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

"The science fiction method is dissection and reconstruction. You look at the world around you, and take it apart into its components. Then you take some of those components, throw them away, and plug in different ones, start it up and see what happens."
- 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
Tesla Autopilot: What Does An Autonomous Car See When It Looks At The Road?
Blurry Face Photos Made 60 Times Sharper
Clarke Was Right, Artificial Intelligences DO Dream
Memes Now Come From Neural Nets

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

TytoCare Offers Futuristic Home Care
'Immediately an enormous apparatus fell on to her out of the ceiling...'

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...'

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.