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Advances in several areas of speech communication research are discussed. Areas selected for comment include: 1) digital encoding and transmission of speech; 2) computer synthesis of speech; 3) automatic speaker verification; 4) speech production; 5) speech perception; and 6) interactive design of digital filters. Advances in these areas have been facilitated by two important tools: a) the growing theory of sampled-data systems and b) the general availability of modest-size, fast digital computers. For each area, specific research examples are chosen to represent current activity. Also, the examples are chosen to emphasize the advantages of digital formulation of the problems and to show how one particular laboratory computer facility is used for interactive studies in speech communication.