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David Weinberger

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How to wreck a nice beach

No, this is not about BP. “How to wreck a nice beach” is an iconic phrase for speech recognition software, just as “Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana” is for semantic disambiguation. The first is an automated rendering of “How to recognize speech.” The second consists of two sentences that look similar, but each word (except the indefinite article, I guess) plays a different role in the two sentences.

This comes to mind because there’s an interesting post by Repression Jones about a book on the history of the vocoder by Dave Tompkins, along with about an hour of vocoded sounds. Vocoders were originally designed to encrypt voice transmissions. But, run a music synthesizer through it and out the other end you get the 1960s.

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David is the author of JOHO the blog (www.hyperorg.com/blogger). He is an independent marketing consultant and a frequent speaker at various conferences. "All I can promise is that I will be honest with you and never write something I don't believe in because someone is paying me as part of a relationship you don't know about. Put differently: All I'll hide are the irrelevancies."