Speechjammer To End Your 1st Amendment Rights

The SpeechJammer is a device that works by "shooting" the offending voice back at the source, according to a paper published by Kazutaka Kurihara and Koji Tsukada from the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology and Ochanomizu University.


(Speechjammer)

"In general, human speech is jammed by giving back to the speakers their own utterances at a delay of a few hundred milliseconds," the researchers said in the paper. "This effect can disturb people without any physical discomfort, and disappears immediately by stop speaking."

By exploiting a phenomenon called Delayed Auditory Feedback (DAF), the researchers were able to trick the brain into vocal submission. The idea is that when we speak, we don't just generate sound. Our brains actually need to hear what comes out of our mouths. It's called "auditory feedback."

"Our natural utterances are jammed when the auditory feedback is artificially delayed. It is thought that this delay affects some cognitive processes in our brain," the researchers said.

Basically, it is nearly impossible to speak if your own words are played back to you at a delay of about "a few hundred milliseconds."

One of the intended uses for the device is to use it to silence people at public demonstrations.

It's not an exact match, but in 1957 story Silence Please, Arthur C. Clarke wrote about the Fenton Silencer, which could have a similar result.

From Speechjammer via CBS News. Thanks to the anonymous reader who suggested this story.

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