Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"We're about 20 minutes away from the point where Clarke's law kicks in and technology becomes indistinguishable from magic."
- Peter Watts

Electrosecretary  
  An automatic transcription device.  

There is no room on the moon for people who do jobs that can be handled by expert machinery.

When he had finished dictating, he paused to marshal his ideas, could think of nothing further...

He pressed the transcription key. Within twenty seconds all twelve pages of his report, impeccably typed and punctuated, had emerged from the office telefax. He scanned it rapidly, in case the electrosecretary had made mistakes. She did this occasionally (all electrosecs were "she"), especially during rush periods when she might be taking dictation from a dozen sources at once.

From A Fall of Moondust, by Arthur C. Clarke.
Published by Harcourt, Brace and World in 1961
Additional resources -

Clarke also correctly realizes the limits of even futuristic voice-recognition technology:

...no wholly sane machine could cope with all the eccentricities of a language like English, and every wise executive checked his final draft before he sent it out. Many were the hilarious disasters that had overtaken those who had left it all to electronics.

Clarke is not the first with the idea of an automated transcription system. For example, Isaac Asimov used the idea of a transcriber in his 1953 book Second Foundation, and George Orwell referred to speakwrites in his 1948 novel 1984.

As far as I know, the first science fiction writer to suggest that a machine could transcribe the spoken word into words typed onto a page was David H. Keller; see the entry for vibrowriter from his poignant 1934 short story The Lost Language.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 2 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from A Fall of Moondust
  More Ideas and Technology by Arthur C. Clarke
  Tech news articles related to A Fall of Moondust
  Tech news articles related to works by Arthur C. Clarke

Articles related to Communication
Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence (METI) Workshop
Burner Generates Temporary Phone Numbers
HushMe Bluetooth Device Reinvents The Hush-A-Phone
Ubiquiti FrontRow Camera Records Your Life

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Ontario Starts Guaranteed Minimum Income
'Earned by just being born.'

Is There Life In Outer Space? Will We Recognize It?
'The antennae of the Life Detector atop the OP swept back and forth...'

Space Traumapod For Surgery In Spacecraft
' It was a ... coffin, form-fitted to Nessus himself...'

Tesla Augmented Reality Hypercard
'The hypercard is an avatar of sorts.'

A Space Ship On My Back
''Darn clever, these suits,' he murmured.'

Biomind AI Doctor Mops Floor With Human Doctors
'My aim was just not to lose by too much.' - Human Physician participant.

Las Vegas Humans Ready To Strike Over Robots
'A worker replaced by a nubot... had to be compensated.'

You'll Regrow That Limb, One Day
'... forcing the energy transfer which allowed him to regrow his lost fingers.'

Elon Musk Seeks To Create 1941 Heinlein Speedster
'The car surged and lifted, clearing its top by a negligible margin.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.