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

"[Science fiction] has become big business, where books are merchandised and promoted and distributed and placed on sale like slabs of bacon or cans of soup."
- Frederik Pohl

Transcriber  
  A automated transcriptionist - a machine which perfectly translates human speech into words on paper.  

One of the main characters of Second Foundation is a young girl with dreams of adventure. In this future version of (junior high?) school, it is possible to get computers that not only act as transcriptionists, but would give you output just the way you wanted it.

The salesman had said - There is no other model as compact on the one hand and as adaptable on the other. It will spell and punctuate correctly according to the sense of the sentence. Naturally, it is a great aid to education since it encourages the user to employ careful enunciation and breathing in order to make sure of the correct spelling, to say nothing of demanding a proper and elegant delivery for correct punctuation.
From Second Foundation, by Isaac Asimov.
Published by Doubleday in 1953
Additional resources -

Here's another excerpt, just to show how desirable this machine could be:

The machine had been delivered two days ago on her first adult birthday. She had said "But father, everybody - just everybody in the class who has the slightest pretensions to being anybody has one. Nobody but some old drips would use key machines-"

But when it was delivered, it was the model she wanted... and copy was turned out in a charming and entirely feminine handwriting...

As far as I know, you could get very close to this today. And with improvements to speech recognition algorythms, you could get even closer. However, the computer, printer, and software were so well integrated in this future time that it was a completely consumer-oriented product, unlike today's computer systems. Designers take note!

The first science fiction writer to come up with the idea of a machine that could transcribe human speech appears to have been David H. Keller, writing in 1934; he called it a vibrowriter. The first efforts at attempting machine translation of speech came in the late 1940's as the US government was trying to transcribe and translate Russian documents. (The agency responsible for the research later came to be known as the Defense Advanced Research Project Agency - DARPA - which also presided over the invention of TCP/IP, which brought us the Internet.)

Bell Labs was successful in creating a machine system in 1952 that could distinguish the spoken numerals 0-9. By 1960, a system that distinguished 50 words was available.

However, as anyone who has used any of the current commercially available systems knows, speech recognition is still a work in progress.

And when was the first commercially successful device using speech recognition sold? In 1922 a toy called "Radio Rex" was sold; it consisted of a celluloid dog with an iron base. The dog sat in his doghouse held by an electromagnet which pressed against a spring. The current which energized the magnet flowed through a metal bar that formed a bridge with two supporting members. When this bridge was exposed to acoustic energy at 500 hertz, the current was interrupted and the dog sprang from his house. The vowel in Rex when spoken by most people creates a tone around 500 hertz.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 0 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Second Foundation
  More Ideas and Technology by Isaac Asimov
  Tech news articles related to Second Foundation
  Tech news articles related to works by Isaac Asimov

Transcriber-related news articles:
  - Speech Recognition Algorithms Improve
  - Siri Dictation For iPad Like Asmiov's 'Transcriber'
  - Robot Handwriting Via App Better Than Yours

Articles related to Artificial Intelligence
Watch 'Do You Trust This Computer' For Free Today
EA Created AI That Taught Itself To Play Battlefield
AI Tool Lynx Insight And The Cybernetic Newsroom
Evorus Your Crowd-Powered Conversational Assistant

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

Swarm Of Mindless Robots Works Together
'Very tiny pseudo insects that... can unite to form a superordinate system.'

SpotMini Robot Dog, Autonomous And On Sale In 2019
Great, an autonomous slamhound. It is cute, though.

RoboFly Is Laser-Powered, Adorable
Don't swat this fly!

MSG Sphere Las Vegas, ala Star Wars
'The smoky globe, hung in the vault, was shot with colored light...'

Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
Well, just speaking brain-to-computer...

MIT Ampli Blocks Build Biomedical Devices
Damn it Spock, I'm a doctor not an engineer!

UberAIR Asks For Skytaxi Landing Prototypes
You know you want to ride in one.

Boring Tunnel Almost Ready
Your underground future is calling!

Handheld Human Skin Printer
It outputs a thin wad of uniflesh.

Healthy Fast Food Courtesy Of Robot Chefs
'The electric cook was stirring empty nothing in a pan, with a zeal worthy a dozen eggs.'

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.