This voice synthesizer sounds remarkably modern.
It’s hard to believe, especially in the era of routinely barking orders at Siri or Alexa, that the quest to create artificial human speech began way back in 1939 with the Voder. Invented by Homer Dudley, it was a machine that could convert speech into an electronic current which could then be reconverted into a human-sounding voice. It used an organ interface to modulate the retranslated electric current.
Premiered at the World Fair in 1939, The Voder’s recreation of human speech was a little on the abstract side and allegedly a bit unsettling for onlookers. But maybe they were just scared of the sounds of the future. Listen to this amazing machine below, and think of Dudley the next time you yell at Siri to shut up.
Read more: Learn how computers learned to speak
(Via Open Culture)