadell said, is staying true to your vision. For example, in the late ‘90s when everyone was rushing to build websites, he focused on mobile products. Now, most Web developers are building mobile products.

And of course, he says, follow your passions.

“When I was younger and single, it was (about) music,” he said. “Now, when I’m married and have a family, I’m more concerned about all the energy we’re using and leaving the planet in better shape.”

Mary Lou Jepsen

Illustration by Michael Manisa

Mary Lou Jepsen

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ROLE
Head of Display Division, Google X
AGE
48
IDEA
Creating the next generation of computer displays
QUOTE
"We aren’t afraid to ask questions from radically different perspectives, rethink solutions from the ground up and have a healthy disregard for the impossible."

By Doug Gross, CNN

Mary Lou Jepsen had a great idea recently, one of those “light bulb” moments when a way forward toward big-time innovation reveals itself.

Curious? So are we.

“I can’t tell CNN about it yet,” she said. “Ask me in a year.”

That’s not surprising. Jepsen, a pioneer in the field of computer displays, works at Google X, the company’s super-secretive lab that has birthed such projects as Google Glass and a driverless car. Its latest shoot-for-the-moon projects are rumored to range from fleets of robots to a space elevator.

“We aren’t necessarily unique in our pursuit of impactful progress, but our commitment and investment create an ideal environment in which we can take big, audacious bets,” Jepsen said.

“We aren’t afraid to ask questions from radically different perspectives, rethink solutions from the ground up and have a healthy disregard for the impossible.”

As a pioneer in computer displays, Jepsen brings her own history of innovation to Google’s labs.

She worked on the world’s first holographic video system at MIT in 1989 before co-founding Microdisplay, where she specialized in creating small display screens more than a decade before most of us began walking around with one in our pocket.

“Hardware engineers weren't even considering the screen as part of the hardware at that time,” she said. “But I led a double life for so much of my life. I also trained and worked and supported myself as a visual artist. I couldn't fathom why the most expensive and most power-hungry component in a device, and all you see when you look at a device, could be considered so irrelevant.”

Jepsen also is co-founder of One Laptop Per Child, the nonprofit that has put cheap, durable laptops and tablets in the hands of 10 million children -- many among the world’s poorest -- since 2005.

The idea was hatched in what was supposed to be a five-minute meeting with Nicholas Negroponte, founder of the MIT Media Lab. She says computing giants like Steve Jobs, Bill Gates and Michael Dell told her it wouldn’t work.

“When I think about it and how crazy people thought we were to do it, I still get blown away,” she said, “and it encourages me to keep taking big risks where the impact can be as dramatic.”

Ultimately, she says, innovation is about asking different questions if you want different answers.

“This is obvious to many, but they continue to ask the same questions, almost (as if) in a rut,” she said. “Ultimately, I believe it’s about preserving our ability to continue to ask ‘why?’ and ‘why not?’ ”

Sugata Mitra

Illustration by Michael Manisa

Sugata Mitra

5 of 10
ROLE
Professor of educational technology, Newcastle University
AGE
61
IDEA
Bringing free online education to impoverished children
QUOTE
"For making real conceptual jumps, one needs to think in really different ways and to mix up things in one's head."

By Doug Gross, CNN

Sugata Mitra is best known for Hole in the Wall, an experiment in which free public computers were placed in India’s slums for children to use.

But to sum up the range of studies he’s pursued, and contributed to, over the past three decades would take a while.

Literacy and education. Physics and energy. Computer engineering and electricity conductors.

Mitra is credited with at least 25 inventions, many related to computer literacy and cognitive development. He helped pioneer desktop publishing in the 1980s and is now working to create a cloud-based lab where children can connect with online mentors, tackle intellectual projects and learn from one another.

And to hear the professor at England’s Newcastle University tell it, none of these ideas came from a stereotypical “Aha!” moment when a light bulb flicked on.

“I can't think of even one,” said Mitra, the recipient of this year’s $1 million TED Prize for School in the Cloud, a planned online education network for kids in India. “When an idea does appear, it is as though it was always there, always obvious. And I think, 'Many people must have thought of this.’ ”

The best ideas come, he says, “when people wander aimlessly around ideas” rather than having rigid goals.

It was that sort of mindset that led to the Hole in the Wall experiment.

In 1999, Mitra embedded a computer into the wall of a Kalkaji, New Delhi, slum where children were allowed purchase cheapest viagra free access to it. Many kids learned quickly how to use the machine and then taught others. The experiment, which has been repeated in many places, suggested that children anywhere can learn to use computers easily and without formal training.

“I just did it to see what would happen,” Mitra said. “I did not know, or particularly care, if anyone else had done it. Maybe its lasting impact will be to change our ideas about children's minds and how those engage with vast clouds of information and ideas.”

Oh, and the whole “necessity is the mother of invention” thing? Not so fast, Mitra says.

“Necessity may be the mother of invention, sometimes, but it is not the mother of creativity,\ or of conceptual jumps,” he said. “For making real conceptual jumps, one needs to think in really different ways and to mix up things in one's head.”

文章来源:CNN

文章链接:http://edition.cnn.com/interactive/2013/10/tech/cnn10-thinkers/


1 条评论

  1. liudan说道:

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