Science: Voder

"Say 'each.' "


"Say 'patience.' "


"Say, 'Patience is necessary.' "

"Patience is necessary."

"Say, 'Oh, yeah.' "

"Oh, yeah."

This curious colloquy took place last week in Philadelphia's Franklin Institute, where engineers of Bell Telephone Laboratories and a trained operator demonstrated a complicated electronic device called Voder (short for "voice operation demonstrator"). Voder creates a variety of sounds resembling human speech closely enough to be easily intelligible. It is intended to flabbergast, enlighten and amuse visitors to this year's world's fairs in San Francisco and New York City.

The Bell Telephone demonstrators took pains to make it clear that Voder does not...

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