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

"Generally, the human race avoids doing anything radical until forced into it."
- Frederik Pohl

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
I Want My 1928 Telestereo Hologram Now
Realistic Translation With The Waverly Labs Ambassador
Soli Gesture Tech Will Be In Google Pixel 4
Lost Language Meanings Found By Machine Learning

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

Powdered Regolith Propulsion
'... filling their great tanks with the finely divided dust which the ionic rockets would spit out in electrified jets.'

Ford's SafeCap, Opposite Of Niven and Barnes' Napcap
'In the napcap a client became an instant yoga master...'

Would You Get 'Chipped'? Michigan May Ban Employers
'Employees above a certain level were implanted with advanced microprocessors...'

Tesla Autopilot: What Does An Autonomous Car See When It Looks At The Road?
'Jeremiah is a sports-model to begin with and that kind is awfully hot-tempered.'

DNA Controls Swarms Of Molecular Robots
'They exist in loose swarms...'

Tether Asteroids To Save Us All
'If anything can glue the asteroids back into the planet they once were, magnology will do it.'

Blaux Your Personal Commuter Cooling Unit
A cooling unit had to be strapped to every commuter's back, by law.

3D Printed Damascus Steel Now Possible
'...lined with durite, that strange close-packed laboratory product.'

R9X Hellfire Missile With Long Blades Kills Queda Leader
'He was still roaring when the knife missile flicked past him...'

Would You Swallow An Origami Robot?
'Swallow it in an emergency--it goes down easily and works just as well inside as outside.'

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.