Speech Recognition Software


Over the past year I’ve noticed that my hands and wrists are becoming sore from typing. Not just the soreness from overuse but there’s been some nerve pain too. So I started looking up speech recognition software on the Internet, reading reviews and talking to friends who use them in their offices.

I didn’t hold out much hope for me in the speech recognition department because my SIRI always wants to order me a pizza when I ask her to ring my friend Elise.

The one everyone recommended was Dragon Speaking so this morning I went down to Officeworks and brought it. At $249 it wasn’t cheap. It’s cheaper on the internet but my hands didn’t want to wait. As soon as I got home I downloaded it onto my computer. No problems. I did the tutorial. I found it easy to follow.

And then I put it through its paces. I’d been working on a story that needed the last bits of editing done. There were a few little teething problems. Mine, not its. My problem was not knowing what the commands were to move the mouse up or down, how to delete certain words, how to select words. As I worked through the help menu or the sample commands in the instructions I started to get into the swing of things. A lot of the commands are intuitive.

After an hour and a half, including downloading and doing the tutorial, I finished editing my story … and I’ve written this blog. It is definitely quicker than typing.

What I have noticed is there is a fine difference in the way I write sentences with speech recognition software. Because the software likes you to speak in sentences I have to form my sentences before I write them rather than let them form AS I write them. Whether this will have any bearing on the way I write I’m not sure yet.dragon (2)

Unlike SIRI, this guy gets me. In that hour and a half he probably only misunderstood five words I said. It’s only early days yet, but I’m looking forward to getting to know him better and to a long and painless relationship.

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13 Responses to Speech Recognition Software

  1. hammywammy says:

    Hi, I really like your article about the speech recognising software. My friend and I’s blog does posts about technology and futuristic inventions that are already invented. The link is https://tech7533.wordpress.com/, and feel free to give any feedback, whether it is anything we did well or anything we could improve on.

  2. margaret jackson says:

    I’m impressed with your computer skills and your courage in learning a new program. And so pleased with your success. I hope it is a great help with your production of stories in the future. It’s interesting that you have to have a complete sentence. I will be keen to hear how that affects your writing. I’ve been interested in voice recognition software since the late 80swhen they were first bringing it out. I was advised for a few years that it didn’t work very well but have thought about it on and off through the years. .So glad it’s working for you. I will consider it again.

    • HI Marg. You don’t need computer skills to learn this programme. You have to learn the right phrases; but it isn’t hard. It recognises my voice perfectly, not like the old ones, or SIRI. I do need help to use it on the internet; that’s not working properly yet. But my wrists are very grateful today. How it affects my writing is yet to be seen. I’ll let you know.

  3. anne says:

    Well done, Karen. I used to have a word recognition programme back in 2001. I don’t think it was as good as yours. Probably they’ve improved a lot over the years. It took mine many months to ‘recognise’ many words. I had to talk in phrases and it did not like any inflections. Good luck with it. I could use a really good one now because I’m typesetting my memoir so I understand what you mean about the hands and finger problem. Hope it works for you. All the best. Anne

    • I feel a little like a fraud, Anne. It’s not hard at all, and it sure beats the old speech recognition software. It would be great for typesetting your memoir in Word, but there are programmes it isn’t compatible with. And I can’t seem to get it to work on the internet, although it is supposed to. That will give me something to try to work out another day. So far I really like it. cheers, Karen

  4. Maree Gallop says:

    Sounds great, Karen. It’s always good when someone understands your needs! Have fun!

  5. That’s interesting – not only that the software works well (because I, too, seem to speak a different language to the one that any speech recognition device seems to work in!) and that you have to form your sentences before you ‘deliver’ them. I’m not sure how well I’d get on with that second aspect! I wish you lots of happy spoken-writing (?!) and hope it eases your pains. x

    • Hi Joanna. I’ve been using it now for a few weeks and we have become used to each other. There were some problems which my genius IT son-in-law fixed for me and now it’s working fairly well. The ‘delivery’ was a challenge but once I got over the need to have a perfect sentence first time it went well. I just think aloud into it now like I would if I was writing longhand. It may not be as easy as writing freely but my hands bless the device every day. All the best to you and Ron!

    • Being in OZ says:

      you have to form your sentences before you ‘deliver’ them….I definitely am not there. I’m still trying to sort the thought, or emotion, and transform it into sentences. Newbie, and not gifted. Still appreciate the knowledge this software exists.

      • Now I’ve been using the software for a while I find I’m also able to sort out my thinking on the go – stop and start, go off following a thought and changing it mid sentence when the idea strengthens – and the software might make a few more mistakes but it’s perfectly understandable. Writing is like everything else, the more you do it the better you get. Enjoy your writing!

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