Computers and Communications: A Vision of C&C

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MIT Press, 1986 - Computers - 190 pages
Koji Kobayashi describes himself as a visionary, and so he is. But he is remarkably practical and successful. He began his career with the NEC Corporation, one of Japan's largest industrial organizations, in 1929, and for the last 21 years has been its chief executive officer as president or board chairman.In this book, Kobayashi puts forth one of his practical and realizable visions: C&C, or the perfect union of computers and communications. Integrating them has become possible because both now involve the processing of digitalized information through semiconductor circuits. Here he describes a remarkably ambitious C&C project that is unlikely to reach the pay-off point until early in the next century: the automatic interpretation telephone system.With such a system in place, a caller in Washington can dial a party in Tokyo (or Moscow) and the conversation will be automatically translated into Japanese (or Russian) on one side and into English on the other. Kobayashi's commitment to this development is based on his conviction that it will do more than simply speed up the flow of information - far more important, it will enhance the free exchange of ideas and international understanding.He points out that since this system involves the integration and synthesis of most of the technologies appropriate to computer and communications design, its development will serve "as an effective index for the progress of C&C." Some of the needed technologies, such as digital speech generation and multifont optical character recognition are rapidly being realized, while others such as general purpose machine translation and large vocabulary speaker independent speech recognition will take longer.The future that Kobayashi envisions is in fact deeply rooted in the past he reviews - his own, NEC's, Japan's. For Western readers, this will be one of the most fascinating aspects of the book, providing a rare glimpse into the development of a major Japanese industrial corporation from the point of view of its top management.

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Computers and communications: a vision of C&C

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Kobayashi has been president or chair man of the board of NEC (formerly known as Nippon Electric Company) for 21 years, and he began his career with them in 1929. NEC was founded 86 years ago as a ... Read full review



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