Personal Computer Museum, Canada's Videogame Museum

Early Computer Speech

He Saw the Cat

COMPUTER-PRODUCED SPEECH-EXAMPLES OF SYNTHESIZED SPEECH DEVELOPED BY BELL TELEPHONE LABORATORIES FOR EDUCATIONAL USE.

The examples of synthesized speech on this recording illustrate certain fundamental characteristics of both artificial and human speech. Synthesized speech is a product of Bell Telephone Laboratories research into the basic nature of speech and hearing.

This recording contains samples of synthesized speech-speech artificially constructed from the basic building blocks of English Language.

A machine which produces synthesized speech is called, fittingly, a talking machine. There are many possible kinds of speech synthesizers or talking machines. Instead of building and testing a variety of them, scientists at Bell Telephone Laboratories simulate their behaviour with a high-speed, general purpose computer.

The computer is instructed (programmed) to accept in sequence on punch cards the names of the speed sounds which make up an English sentence. It then processes this information, in accordance with the linguistic rules governing the English language, and produces an output analogous to the output of the talking machine it is programmed to simulate.

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Listen to the entire recording!
(Separate pieces available on subsequent pages)


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