“In 1974 Donald Sherman, whose speech was limited by a neurological disorder called Moebius Syndrome, used a new-fangled device designed by John Eulenberg to dial up a pizzeria. The first call went to Dominos, which hung up. They were apparently too busy becoming a behemoth. Mercifully, a humane pizzeria – Mr. Mike’s – took the call, and history was made. It all plays out below, and we hope that Mr. Mike’s is still thriving all these years later….” (Smithsonian.com Blog)
Speech synthesis on this computer was rather slow, and it also apparently required “Yes/No” questions to just simply generate a “Yes” or a “No” too. Still, it could also synthesize other phrases, such as the pizza toppings (pepperoni and mushrooms, salami ...), the complex delivery address (the Michigan State Computer Science Department), as well as the contact number for callback. So not bad at all!
I was touched by the patience and kindness of the pizza place employee. He would patiently wait for up to 5 seconds for any answer, which must have been unnerving in itself! And now he is part of History! Good on him!! And well done to the Michigan State University‘s Artificial Language Laboratory and Dr. John Eulenberg!
It’s nice, flashy, and insightful, so I had to repost!
Apparently, my Top 5 posts with the most views in 2012 were:
- The voice-activated lift won’t do Scottish! (Burnistoun S1E1 – ELEVEN!) 8 COMMENTS July 2010
- Speech Recognition for Dummies 20 COMMENTS May 2010
- TEDxSalford (28 Jan 2012): 10 hours of mind-blowing inspiration 2 COMMENTS March 2012
- TEDxManchester (13 Feb 2012): Best of! 1 COMMENT May 2012
- What to do after a PhD? (University of Manchester Pathways 2011) 0 COMMENTS June 2011
Happy New Year!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
600 people reached the top of Mt. Everest in 2012. This blog got about 6,900 views in 2012. If every person who reached the top of Mt. Everest viewed this blog, it would have taken 12 years to get that many views.
Click here to see the complete report.
After the extensive TEDxSalford report, and the TEDxManchester Best-of, it’s about time I posted the YouTube video of my TEDxManchester talk!
TEDxManchester took place on Monday 13th February this year at one of the iconic Manchester locations – and my “local” – the Cornerhouse. Among the luminary speakers were people I have always been admiring, such as the radio Goddess Mary Anne Hobbs, and people I have become very close friends with over the years – which has led me to an equal amount of admiration, such as Ian Forrester (@cubicgarden to most of us). You can check out their respective talks, as well as some awesome others, in my TEDxManchester report below.
My TEDxManchester talk
I spoke about the weird and wonderful world of Voice Recognition (“Voice Recognition FTW!”): from the inaccurate – and far too often funny – simple voice-to-text apps and dictation systems on your smartphones, to the most frustrating automated Call Centres, to the next generation, sophisticated SIRI and everything in-between. I explained why things go wrong and when things can go wonderfully right. The answer is “CONTEXT”; the more you have of it , the more accurate and relevant the interpretation of user intention will be, and the more relevant and impressive the system reaction / reply will be.
Here is finally my TEDxManchester video on YouTube.
And below are my TEDxManchester slides.