Digital Life

Computer Humbles Texting Teen

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Here's a man who wanted to be John Henry for the digital age. John Henry, of course, is the legendary railroad worker who won a contest against a steam drill, and "died with his hammer in his hand." Ben Cook sends text messages, pressing his thumbs on tiny telephone keys. At the age of 18, he is the world record holder. So he agreed to a contest against a voice recognition computer. The computer creamed him. The teenager says he's "humbled."

STEVE INSKEEP, host:

Good morning, I'm Steve Inskeep.

Here's a man who wanted to be John Henry for the digital age. John Henry, of course, is the legendary railroad worker who won a contest against a steam drill, and died with his hammer in his hand. Ben Cook sends text messages, pressing his thumbs on tiny telephone keys. And at the age of 18, he is the world record holder. So he agreed to a contest against a voice recognition computer. The computer creamed him. The teenager says he is humbled.

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