Thursday, March 10, 2016

Creepy Talking Robot, 1846-Style

Woah. I'd never heard of this before. A fellow Space: 1889 fan posted it on Facebook. This early text-to-speech machine left the audience it was first exhibited to creeped out with uncanny valley weirdness, rather than applause. Said one observer: "
The Professor was not too clean, and his hair and beard sadly wanted the attention of a barber. I have no doubt that he slept in the same room as his figure—his scientific Frankenstein monster—and I felt the secret influence of an idea that the two were destined to live and die together. ... One keyboard, touched by the Professor, produced words which, slowly and deliberately in a hoarse sepulchral voice came from the mouth of the figure, as if from the depths of a tomb.
Here's an interesting article about this disturbing machine. I wonder what other uses the Professor put that head to?  At any rate, I think Euphonia has to find her way into the Gonen's World campaign...

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