Exploring Speech Recognition

So, because I don’t have two hands to type anymore, I have been looking into speech recognition software. For those who are unfamiliar with this, these are programs that listen to your speech and convert what you say into text. They learn the more you use them, so accuracy increases over time. Understandably, this can be quite useful for those of us who find their hands full. There are a variety of different programs available, and I have been experimenting with them, in the hopes that I can increase the amount of writing I am getting done.

In fact, I am writing this post with speech recognition software even as we speak.

I did some research a few months ago and decided to try Windows 7’s built-in version. It works pretty decently, but I have been having some issues with it. It seems to only work in some programs, specifically those that are Microsoft products. For example, I have tried, in the past, to write posts using this program, but it does not work. Instead, it randomly selects categories it thinks I am trying to use. Also, sometimes it seems like the accuracy has gone out the window. But, in general, it works pretty well.

This morning, I tried to finish outlining a short story using my Google tablet’s built-in program. Unfortunately, my husband uses the tablet’s system more than I do and so it has been trained to him. The results were pretty hilarious.

For example:
“is the lead” turned into “to sleep”
“to desist” turned into “to to cyst”
“destroys some of their” turned into “this trace someone there”
“Jonathan goes” turned into “7 sins so so”
and, my favorite:
“tests his theory” turned into “test is Siri”

The result makes very little sense.

My husband just bought me Dragon NaturallySpeaking for my birthday. I installed it this morning and am currently using it to write this post. So far, despite only needing about 10 minutes for training, its accuracy seems very good. It also does much better with capitalization which is always been one of my main complaints with the Windows 7 version.

Do you have any experience with speech recognition software, Squiders? What program do you use, and how do you find that it works?

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Alex on 2012/11/07 at 3:41 PM

    Dragon NaturallySpeaking 12


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