Before Siri: The History of Talking To Computers
Siri is a breakthrough in speech recognition and control, but we've been talking to computers since the 1950s, with varying degrees of success - and machines have been talking back to us since the 1930s. The story of how we’ve made computers (and phones and cars, and soon home appliances) listen and talk is as fascinating as the results, with scandal and fraud as well as breakthroughs; military history and specialized - and secret - tools for the intelligence service are as much a part of it as university and commercial labs. Hollywood showed futuristic talking computers decades before they were possible but the music and film industry has also pushed developments in artificial speech and sound. Here’s how we got to Siri – and beyond.