That time a rando told Thomas Edison that he should invent a speech-to-text engine


I suspect that the results would not sound good(I have no doubt that starting with a “c’mon man, you just concatenate some phonemes, how hard can it be?” assumption will trigger either profoundly weary sighs or attack frenzy behavior in all linguists in range); but, as a gratuitously electromechanical excercise in doing it the hard way just because solid-state lacks a certain charm, an Edison-tech-level text to speech apparatus would probably be really, really cool(and it is true that even some fairly recent text-to-speech systems aren’t shy about just bolting recorded snippets together. Telephone AVRs dealing with numbers and times are typically the most overt, since “reading” a number as relentlessly monospaced litany of it’s individual digits in order, absolutely without contextual modification, is generally treated as less grating that treating a word as a series of letters to be announced one at a time; though ‘ideomatic’ readings of number sequences usually do exhibit some grouping according to unstated-and- probably-really-hard rules of what sounds right and taxes short term memory least).

(Edit for implementation proposal when I’m not on a damn phone touchscreen)


“Mr Watson, please light the candles on my patio”


So would Siri, Alexa, or Google be the one to execute an elephant?


“Hmmm, okay then. I guess we’ll need to advance that literacy program after all.”


Step 1: Invent the transistor …
Step 2: ???


In unhelpful principle Edison would have been able to use relays for the job. By the time the relay monster finished someone else would probably have finished inventing transistors for him; but still.

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