Science: New Wrinkles

"Audrey." Scientists at the Bell Telephone Laboratories have tried for years to build a machine that will "understand" human speech. First step was to transform spoken words into dancing patterns on a cathode-ray tube. Now they have built "Audrey" (for automatic digit recognition), an electronic telephone girl that recognizes ten spoken digits, 1 through 0. Hooked up to an ordinary telephone, Audrey listens to a spoken telephone number and matches its digits against sound patterns in her memory. Then she flashes numbered lights to show what she has heard. Audrey can be tuned...