The technology of speech, pt. 1

is something poignantly drawn in this fascinating Ted talk with one of my very favorite Tweetple, Roger Ebert @ebertchicago. Taking away a critic’s voice is tantamount to shutting him down, and only twenty years ago, before the advent of text-to-speech software and a robust, ubiquitous Internet, Roger would have been shut down and silenced– “isolated as a hermit,” as he puts it, “trapped inside my head.” Because of technology and an instantaneous audience, his “real voice” thrives.  

His presentation–an act of moving collaboration among his wife and friends–is fascinating, as is the new “silent” public speaking Roger carries out with gestures and facial expressions and the synthetic voice engineers in Scotland have designed for him.

On second thought, the video is really more a paeon to human communication itself, and not so much to the technology of speech:  Roger explains, “We are born into a box of time and space. We use words and communication to break out of it and to reach out to others.”
“In the beginning was the Word,” indeed. Roger’s TED talk suggests that in the end it may be our words that matter most.

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