Speech recognition

by Captain Walker

Categories: Technology

The short clip below shows what Dragon Naturally Speaking does. Semmelweis Reflexes – are going off like crazy among those who would be proud to boast that they are luddites. Others have jumped on Google to find that Dragon is too expensive for them. I’ve gone slowly in my dictation below. Dragon can do this at a normal or rapid rate of speech.

So let’s for argument sake say that Dragon costs £400 which it doesn’t, is the cost worth your while? [Just to be clear, I have no shares in Nuance who produces the software].

Loads of people cannot type on a keyboard very quickly.  It’s been said that average typing speeds are around 40wpm. However, from my observations it is much slower.

Dragon can allow you to generate text at the rate of your speech which could be around 120wpm. What does that mean? It means that you are not limited by the chore of finger punching the keyboard. Lots of people tend to over-summarise what they are putting into letters because they can’t type quickly enough.

Letters are particularly important because when printed and sent, they have less of a chance of being ignored. So, getting it right without condensing too much what you want to say can pay off in the end. It may not pay in terms of money, but in terms of getting matters resolved. On some occasions if you are making a claim for compensation, drafting your letters well can extract the right level of compensation. When drafting letters it is a good idea to just say what you want to say, and prune it or adjust it later on.

As this is not a tutorial on Dragon, I’m not going to be giving all the features of Dragon. YouTube may be your friend (or not). A particular cool feature is the creation of auto-texts. With this common things like your signature can be inserted easily by saying ‘insert my signature’. You will have save the usual text you use for that, and – wait for it – the scanned image of your signature. Dragon will drop that stuff into a MS Word document on your command. Or there may be certain sets of paragraphs that you want to use regularly. You can quickly set your Dragon to save that sort of text and insert it with a voice command that you create.

What is the value of your personal time. I dare say, that to most people it is more than £400 over 3 to 5 years. All I can say, is that Dragon has saved me tons of time and effort over the last 10 years.

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