- IBM'S VOICE RECOGNITION SOFTWARE
If you're either a poor typist, or just hate to sit at the keyboard for any length of time, then you might enjoy dictating letters and other correspondence directly into your computer instead.
I personally am using IBM ViaVoice and have been since 1997.
The biggest differences in today's version of the software, as compared to when I first began using it, can be broken into three parts.
- The price of voice recognition technology has dropped substantially over the last few years. IBM's ViaVoice Personal Edition can be found for as little as $30, while there are other versions available.
- You no longer have to worry about trying to dictate in "isolated speech" which required a brief pause between words in order for the software to be able to distinguish where one word ended and another began. I'm a fairly fast talker, and the latest version of ViaVoice doesn't seem to mind at all.
- Accuracy has also improved dramatically. You'll still have to correct the software recognition from time to time, particularly when adding words that are not already in the software's dictionary. However, once ViaVoice has adapted to your vocabulary, the quality of the speech recognition is simply amazing.
Two tips for new users.
- In order to begin understanding your speech patterns and pronunciation, your must first complete a "training" routine for the software. This exercise is simply a matter of reading aloud text that is displayed for you on screen. While you can begin using the software after just one brief training session, I strongly recommend completing all of the training modules in order to provide a greater sample of your voice for the software's database. This will make your use of the software much more enjoyable as it truly enhances the software's recognition of your particular manner of speech.
- Secondly, resist the temptation to watch your screen as the software works its wonders. ViaVoice is quite sophisticated in how it decides if you said "whether" or "weather" and uses the words spoken just before and just after each word it analyses in making this determination.
The result of all of this analysis is that words you've spoken are often displayed on screen after a delay. This also means that the software is constantly changing the words on the screen as you speak.
This can be quite confusing and distracting and may slow down your dictation considerably.
On the other hand, if you'll just trust the software and not try to watch along, it will do a pretty amazing and accurate job for you.
Of course, you will still need to go back and perform some editing for style, so don't worry about the accuracy as you can pick up mistakes at that time. However, while the software might not correctly understand every single word you speak, it does spell perfectly!
For more details on the latest version of IBM's ViaVoice, just visit:
Copyrighted with all rights reserved by Stephen M. Canale