A history of how humans developed our capacity for conversation—and what might happen now that computers are catching up.
Trevor Cox has been described by The Observer as “a David Attenborough of the acoustic realm.” In Now You’re Talking, he takes us on a journey through the wonders of human speech, starting with the evolution of language and our biological capability to speak (and listen), and bringing us up to date with the latest computer technology.
Language is what makes us human, and how we speak is integral to our personal identity. But with the invention of sound recording and the arrival of the electrified voice, human communication changed forever; now advances in computer science and artificial intelligence are promising an even greater transformation. And with it come the possibilities to reproduce, manipulate, and replicate the human voice—sometimes with disturbing consequences.
Now You’re Talking is the fascinating story of our ability to converse. It takes us back to the core of our humanity, asking important questions about what makes us human and how this uniqueness might be threatened. On this illuminating tour we meet vocal coaches and record producers, neuroscientists and computer programmers, whose experience and research provide us with a deeper understanding of something that most of us take for granted—our ability to talk and listen.