Science Fiction Dictionary
A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z

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

"In science fiction one can say a great many things that are unpalatable, … because it's expressed as science fiction you can slip it past their defenses."
- Frederik Pohl

Detectophone  
  First use of the idea of a voice-activated machine.  

This is the first use of a voice-activated machine in a fiction work as far as I know. Technically speaking, it was not the first instance of a voice-activated device (see below).

...she called out sharply: "Lux!"

The delicate detectophone mechanism of the Luminor responded instantly to her command; the room was flooded at once with the beautiful cold pink-white Luminor light...

Technovelgy from Ralph 124c 41 +, by Hugo Gernsback.
Published by Modern Electrics in 1911
Additional resources -

It was also adjustable; just say "Lux-dah" to dim the light just a bit. So it's more than just a "clapper" switch.

Did Gernsback invent the idea of a voice-activated machine? That is at least debatable. The first commercially successful device using speech recognition was sold in 1922. A toy called "Radio Rex" 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. However, the toy did not truly recognize speech; it was unable to distinguish different commands.

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.)

The earliest development of machine translation can be traced to conversations and correspondence between Andrew D. Booth, a British crystallographer, and Warren Weaver of the Rockefeller Foundation in 1947, and more specifically to a memorandum written by Weaver in 1949 to the Rockerfeller Foundation which included the following two sentences.

"I have a text in front of me which is written in Russian but I am going to pretend that it is really written in English and that it has been coded in some strange symbols. All I need to do is strip off the code in order to retrieve the information contained in the text."

True speech recognition was not available until 1952; Bell labs created a machine system that could distinguish the spoken numerals 0-9. By 1960, this system was upgraded to recognize - 60 words.

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

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Ralph 124c 41 +
  More Ideas and Technology by Hugo Gernsback
  Tech news articles related to Ralph 124c 41 +
  Tech news articles related to works by Hugo Gernsback

Articles related to Artificial Intelligence
Singapore Writers Push Back On LLM Training
Microsoft VASA-1 Creates Personal Video From A Photo
Bespoke Environment Music From AIs
Steve Jobs: 'Capture The Next Aristotle - With AI'

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 Science Fiction Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

Science Fiction Timeline
1600-1899
1900-1939
1940's   1950's
1960's   1970's
1980's   1990's
2000's   2010's

Science Fiction in the News

Live Stream With Meta-Ban Multimodal Smart Glasses
'...the bug-eyed, opaque gape of her True-Vu lenses.'

'Autonomous' Waymo Improves Driving With Remote Human Operators
'...some bored drone pusher in a remote driving centre has got your life... in his hands.'

Will Whales Be Our First Contact?
'He had piloted the Adastra to its first contact with the civilization of another solar system.'

SliceIt! Why Not Teach Robots To Use Knives?
'One building now gushed forth smoke and another stench that was unmistakable.'

FLOAT Levitating Train On The Moon ala Clarke
'The low-slung monorail car, straddling its single track, bored through the shadows on a slowly rising course.'

Singapore Writers Push Back On LLM Training
'...we've promised him a generous pension from the royalties.'

SpaceX Intros Extravehicular Activity Suit
'Provision had been made to meet the terrific cold which we knew would be encountered the moment we had passed beyond the atmosphere.'

Athena Smart Security Guard Robot With Face Recognition
'You are who we say you are, Dr. Dakin,' Turner said.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

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

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.