Making It Work

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     A woman sitting at a VODER talking machine. (Screen grab of youtube video by Mono Thyratron)

    A woman sitting at a VODER talking machine. (Screen grab of youtube video by Mono Thyratron)

    This week on The Pulse, we look at stories about people trying to make it work. 

    Everyone has had the infuriating experience of talking to an automated machine on the phone and getting the response “I’m sorry, I didn’t get that. Did you mean…” Even Siri has her glitches. But in comparison to what the technology used to be centuries ago, today’s talking machines are incredibly sophisticated. 

    Reporter Todd Bookman takes us through the history of inventors trying to make replicating the human voice work. Wait until you hear the first talking machine — it might give you nightmares. 

    Then, in partnership with KBIA and Harvest Public Media, we bring you the story of how farmers are trying to meet the demand for 100 percent grass-fed beef. 

    “And then the customers started catching on to what we were doing,” farmer Steve Landers said. “Now, we got more customers than we (have) beef. We bought more land. We got more cattle. We got more customers and it just stair-stepped its way up since then.”

    And during a wildfire in California, one man had to decide to leave his herd of camels, or to stay and face the flames

     

    Music from this week’s show

    Heart of the Country by Paul McCartney

    Gelaye by Radio Tehran

     

    A Calf Born in Winter by Khruangbin

     

    Sleep Sound by Jamie XX

     

    All the World is Green by Tom Waits

     

    Dirt by Penguin Cafe Orchestra

     

    Aht Uh Mi Head by Shuggie Otis

     

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