VODER (1939) – Early Speech Synthesizer
Considered the first electrical speech synthesizer, VODER (Voice Operation DEmonstratoR) was developed by Homer Dudley at Bell Labs and demonstrated at both the 1939 New York World’s Fair and the 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition. Difficult to use and difficult to operate, VODER nonetheless paved the way for future machine-generated speech.
via YouTube https://youtu.be/0rAyrmm7vv0
I linked to this YouTube clip as an interesting example of early digital culture – a precursor to Siri and Alexa.Voder was demonstrated in 1939, a fact which plays mind-tricks, showing both how fast technology has progressed this century but also emphasising that it hasn’t caught us unaware either. In many areas, issues of governance, security, digital rights and openness (to name only a few) are playing catch-up.