The BBC Radio program Discovery‘s latest episode deals with the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. It features computer voices reading the telegraph messages (for those of you under 25, it was your great-great grandparents version of Twitter) and recordings of interviews with survivors and telegraph operators who were communicating with the Titanic on that fateful night.
The use of the computer voices to read the telegraph messages is a brilliant stroke. Human actors would have difficulty reading the lines flat and emotionless, while the computer voices have no emotion to add. Its probably as close as those of us who aren’t trained in Morse Code can come to understanding what it would have been like to hear those messages coming in over a telegraph. (I will confess, however, that in some cases it does sound like the computer reading a message is feeling emotion.)
Its 42 minutes long, and well worth the listen.