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HUMAN-NETS Digest V8 #35

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Oct 24, 1985, 10:33:01 AM10/24/85
From: Charles McGrew (The Moderator) <Human-Nets-Request@Rutgers>

HUMAN-NETS Digest Tuesday, 22 Oct 1985 Volume 8 : Issue 35

Today's Topics:
Queries - Foreign Language abstracting &
Looking for contacts at Los Alamos NL,
Computers and the Law - Slander vs. Libel,
Computer Networks - Phone Numbers for EMail Addresses &
Voicemail info

From: eug...@AMES-NAS.ARPA (Eugene Miya)
Date: 16 Oct 1985 2307-PDT (Wednesday)
To: AIl...@berkeley.ARPA, soft...@mit-mc.ARPA
Subject: Last call for assistance: helping with foreign language
Subject: abstracting

I would like tothank all of the people who responded for my first call
for people to help in the translation/abstraction of foreign language
documents. I have been travelling quite a bit during the past five
weeks, so next week, I will have a chance to lay the groundwork for
determining what journals to monitor and where to post information.

For those of you who missed this earlier posting: I am seeking people
interested in monitoring foreign language technical documents with an
eye to post significant new articles to various bulletin boards. This
would be prior to translation, and would hopefully speed translation
of potentially significant papers in: AI, graphics, and so forth.
Languages which are particularly critical are Eastern Asian: Japanese
and Chinese, perhaps French, and other western European languages. We
have a few people of each, but it would help to spread the load out.

If you are interested, or want to hear more, send me mail to a
UUCPnet/ARPAnet gateway listed below.

--eugene miya
NASA Ames Research Center [Rock of Ages Home for ...]
UUCP: {ihnp4,hao,hplabs,nsc,cray,research,decwrl}!ames!amelia!eugene


Date: 18 October 85 23:47 EDT
Subject: Looking for contacts at Los Alamos NL

I am doing a thesis project on the threat that Japan poses to the
United States (Commercially if nothing else) in regards to their
continued development of Supercomputers.

I was told by a knowledgeable source, that one of the main reasons for
the existence of the Office of Advanced Scientific Computing at the
National Science Foundation is due to a tour that several scientists
made of Japanese Computer Centers sometime (I'm guessing) in the last
5-7 years.

These scientists (at that time) were from Los Alamos - I would be very
interested in getting in touch with them. If anyone knows who they
are and could point a figure at how I could reach them - that would be
appreciated. If by any chance, any of those scientists read this
message I would appreciate it if you would contact me and finally, if
anyone working at LANL who knows the whereabouts of these scientists,
if you could contact me that would complete my search.

Some more background on my paper:

By utilizing historial referents drawn from our experience with
Sputnik in 1957, I want to find out if this challenge is "just another
Sputnik" or something else.

--- Gligor Tashkovich
Junior - College of Arts and Sciences
Cornell-In-Washington program
Home: (202) 822-3924
Work: (202) 357-9776



Date: 15 Oct 85 23:47 EDT (Tue)
From: _Bob <Carter@RUTGERS>
To: Ken Laws <La...@SRI-AI.ARPA>
Cc: edsel!
Subject: Slander vs. Libel

From: edsel! (Jim McDonald)

wonder if machine-generated speech would
be libel or slander, assuming it was one of the two.
(Assume also that someone typed in normal sentences, which the
machine merely transduced to speech.) I suppose only a lawyer
would care...

No, the client could still care too. There were some real
differences in the kinds of words thought actionable and in the proof
of damages required, and some courts would still honor them.

There a couple of old radio-broadcast cases that say that words read
from a written script are libel, and imply that the same words ad lib
would not be. That might support your "typed in normal sentences"

But it's almost impossible to have your case dismissed for picking
the wrong category now, so I guess that robs this of most of its
fun value.

From: Ken Laws <Laws at SRI-AI.ARPA>
The answer may depend partly
on whether the injured party has the opportunity to respond to the
original audience if redress is found appropriate.

That sounds sensible, and is one of the underpinnings of Times v.
Sullivan (no defamation of a public official without proof of malice),
but I don't think it has much to do with the old libel/slander line.



Date: Wed 16 Oct 85 09:18:15-PDT
Subject: In Defense of Phone Numbers for EMail Addresses

>Date: Mon, 7 Oct 85 13:20 EDT
>From: Robert W. Kerns <R...@SCRC-YUKON.ARPA>

>I will just observe that I keep a list of people's phone #'s (and
>several phone books), yet I successfully keep ALL the mail addresses
>I use in my head. (With the exception of UUCP routes, of course).

>How many phone numbers do YOU remember?

>People adapt to numbers because they must, not because it is easy.

I remember many more phone numbers than mail addresses. Perhaps
this is because I use the phone more often than I write or

is easier to remember than:

1234 Somewhere Drive, Apt 23
Wherever, CA 00000

If I forget the phone number, I can call information and restore
it. If I forget the mail address, I usually wind up *calling my
friend and asking for his address* (and calling information if I
have lost his phone number also.).

A phone number does not have any deep social/psychological
dehumanizing significance per se: it's only a phone number.

Phone numbers *should* be more natural EMail addresses, since
EMail is computers communicating over *phone lines*. The way
many people get into an EMail system is by *calling a computer*
and switching over to a modem.

The only thing that is really missing in the EMail system is a
good directory and information service. If anyone could get an
EMail phone directory listing all the people on all the nets
along with their phone numbers (or number that will wake up a
modem) and their associated net-name, I think many problems would
be solved. This approach is partly implemented by the ARPA Net
directory, for example.

An information number (like the phone company's XXX-555-1212)
could be implemented these days in the form of a 976 number with
an appropriate charge. The ideal "information number" would be
an on-line directory available through anyone's net , of course.
(The problem is to get paid for each access to support the

A directory service could be launched by a separate company if
several of the major networks would agree to contribute the EMail
addresses of their members. Each member would have to have the
option of having their EMail address be unlisted - in the same
manner as the phone system - or of having a REPLY-TO address
different than their login address, etc.

The phone number approach has one advantage: it is already
implicitly in use. You are using the phone system to read talk
to the net and read this message. A good directory should solve
the problem of sending EMail to someone whose EMail address you
forgot. Unless I am mistaken, this is the only problem that has
been clearly identified.

Dave Wyland


Date: Monday, 21 Oct 1985 17:57:52-PDT
From: minow%rex...@decwrl.DEC.COM
From: (Martin Minow, DECtalk Engineering ML3-1/U47 223-9922)
Subject: Voicemail info follow-up

Notes on early voice processing systems.


Patent 4,371,752, filed Nov. 26, 1979, issued Feb. 1,
1983, (the VMX patent) claims to cover voice-mail
systems. The reader should not assume that information
in this note disputes those claims.

There are two main early research efforts in the voice-processing field:
the Arpa real-time voice project and the IBM Voice Filing System. There
are also a number of smaller efforts.


The ARPAnet is a digital packet-switched network that connects a number
of computers doing government (Defense Department) sponsored work.

In a report "Evolution of the ARPAnet", published in 1981 by E. J.
Feinler of SRI, The network voice protocol is described as follows:

"The Network Voice Protocol (NVP) was implemented in 1973 and has
been in use since then for realtime voice communication over the
ARPANET [Cohen, D. Specifications for the Network Voice Protocol
(NVP), RFC 741, NIC 42444, Nov. 22, 1977, pp 43-88 IN: ARPANET
Protocol Handbook, NIC 7104, Network Information Center, SRI
International, Menlo Park CA, rev. Jan 1978.]. The protocol was
developed by a group headed by the University of Southern
California, Informatin Sciences Institute (ISI), as part of ARPA's
Network Secure Communications (NSC) project. The goal of this
project was to demonstrate a digital, high-quality, low-bandwidth,
secure voice handling capability across the ARPANET. The protocol
has been used successfully for experiments between ISI, BBN, SRI,
MIT'S Lincoln Laboratory (MIT-LL), Culler-Harrison, Incl, and the
Speech Communications Research Lab, Inc."

Packetized voice was first tranmitted in 1974 with point-to-point
connections, and in 1975 with conference connections. A prototype voice
message system was implemented at ISI in 1978. This was integrated into
the user's work environment, rather than "just" a computer-based
answering machine. I do not know whether the ISI voice message system
was integrated into the public telephone network.

The ARPA voice project is discussed in two papers:

Cohen, D., "A voice message system," in R. P. Uhlig (ed.),
Computer Message Systems, pp. 17-27, North-Holland, 1981.

Gold, Bernard (invited paper), "Digital Speech Networks", Proc.
IEEE Vol. 65, No. 12, Dec. 1977.


(These notes are from a collegue's trip-report, dated Sep. 12, 1978).

At COMPCON 78 (September, 1978), Steve Boise, Manager of the Voice
Filing System project at IBM, Yorktown Heights, gave a presentation.
There are six people on the project. it was started five years ago
(i.e. in 1973). Three of them are psychologists, three computer types.
They considered this the first step toward an integrated office
information system. The project is aimed toward providing direct
support to office principals (i.e., not secretaries or other support
people). (Note: the COMPCON proceedings do not appear to have an
abstract or paper on the IBM system.)

Boise's project is an audio correspondence system. "Correspondence"
refers to non-interactive communications, those not requiring people to
get together at the same time.

IBM has had a system in use, at an experimental level, for 2 1/2 years
(i.e., since 1976). it uses a System 7 for real-time control, and a
370/168 as a time-shared host. The main purpose of the 168 is for mass
storage. They use 2 hours of CPU time per month. There is 1 Mbyte of
"on line" storage, and 800 Mbytes in "MSS" (archival storage?). Users
access the system by dialing in from any touch-tone phone.

Boise gave a demo of the actual system. All control for the system is
by touch-tone. Audio input is used only for message content. The user
can originate messages, transmit them (using touch-tone keys to specify
addresses), listen to his own mail, and several other functions.

The system automatically eliminates any long pauses from messages. This
has had the unanticipated benifit of practically eliminating "mike
fright". Users don't have to worry about pausing when deciding what to
say. The system also uses some other tricks to speed up playback
without altering voice quality. Typically, 50 wpm recording becomes 150
wpm on playback. Another unintended result is that recordings sound
much more as if the person knows what he is talking about.

You can record a message, and specify it to be delivered at some future
time. The computer will call up the addressee and tell him about the
message. It can try several different numbers, and will call back later
if no answer. If you go away, you can leave a forwarding number.

Users can file mail if they desire. Retrieval can be by originator,
dates, and classification -- all under touch-tone control. Messages are
automatically erased from the mailbox after two weeks, if they have been
read at least once. Users like this feature as it frees them from
having to worry about disposing of old mail.

File protection concepts are built in. Every message has an owner.
Several levels of access are possible: read-only, read and forward,
read, append, and forward.

There are also several "classifications": unclassified, personal, and

You can check if someone has read the mail you sent him. Other status
information is also available, such as whether he has logged in today,
etc. You can also record a message to be read to anyone who asks about
you. So, for example, if you are out of town for a week, you can leave
a message saying so.

The system provides extensive editing facilities which are mostly unused
as the users think they are too complex.

The system is heavily instrumented. The implementors know which
features are used, and how much. They know every command that has been
given on the system (but not message content).

The real issue is building a good "principal interface". You must make
the entry cost to the principal very low. The system uses lots of
(audio) prompting an dmultiple-choice responses.

To start using the system, there are only seven touch-tone commands to
learn. Commands use the touch-tone letters as mnemonics, e.g., *R means
"record". There is a "help" facility. The " " key, followed by any
other key tells what that key will do.

References for the IBM system include the following:

Gould, J. D., and Boies, S. J. "Speech filing -- an office system
for Principals." IBM Systems Journal, Vol 23, No. 1, 1984. pp.
65-81. (Also IBM Res. REp. RC-9769, Dec. 1982).

Gould, J. D., and Boies, S. J. "Human factors challenges in
creating a principal support office system -- The Speech Filing
System Approach." ACM Trans. on Office Info. Systems, Vol. 1, No.
4, October 1983, pp. 273-298.

The following were referenced by the above papers. I haven't seen them
at this time.

Boies, S. J. "A computer based audio communication system," AIIIE
Conference on Automating Business Communications, (January 23-25,
1978), pp. 369-372. (Paper can be obtained from Management
Education Corporation (MEC), Box 3727, Santa Monica, CA 90403.)

Zeheb, D. and Boies, S. J. "Speech filing migration system," in
H. Inose (Editor), Proceedings of the International Conference of
Computer Communication (September 1978), pp. 571-574.

IBM Audio Distribution System Subscriber's Guide, SC34-0400-1, IBM
Corporation, 4111 Northside Parkway N.W., Box 2150, Atlanta, GA
30056; also available from IBM branch offices.


A number of companies produced systems for audio-response applications
where a customer could retreive information stored on a computer by
using a Touch-tone (tm) telephone. Survey articles were published in
Datamation (1969) and by Datapro (September 1976). These systems used
prerecorded human speech to produce messages with limited content. The
misdial message "the number you have dialed, 555-1212, is not in
service..." is produced by a similar system.

Delphi Communications (part of Exxon information systems) was founded to
do voice messaging.

Computalker Consultants (Santa Monica, CA) developed hardware for speech
synthesis (connected to microcomputers using the S100 bus architecture).
The Computalker CT1) could not be directly connected to the public
telephone network.

Rice, D. L. "Friends, humans, and countryrobots: lend me your
ears", Byte, Number 12, August 1976.

Rice, D. L. "Speech Synthesis by a set of rules (or can a set of
rules speak English?)", Proceedings of the First West Coast Computer
Faire, San Francisco, 1977.

Rice, D. L. "Hardware and software for speech synthesis", Dr.
Dobbs Journal, April 1976.

Votrax (Troy Michigan) developed hardware for phonemic synthesis that
could be connected to any computer that supported Ascii text (RS232
asychronous port) and could connect to a Bell 407 -- and hence to the
public telephone system.

Systems using the Votrax and Bell 407 were developed at Bell Labs by M.
D. McIlroy to do unrestricted text-to-speech conversion. This allowed
directory-assistance applicications to be implemented on a Unix (version
6) system. The software was available under license from Bell
Laboratories in 1978 (or earlier). By connecting the text-to-speech
software to to standard Unix utilities using the "pipe" mechanism, voice
mail and computer-generated broadcast messages ("Time for lunch!") could
be easily implemented.

Using the same hardware, Lauren Weinstein implemented a "Touch-tone
Unix" interface at UCLA.

Using this hardware, and suggestions from Lauren Weinstein, I
implemented a Touch-tone RSTS/E system at the Dec Research and
Development group. It was shown publicly at Canada Decus, February
26-29, 1980.

Posted: Mon 21-Oct-1985 16:53 Maynard Time.
Martin Minow MLO3-3/U8, DTN 223-9922


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