January 21, 2012
For those who are endlessly writing reports…….
Voice recognition. Or, more specifically, speech recognition. It’s one of those technological wonders that we all seem to take for granted, while simultaneously throwing laughter its way for not being nearly sophisticated enough. Anyone that’s used an early generation Ford SYNC system — or pretty much any vehicular voice command system — knows exactly what we’re getting at. While processing speeds and user interfaces have made great strides in the past handful of years, voice recognition has managed to continually disappoint. It’s not that things aren’t improving, it’s just that they aren’t improving at the same rate as the hardware and software surrounding them. Even today, most new automobiles have to be spoken to loudly, pointedly and directly, and even then it’s a crapshoot as to whether or not your command will be recognized and acted upon.
For as much as we complain, we totally get it. Teaching a computer program how to recognize, understand and act upon the movement of human vocal chords is a Herculean task. Throw in nearly unlimited amounts of dialect and regional variation with even a single language, and it’s a wonder that programs such as Nuance’s Dragon Dictate even exist. Teaching a vehicle how to route calls, adjust volume and tweak a radio station is one thing, but having a program that turns actual speech into presentable documents requires a heightened level of accuracy. The newest build of Dragon Dictate for Mac (v2.5) allows users to seamlessly combine dictation with mouse and keyboard input in Microsoft Word 2011; it also gives yappers the ability to more finely control how Dragon formats text such as dates, times, numbers and addresses, while a free iOS app turns your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch into a wireless microphone. We recently pushed our preconceived notions about this stuff aside in order to spend a solid week relying on our voice instead of our fingertips — read on to see how it turned on.
Read entire article – for the Mac – is there any other computer system of relevance.
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