Today, its becoming common for computers to understand and react to our voice commands. From ubiquitous customer support voice response systems to personal cell phones, computers are now literally doing what we tell them. This level of computer speech recognition was not an overnight development. In fact, designing and programming computer systems to understand human speech is a challenge that has been pursued for decades. This historical film, produced by the Stanford University Artificial Intelligence Lab (SAIL) in 1969 discusses and demonstrates the challenges and progress made in their speech recognition project. The film first shows a computer learning to recognize phrases and speech patterns. Next, a computer hand-eye system is shown being controlled through voice commands. Commands as complicated as “Pick up the small block in the lower left-hand corner”, are recognized and the tasks are carried out by the computer controlled arm.

This film made available to the Computer History Museum courtesy of Stanford University.

Catalog Number: 102743239 Lot Number: X5866.2011

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