Posted by: Erica Retrochef | February 15, 2011

Just learned a new word!

Put online by Paleofuture, this is a fairly goofy look from 1990 at “cooking in the future,” with the help of AT&T’s innovations in voice recognition and networked computing and wireless communication. The technology actually looks like the sort of stuff we can now take for granted — I’ve used my laptop frequently in the kitchen (although I don’t talk to it, and so far it hasn’t started talking back).



  1. It’s always funny which tasks people think will be easy for future computers and which ones they think will be hard. The notion of computers recognizing natural speech and responding readily to spoken commands is an old one, but it is still a challenge. (Much progress has been made, however. I’ve seen in pointed out that on the original Star Trek, made when speech recognition software was utterly abysmal, they had computers that processed speech without difficulty. The new Star Trek movie, made when computers are quite good at recognizing fixed commands, and even figuring out when they are having trouble, shows voice recognition as a serious impediment.) This video shows a computer dealing with an ordinary running conversation with relatively little trouble, and they highlight the fact that it can learn new terminology on the fly. Current machines are at nowhere near this level of fluency. On the other hand, fifteen years ago (or even less), it would have been hard to imagine the level of remote connectivity shown in the clip, with data being immediately relayed to a cell phone. Yet that part of the system is now completely operational.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: