Latest By

Artificial Intelligence
Data Storage
Input Devices
Living Space
Space Tech
Virtual Person

"I think crypto will slowly percolate its way up and people will adopt it gradually as user friendly, cheap products, become available."
- Neal Stephenson

Language Rectifier  
  The first reference to machine-translation of human languages.  

At this point in the novel, Ralph meets Alice and hits the language barrier. As always, he is prepared to succeed in this difficult circumstance thanks to science.

"I beg your pardon, but "Central" seems to have made another mistake..."

Her reply indicated that the mistake of "Central" was a little out of the ordinary, for he had been swung onto the Intercontinental Service, as he at once understood when she said, "Pardon, Monsieur, je ne comprends pas!"

He immediately turned the small shining disc of the Language Rectifier on his instrument till the pointer rested on "French."

"The service mistakes are very annoying," he heard her say in perfect English.

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

The first actual efforts at attempting machine translation of speech came in the late 1940's and early 1950'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 real-world 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. Read more.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 1 ) | 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

Language Rectifier-related news articles:
  - MASTOR Provides Real-Time Speech Translation
  - Voxonic Software Lets You Sing, Speak In Any Language
  - Google Translator Phone Is Ralph 124c 41 + Approved
  - Robust Automatic Translation Of Speech DARPA's Universal Translator
  - Google Googles Translates Pictured Text
  - Google Android Language Rectifier
  - When Do I Get My Language Rectifier?
  - Google Translate for iPhone App
  - NTT DoCoMo Auto Japanese - English Translation
  - Universal Translator: Google Translate Has 51 Offline Language Packs
  - Skype's Translator Like Gernsback's Language Rectifier

Articles related to Artificial Intelligence
Jazz AI Compliments Of DARPA
Xiaoice Will Text You And Be Your Friend
How Smart Should AI's Be Allowed To Get?
Google AI 'Deep Dreams' Kubrick's 2001

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.





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

Tesla Promises Fully Autonomous Cars By 2018
'It's been a criminal offense for at least a hundred years to drive manually on a public highway.'

Light Molecules (And Maybe Light Sabers, Someday)
'It will be matter, matter made of light...'

Telepresence In The Office
'That led to his development of robot probes; small devices with cameras and sound equipment which could move freely... under direct control.'

Piper, Google's 2 Billion Line Code Repository, Needs A Cool Display
'The student pointed a finger and as he did so, the line of equations marched down the wall...'

WEpod Driverless Vehicle On The Netherlands Roads
'The car moved smoothly away. Mirelly-Lyra half relaxed; she was not steering.'

Computer Predicts Psychosis Better Than Psychiatrists
'The mechanism which was the portable extension of Dr. Smile...'

Robot Evolution Needs Mass Extinction Events
'It was small, one of the baby ones.'

Lab-Grown Kidneys Implanted Successfully - In Animals
'For a while your colonists will have to come up to the Hospital to get treatment with the ramrobot symbiots...'

Korean Lab Ready To Clone Your Dog
Man's best friend, cloned.

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise | - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.