US Patent 4,058,672 and Voice Prompting (1976)

I think that clause 25 is where the action’s at:

25. A packet-switched communications system in accordance with claim 16, further comprising: means controlled by said first and second processing means for generating audible voice prompting at selected terminal devices in response to stored data; and means for accessing said stored data. 

“The present invention comprises a data communications system for providing compatible communication between a plurality of data terminal devices at a plurality of locations utilizing communications at a plurality of switching sites, both packet-switching and store-and-forward switching, to insure maximum utilization of the transmission network. The present invention further comprises apparatus and method for implementing packet and message switched communication between dissimilar terminals having differing modes of operation, and in a particular embodiment between dissimilar facsimile machines. Data and facsimile messages are transmitted and received, digitized, temporarily stored at switching nodes in a communications network on a scheduled or priority basis, formatted into a system-wide compatible protocol at local data processing sites and subdivided into packets of message data and transmitted in such packets dynamically and independently through at least one switching center or node. The packets are then retransmitted on the network either to another switching node or processor at which point the packets are reassembled into the original message or a portion thereof, converted into a mode compatible with the characteristics of the receiving terminal, and coupled to such terminal.”

USPTO Abstract

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