From the early days of synthesized speech comes this 1963 Bell Telephone Labs recording, which explains how the computer imitates human speech using punched cards and includes examples of synthesized speech, and even some singing. From the album liner notes:
Knowledge developed through such research programs may be useful in devising new techniques for transmitting speech more efficiently over communications systems. In the near future, for example, a person may be able to type on a keyboard and cause a typing machine thousands of miles away to speak for him. There is also the possibility that talking machines may be built for people who are unable to speak.
Bell Labs is credited with developing the C and C++ programming languages, UNIX, the transistor, the laser, and, in the 1930s, the vocoder (“vocoder” is short for “voice encoder”).
I think I’m going to wake up in the middle of the night with that computer voice in my head, singing this creepy, oddly compelling, and somewhat congested-sounding rendition of “Daisy, Daisy, give me your answer true…” (@2:12)
[via Coudal Partners]