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

"I was wholly addicted to watching Kojack, for as long as it was on television."
- 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.
Technovelgy 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.

Compare also to the vocal typewriter from Dr. Hackensaw's Secrets Some Minor Inventions (1926) by Clement Fezandie, the telescribe from A Question of Salvage (1939) by Malcom Jameson, the speakwrite from 1984 (1948) by George Orwell and the electrosecretary from A Fall of Moondust (1961) by Arthur C. Clarke.

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
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

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.'

The FLUTE Project - A Huge Liquid Mirror In Space
'It's area, and its consequent light-gathering capacity, was many times greater than any rigid mirror...'

Robot Preachers Found To Undermine Religious Commitment
'Tell me your torments,' the Padre said, in an elderly voice marked with compassion.

CyberCab - Tesla Renames The Robotaxi
'A cybercab dogged their heels...'

SpaceHopper Microgravity Robot Lands On Its Feet
'...a slender-legged tripod surmounted by a spherical body no larger than a football.'

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.