speech recognition software

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by D_Gunther Snotpole, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    I earn my living by writing and am thinking of buying some speech recognition software so I can get rough drafts down as quickly as possible.
    Does anyone have an opinion about how sophisticated this software has become?
    I know the early versions weren't very good.

    FYI: I have a debranded HP desktop with an AMD Athlon 64 X 2 Dual Core processor 3800+.
    2 gigs of RAM.
    The OS is XP Professional.
     
  2. Hoss

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    Last one I saw being used was with a friend of mine and she had probs in it. There and their and they're and read and red and heard and herd and things like that but pretty much picked up most words successfully.
     
  3. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    Yes, I imagine homonyms would defeat that kind of software ... but if the problems were limited to that sort of thing, that would not be too much of a problem.
    Remember, I'm only wanting to quickly turn out rough drafts.
     
  4. D_Gunther Snotpole

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  5. italianstud24

    italianstud24 New Member

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    I use Dragon Naturally Speaking ver 10. Very few problems.
     
  6. D_Gunther Snotpole

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    Did the software take long to learn your voice and pronunciation?
     
  7. Joll

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    My Dad used dragon about four years ago - and found it tricky. Altho, it's probably undergone a fair bit of refinement since then.
     
  8. Bbucko

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    Not really off topic, but don't you write better with your keyboard? What I mean by that is that there's a tone and vocabulary that I use when writing that's completely different from my spoken English (well, not entirely, but different enough). I actually find that the exercise of typing helps focus and concentrate my mind in a way that's not as likely to happen verbally. But my writing style is fairly formal.

    Completely on topic: I worked for two years for a consulting company, one of whose clients was USBLN, a national organization of businesspeople living/working with various disabilities. One of my main jobs was to recruit assistive technology vendors to purchase booths at the yearly conference, so I do have some hands-on knowledge of what's available retail (at least as it stood in 2008-09) for the disabled community, and it's still a technology in its infancy as regards retailed aps. I honestly can't say anything I saw impressed me, either as speech recognition or screen-reading (the more common of the two).

    The type of speech recognition software used by large utilities and other corporations is most probably developed in-house, and at least the bits I've been exposed to leave much to be desired (but maybe I just have an odd kinda voice: who knows?) :rolleyes:
     
  9. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    I do write better with my keyboard.
    Which is why I would use the software merely to get down a rough draft.
    And then I would use that version as a point of departure from which I would leap to my more finished product ... entirely through the keyboard.
    Unless I'm blowing smoke ....

    You might ask why I can't just pound out a rough draft on the keyboard.
    Well, because I have to stop and repair everything along the way when I'm typing.
    It just doesn't wind up pouring out at all.

    My thought was that voice recognition software, if it's now fairly good, would help me get through that first stage of composition much faster.



    That's how things stood when I last asked around about voice recognition software.
    But I believe I've read about impressive recent advances.
    If they're great enough, the software might just now be getting really useful.
    I'll probably start looking through tech blogs and forums, hoping I have the vocabulary to understand.
     
  10. Bbucko

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    I go through as many as four or five refinements/revisions, depending on my mood, the fluency of what comes outta my keyboard, etc before I think something's "done" (and even then, I'll find typos and redundancies I hadn't noticed previously). My best work has always been subject to an Editor's scrutiny.

    You're right about going back and correcting, but instead of slowing anything down, I find it just helps crystallize my initial idea into something more like a flowing narrative. Writing is, by far, the most tedious pleasure I've ever endured, and the one most requiring solitude.

    Good luck (sincerely) with the voice recognition software. If it helps put some scribbles on the page, then it should be worth it.
     
  11. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    Confession time: I am one of those writers who corrects everything as he goes along. So when I type the last word, the thing is (usually) completely finished. And in a sense it's all one draft ... though each paragraph was probably rearranged numerous times.
    This is a fine way to do things, except when speed is of the essence.


    I get the tedium and the need for solitude.
    I see that one's own editing process brings things closer to the ideal text that stands behind what actually been written.
    However, it seems to me (and this is Hhuckish theory, not necessarily worth much) that getting the whole slab of wordage down at once, and then correcting things, might speed the whole process up.
    My fear is that my writing will lose something in subtlety.


    That's all I can hope for.
    I'll get back with whatever info I come across.
     
  12. Viking_UK

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    The only one I've had any experience of was Dragon Naturally Speaking, but that was a couple of versions ago. Having spent a week training it, it still came out with ridiculous mistakes. Eventually, I gave up and got rid of it. Who knows, they may have sorted out the bugs in the latest version, but I wouldn't hold my breath. One of my friends uses it at work and says she'd be quicker just typing.
     
  13. D_Gunther Snotpole

    D_Gunther Snotpole Account Disabled

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    Well, that seems clear enough.
     
  14. flame boy

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    I used to do a lot of speech typing in a previous job, none of it was particularly good and I would end up concentrating on what it was writing on the screen more than what I was trying to say. Another method could be to buy a dictaphone and record this way, then on playback type up what is being said but refine it.
     
  15. vince

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    Hire a stenographer!
     
  16. D_Gunther Snotpole

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    That would be a longer procedure. I want a shorter one, flamey.
    (I already tape a lot of peeps and then type up their remarks.)


    Like Winston Churchill used to do.
    Never thought of that.
    Good idea, vince.

    You've taken me to a new level.
     
  17. vince

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    My mum was an expert at Pittman and Gregg. A few times when I was late with a term paper, I'd just dictate it from my notes and then she'd bang it out on her Remington Standard #12 at some crazy 80, 90 wpm, totally error free.
     
  18. JulieInNaplesFL

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    Have a friend that has no arms and he uses Dragon Naturally Speaking and says it works pretty good.

    I've seen it demonstrated several years ago and I was impressed with it then.

    I've seen it for $49.95 this year on special someplace, so it's a good price for trying.

    Don't like it sell it for $39 on E-Bay.
     
  19. D_Gunther Snotpole

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    An expert at both? Wow!
    I'd love to have one of the handwriting-derived shorthands ... maybe Forkner. Not as fast, but much easier to learn, always a prime concern for an old dog.

    A Remington 12? Your mother was an early adopter, vince.
    :cool:

    A number of peeps have mentioned Dragon.
    Maybe I should look at it.
     
  20. Viking_UK

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    I think that two of the main issues with speech recognition software are microphone quality and background noise. The headset that comes bundled with the software isn't usually worth bothering with. It's OK if you have excellent diction and are in a totally silent situation, but if there's any background noise or you tend to mumble or slur, you'll end up with gobbledegook in your document. Invest in a good-quality microphone and try to keep your work environment as quiet as possible and that will improve the accuracy. Some of the systems can be used almost straight out of the box if you have a standard/nondescript accent. If not, you can expect to spend days dictating and correcting text.

    I went through all of that with Dragon, and while it did sort of work for me, it wasn't as good as I'd hoped and it was quicker for me to just type everything out. On top of that, its error rate was higher than mine, but the trouble was that its errors were "proper" words so the spellcheck didn't pick them up which meant that I had to be more vigilant when it came to proofreading.

    The real killer for me, however, was that it wasn't compatible with the software I used most commonly for work. The latest version of that will now interface with Dragon, but the version I have of Dragon isn't supported by Vista, and given the lacklustre performance of the version I have, I'm not inclined to shell out for the upgrade.
     
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