025:作为恐怖片的黑镜、相机如何驱动资本主义发展以及Echo 的想象空间

这封会员通讯探讨两个话题:作为恐怖片的《黑镜》,展现了人类内心怎样的恐惧感?苹果给人类带来了触摸的交互模式,但接下来的交互将是语音和图像,亚马逊 Echo 与 Snapchat 已经占据了先机……

为什么《黑镜》是新一代恐惧片

恐怖片或恐怖电影的历史几乎和电影的历史一样长,所谓「恐怖」一方面展示了人类内心深处从未释怀的恐惧——比如对于善恶在超能力演绎后的矛盾心情,以及与古老宗教文化的结合。另一方面,「恐怖」的定义又有一定的时空限制,早年的恐怖电影充满了哥特式的叙事背景,再后来,则是表现主义成为恐怖片主流的阶段,比如 1919 年德国电影《卡里加利博士的小屋》,而到了冷战期间,由核恐惧引发的恐惧感成为当时恐怖片的主流。随着好莱坞成为电影文化的强势代表,好莱坞也开始推行新的恐怖片模式,从外在的暴力到内在的人性异化…..

现在,《黑镜》成了新的恐怖片代表,尤其是到了 2016 年,「美剧」《黑镜》展现了新一代恐怖片的精髓:

  • 人类从未消失的恐惧感就是人类对于自身能力的不自信,过去害怕僵尸、害怕外星人,现在或未来,则要害怕机器人或人工智能;
  • 过往,人类与自然的关系是人类进化的主要推动力,但现在,人与机器的关系成为进化的另一条线索[1]

过去几年,《黑镜》的剧情逐渐成为现实,这更让我们感到恐惧,这当然是因为《黑镜》选择了一种「近未来」的叙事视角——在现实人类与技术的关系基础之上,只向前一步,整个故事的基调就发生了重大转折。另一方面,现实社会也的确在一步步走向你不愿意看到的方向…..

2016 《黑镜》上映后不久,其官方 Twitter 账号发布了一条这样的 Tweet:

img

比如社交媒体对于公众认知的塑造,一如波兹曼曾对电视的警告一样,社交媒体塑造了一代人的「post-truth」态度

Like TV it now increasingly entertains us, and even more so than television it amplifies our existing beliefs and habits. It makes us feel more than think, and it comforts more than challenges. The result is a deeply fragmented society, driven by emotions, and radicalized by lack of contact and challenge from outside. This is why Oxford Dictionaries designated “post-truth” as the word of 2016: an adjective “relating to circumstances in which objective facts are less influential in shaping public opinion than emotional appeals.”

特朗普的「政治智慧」与公众的认知,部分意义上也印证了《黑镜》第二季第三集的情节

In “The Waldo Moment,” a brash cartoon bear voiced by a comedian winds up winning over the British public and running for political office. Waldo uses humor (he’s a cartoon, after all) to separate himself from career politicians, and he gains popularity in part because of his vulgar disdain for the system and his running mates. Bright blue cartooniness aside, he’s more or less a prescient version of our President-elect.

Sure, there are also some parallels here to Italy’s Five Star Movement, a growing, far-right political party started by a comedian who got crowds of malcontent Italians to shout “Fuck off!” at corrupt politicians. And yes, the circumstances under which Waldo enters the race stem from an Anthony Weiner-esque sexting scandal that forces an incumbent politician to step out of office. But Waldo’s rise to power eerily mirrors Donald Trump’s, especially considering that this episode of Black Mirror was penned long before there were any signs that Trump might actually secure the presidency in 2016.

Waldo, like Trump, begins as a candidate perceived as a joke, only to win the favor of voters who enjoy his lack of filter and “refreshing” sincerity. Waldo, too, makes for good entertainment, and that’s enough to get him votes. The episode’s final scene, in which the cartoon bear reigns as global dictator and wields what appears to be a brutal police regime, now reads as a dark foreshadowing of what might come out of a Trump presidency—and it’s not funny at all.

事实上,人类对于机器的恐惧感并非仅仅担心所谓机器取代人类这个终极命题,而是担心机器产生的「智能」让每个人内心的「恶」[2]都无法藏身,比如在第一季的第三集里,当人类进入人人都植入内置芯片的时代后,每个人记忆成为一种可以回放的影像,丈夫与妻子之间的关系只能由这些回放的影像来维持,在技术的「帮助下」,每个人都不会失忆,而这些记忆却成了一系列悲剧的起源……


如果你还是不理解 Snapchat,不妨从「我们即相机」入手

Snap(原名 Snapchat)或将成为 2017 年最令人关注的 IPO,市值应该在 250 亿美金左右。而其 Snaptacles 的智能眼镜早已被炒作到上千美元,我在第 16 期会员通讯里做过分析:

手机或者移动设备(眼镜、无人机等等)的相机,其实是一种全新的输入设备,用户与这些设备上相机的交互也十分类似于触摸屏、语音的交互,全新的交互方式所带来的,将是新的行业机会。从这个角度出发,我们或许可以理解 Snapchat 的野心——用移动设备(手机只是其中一个很小的部分,未来不排除 Snapchat 开发更多带有相机的产品)的相机和活跃的海量青少年用户,打造新一代的相机。

这个逻辑的起点是将手机摄像头作为一种独特的输入工具来看待,早在今年 3 月份,Beme 创始人 Matt Hackett 就撰写了一篇更具深度的文章,这个文章的标题就叫 As We Become Cameras

Matt Hackett 采用一种独特的分析视角,将现在的相机(影像)与历史上的钟表(时间)进行类比。我们都知道,工业革命之前,时间都是本地化的,换句话说,世界上没有一个可以通用的时钟,也没有一个统一的时间,而交通的发展,尤其是火车的发明,让时间开始变得重要:

The market for time exploded alongside the growth of rail, and by the 1870s time was a hot luxury item. In Paris, private residences, factories, and watchmakers’ shops could buy time: a special clock outfitted with a pneumatic synchronization mechanism was installed on the premises and linked by underground tube to a central time pump that dispensed time in the form of puffs of air. Any ambitious gentleman subscribed to this service, paying handsomely for time.

而随着经济的全球化发展,时间已经变得足够常见以致于不再有人去可以注意。而就像时间一样,影像正在以这样的形式进化着,一个数字显示:2015 年全球拍摄的照片超过了过去拍摄的所有胶卷相片总和

而对于资本主义来说,经济发展需要的是统一的时间,以及可刺激消费的影像,这是来自苏珊·桑塔格的观点:

A capitalist society requires a culture based on images. It needs to furnish vast amounts of entertainment in order to stimulate buying and anesthetize the injuries of class, race, and sex. And it needs to gather unlimited amounts of information, the better to exploit natural resources, increase productivity, keep order, make war, give jobs to bureaucrats. The camera’s twin capacities, to subjectivize reality and to objectify it, ideally serve these needs and strengthen them. Cameras define reality in the two ways essential to the workings of an advanced industrial society: as a spectacle (for masses) and as an object of surveillance (for rulers).

从这个角度出发,在资本主义或者消费主义继续发展的大背景下,我们不仅将成为时间,也将成为 Matt Hackett 笔下的那个「相机」,同时新一代的相机也将和桑塔格看到的相机所不同:

Sontag’s image-world is dark and instrumental: images are class succor and control. Logical enough from the perspective of 1970s photography, in which camera ownership and image distribution were limited to the relatively powerful. The era we are in the midst of, with a profusion of cheap, miniature, wearable, networked cameras and screens, is quite different.

到此,你应该能够更近一步理解 Snapchat 如此值钱以及为何社交巨头押宝影像[3] 的原因了。


2016 ,进击的亚马逊和收缩的苹果

这或许是苹果进入 21 世纪以来以来最乏善可陈的一年,无论硬件还是软件,这一年这家公司都没有给我们太多惊喜,更多的,都是在原有产品线上的小修小补,而且又在不断删减产品线,比如在 11 月,Bloomberg 的消息称:苹果将退出无线路由器市场。

Daniel Conrad 在一篇 The Void Left By Apple 的文章认为,过去苹果以一种开拓者的角色开创了多个品类,比如代表音乐播放器的 iPod、代表智能手机的 iPhone 以及 iPad ,当然还有 MacBook 系列影响了笔记本电脑行业的设计潮流,但还是有些事情发生了变化,比如亚马逊,正在部分意义上扮演当年苹果对于产业界的意义,其中一个产品就是 Echo:

In late 2014, Amazon, the online retailer, shipped a category-defining voice assistant for the home.

It felt like an Apple move: the Echo wasn’t the first voice-activated speaker on the market, but it was the first one that really worked. It worked well enough that we see Amazon’s vision of the future. It seemed to say, this is what home voice interfaces will look like.

关于亚马逊研发 Echo 的历史,可以在 Bloomberg 今年 4月份的一篇特写报道中了解到,其中谈到了一个细节,贝佐斯当初设置的名字是 Amazon Flash:

Many people who worked at Lab126, Amazon’s hardware division, hated the name, according to two former employees. Bezos, on the other hand, was strongly in favor. And there was another worry. A core feature of the device is a “wake word” that cues it to begin taking voice commands when spoken. One of the two words being considered was “Alexa.” Bezos thought the best word would be “Amazon.” This presented a challenge, because people say that word a lot. A common opinion within Lab126 was that the project was hurtling toward a potential disaster: The speakers would wake upon hearing Amazon ads on television and commence buying random stuff from the Internet.

而 Google 则以 Chromecast 为切入点,也成就了一个新的细分市场,如今 Echo 已经更新到第三代,Chromecast 更迭到第四代,但苹果正在做的,不管是扩充 Siri 的应用场景还是 iOS 、macOS 的进化[4],似乎都是为了卖出更多的 iPhone……

另据 Bloomberg 的最新报道称,亚马逊或将在 2017 年推出带有触摸屏的新一代类似 Echo 的设备,其售价也将高于现在的这代 Echo,产品的定位将是厨房….. 如果眼光放长远来看,由 iPhone 带来的触摸屏直接影响的是人机交互关系——从原来的键盘鼠标这样的依靠第三方的交互变成了直接的触摸交互,而亚马逊 Echo 所引领的潮流则是语音的交互,接下来的争夺或许会在「标准化」这个层面上不断加剧,毕竟,用户不可能记住那么多语音命令。[5]


  1. 在我看来,Yuval Noah Harari 的那本《人类简史》几乎就是人类与自然之间的最后一本历史著作,随后的人类历史,应该是人与机器进化的历史,果不其然,Yuval Noah Harari 紧接着又写了一本《明天简史》(Homo Deus)  ↩
  2. 这里的「恶」也包含一些善意的谎言  ↩
  3. 不仅包括图片,还包括贴纸、表情乃至直播  ↩
  4. 关于 MacBook 与 iDevice 的关系,我在第 19 期会员通讯中也有比较详细的分析。  ↩
  5. 目前亚马逊 Echo 的语音命令是「Hi,Alexa」,Google Home 的命令是「Hey Google」或「Okay Google」  ↩

关于作者

赵赛坡

科技博客作者、播客主持,I/O 会员计划的创始人、出品人。独立运营付费科技评论「Dailyio」,关注诸如人工智能、云计算、自动驾驶等新技术,更关注技术之于社会、个体的意义。

关于作者

赵赛坡

科技博客作者、播客主持,I/O 会员计划的创始人、出品人。独立运营付费科技评论「Dailyio」,关注诸如人工智能、云计算、自动驾驶等新技术,更关注技术之于社会、个体的意义。

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