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"I can remember when the first pulsars were discovered. I was able to go and sit down and listen to graduate students talking about what their theories, to explain what pulsars really were."
- Vernor Vinge

Bard  
  A machine that invents randomized stories and can read them out loud or animate them for viewing.  

Niccolo Mazetti lay stomach down on the rug, chin buried in the palm of one small hand, and listened disconsolately to the Bard...

The Bard said, “Once upon a time in the middle of a deep wood, there lived a poor woodcutter and his two motherless daughters, who were each as beautiful as the day is long...


(Bard from 'Someday' by Isaac Asimov)

Paul said, “Is that a Bard you’re listening to? I didn’t know you had one.”

Niccolo reddened and the look of unhappiness returned to his face. “Just an old thing I had when I was a kid. It ain’t much good.” He kicked at the Bard with his foot and caught the somewhat scarred and discolored plastic covering a glancing blow...

"...I thought I’d try this old thing again, but it’s no good.”

Paul turned off the Bard, pressed the contact that led to a nearly instantaneous reorientation and recombination of the vocabulary, characters, plot-lines, and climaxes stored within it. Then he reactivated it.

The Bard began smoothly, “Once upon a time...

Paul, who wasn’t listening to the Bard, said, “It’s easy. The Bard has memory-cylinders all fixed up for plot-lines and climaxes and things. We don’t have to worry about that. It’s just vocabulary we got to fix so it’ll know about computers and automation. and electronics and real things about today. Then it can tell interesting stories, you know, instead of about princesses and things...”

Paul said, “Listen, my dad says if I get into special computing school next year, he'll get me a real Bard, a late model. A big one with an attachment for space stories and mysteries. And a visual attachment, too!”

“You mean see the stories?”

Technovelgy from Someday, by Isaac Asimov.
Published by Infinity in 1956
Additional resources -

The more advanced model is called "Visual Bard". Niccolo's wealthy friend says "But remember, I'm the guy who says what kind of story we hear."

Compare to the knowledge engine from Gulliver's Travels (1726) by Jonathan Swift, the novel-writing machine from 1984 (Nineteen Eighty-Four) (1948) by George Orwell, the rthetorizer from The Penultimate Truth (1964) by Philip K. Dick and the electronic bard from The Cyberiad: Fables for the Cybernetic Age (1965).

Thanks to @SFFAudio.

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

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