My Experience with Voice Recognition

Man wearing headset using Dragon naturally speaking

Dragon’s voice recognition software enables people to control their device, create content, browse and write an email, update spreadsheets, surf the Web and create documents using only their voice.

A demo of correcting, formatting and proofreading using Dragon naturally speaking 13.

Further information

The good

Dragon NS provides a means voice to text production not only in word processing applications but also to control your computer operations. This for me is the main advantage over other voice to text programmes- which are often “in app” such as the microphone in the Pages app.

Dragon NS versus other voice to text software- my take on it!

  1. Dragon NaturallySpeaking for the PC is much more powerful than the built-in voice recognition software in android or within the iPhone (Siri) i.e. less inaccuracies and more time efficient. It can dramatically cut down the time it takes to create email, word documents and other correspondence on your PC.
  2. It Learns. Dragon NaturallySpeaking actually improves through use. It learns about how you speak, how you sound, what words you use and it creates a database called a voice profile. This voice profile matures over time and allows Dragon NaturallySpeaking to become very accurate with regular use.
    1.    Dragon NaturallySpeaking on the PC has “regional accent modelling”. This makes the program far more accurate than basic mobile device speech recognition which uses a generic accent model.
    2.    Dragon NaturallySpeaking adapts to your specific vocabulary. Siri or the Google android speech recognition application do not do this, they run off a generic limited vocabulary.
  3. Amount Processed. Free speech software on your phone can only process 30-second chunks of speech. Dragon speech recognition on the PC is continuous for a long as you can talk and doesn’t need a continuous internet connection.

The not so good

Good flow of speech is important, even if just for short passages. Dragon NS writes everything you say; even inflections of speech such as “mmmm” and “eh”. If a user tends to use these inflections in speech, it will type these inflections. Continuously deleting them can be time consuming and frustrating. Training oneself not to use these inflections can be very tricky.

The user needs to be very cognitively able to command the system with their voice, planning out the actions and remembering specific commands.

The verdict

Fantastic software for the right client, especially if for any reason direct access is not an option. Even if a form of direct access is an option for the client, Dragon NS is still a nice option for long passages of text production. For the wrong client, this software would be more of a hindrance and a frustration than a help.

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