This will seem quaint 10 years from now
July 19, 2004 12:07 PM   Subscribe

Wouldn't it be great if you could get the weather from a poorly synthesized computer-generated voice? Well, now you can. Call 1-888-573-8255 and ask Jupiter what the weather is like, or will be like, for nearly any city you want. (via Cool Tools)
posted by euphorb (12 comments total)
wow that is so cool. it is also very polite, dont forget to thank him at the end.
posted by ShawnString at 12:39 PM on July 19, 2004

The best of these services is TellMe at 1-800-555-TELL...
posted by twsf at 12:46 PM on July 19, 2004

In Connecticut I call 203-FOO-HAHA for the weather. Nice to learn of some national ones, tho.
posted by ChasFile at 1:04 PM on July 19, 2004

555-TELL is great. How does it fund itself? Just a free service from some anonymous benefactor?
posted by Ynoxas at 1:07 PM on July 19, 2004

I love Jupiter. I've used it for years, but I thought it had shut down a little while ago. I'm glad to see that it's alive and kicking.
posted by bshort at 1:14 PM on July 19, 2004 seems to be down.

The parent is TellMe Communications. Looks like it is just a fancy tech demo, as they sell the technology to corporations for their own voice recognition needs.
posted by Ynoxas at 1:34 PM on July 19, 2004

Oh, good, Jupiter's back to weather. Since ~2000, it's been airline scheduling stuff, but it was weather before that.
posted by waldo at 1:59 PM on July 19, 2004

You can still get flight status info through Pegasus (1-877-527-8255).
posted by euphorb at 2:08 PM on July 19, 2004

TellMe's developer studio used to give you your very own extension at 1 800 555 TELL to test your own Voice XML apps. Sadly, it eventually disappeared like so many other free lunches during those heady days of dot com mania. (They offer an online-only simulator now.)

Anyone know of a similar service that would affordably allow someone smaller than a corporation to get access to a Voice XML platform like TellMe's?
posted by lpqboy at 2:44 PM on July 19, 2004

The "poorly synthesized" voice isn't really the point of this system. This software was developed in an (ongoing) effort to create a system that can actually follow a conversation, rather than the typical simple-question-followed-by-limited-possible-responses type of interface. I think they've done a pretty good job, but that may just be because I work with someone who got her PhD working on this project.

I have also put a little (very little) work into helping generalize this system - allowing it to answer queries about different types of information (restaurants, hotels, etc).

It's cool stuff. Please don't write it off because of the poorly synthesized voice. I've heard it hooked up to a more realistic synthesizer that actually builds responses based on automatically interpreted snippets of your own voice, and it is very cool.
posted by sreilly at 3:37 PM on July 19, 2004

Wouldn't it be great if you could get the weather from a poorly synthesized computer-generated voice?

This is common at airports---of course, without the two-way conversation! Many airports have automated weather observation systems that you can dial to get instant info on the surface weather there. And yes, it's often a synthesized voice.

The same cheerful voice is broadcast out over aviation radio frequencies for pilots who want to land at the airport.

Connellsville, PA AWOS-3 system: constructs sentences out of recorded samples.
Johnstown, PA ASOS: same approach, different guy.
Somerset, PA AWOS-3: sounds like "Fred" from Mac OS with a head cold.

And so on...
posted by tss at 5:19 PM on July 19, 2004

Neat -- you can ask him to switch into Celsius. I had a hard time getting him back into Fahrenheit, though. (I tried Kelvin -- he didn't bite.)
posted by gohlkus at 1:38 AM on July 20, 2004

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