Naturally Speaking, voice recognition


#juan
#1
Is anyone here an expert on Dragon, "Naturally Speaking" voice recognition software? Santa brought me the software for Christmas. I haven't yet installed it but I will in the next day or two. I was just wondering if anyone had any hints on this. The adds say it will triple your typing speed......hell, I would be happy if it got my typing up to normal speed. Friends who have used voice recognition software tell me it doesn't do any good to yell at the computer if it doesn't type what you say...............Sounds reasonable to me..........I wonder if you have to teach it swear words.....
 
Kreskin
#2
I have no idea Wayne but it sounds interesting.
 
karrie
#3
You'll have to let us know how it works. I'd like to see a thread devoted to attempted narrations if you don't mind. It's the sort of thing I've considered in the past when my fibro was impeding on motor control of my hands.
 
Zan
#4
I was hoping someone would make a post that helps me decipher what this software is/does, but so far no one has - so I shall have to yet again display my utter techno-incompetence and come right out and ask. I gather it uses voice commands, but does it actually type the words out that you speak? If so, how would that help your typing Juan?
 
triedit
#5
Yes--it should type what you speak--like giving dictation.

I guarantee it spells better than I do.
 
Dexter Sinister
#6
I'm not an expert in Naturally Speaking, or any other voice recognition software, but I've used it, and it's pretty impressive. You have to train it a bit, so it learns to recognize your particular inflections and pronunciations, but the documentation will guide you through that easily. I don't think it's much good for expressing really complex ideas that require specialized terminology, nor do I think it'll ever perfectly recognize every word you speak, you'll always have to edit the text it produces. If you say something like "2-4 D" for instance, it might produce "two four dee." and question the dee, because it isn't a word. Or it might produce "two four D," I dunno. I haven't used the most recent version of it, it was a few years ago that I tried it out, and I found it worked much more accurately if I paused slightly between each word, but that's a very awkward and unnatural way to speak, and surprisingly tiring.

And you have to be careful. When the microphone's on, it'll record everything you say, so if you mess up a sentence and mutter "aw sh*t" it'll put that down too. My personal preference is to avoid such things, but I'm a 10-finger touch typist and can do 80 words a minute, so voice recognition software is pretty much useless to me. I don't need it. My personal opinion is that you'd do better to develop your typing skills. But there's a bit of the Luddite about me, despite a career that required much use of computers and related technology. Just because we can make a machine do something doesn't mean it's a good idea, and what I've seen of voice recognition software suggests it's one of the things that aren't good ideas yet. Until we've got machines smart enough to understand natural human languages, and I think we're a long way from there, this idea isn't going to work very well for anything but the simplest compositions.
 
triedit
#7
It would have a field day with my southern accent and colquialisms....
 
Zan
#8
well thank you Dexter, for explaining it to me.

I think this could be a great idea. I have an Aunt who has promised to get a computer and an email address this summer. She doesn't type and is not at all keen to explore the cyber world, but I'd like to be able to email her stuff and send her links etc, so I'm pushing her to give it a shot. Maybe a program like this would be an encouragement her, or just help those who don't have the dexterity or desire to get their typing speeds up.

Juan, can you let us know how you progress with it? I'm curious now.
 
triedit
#9
They also make programs that read your emails et al to you
 
#juan
#10
Thanks all

I expressed an interest in this software last summer and my daughter remembered and bought it for me for Christmas. Whether it is the best thing since running water, or a technology-limited pipe dream, I have to give it my best effort to make it work. The idea of just talking to my computer and having it type what I say is attractive to me in a "Star Trek" sort of way. I will get the software installed sometime today, and over the next few days I should have a better idea of the limitations of this human/computer interface. Dexter's comments bring to mind a whole pile of possible trouble situations but let's see how it goes.
 
MikeyDB
#11
I use a speech recognition engine called Via Voice from IBM. The training takes a while but this software hasn't recieved the same raves as Dragon....

It took about an hour to teach the system but (I've heard) that Dragon is less sensitive to changes in vocal frequency changes that occur over the period of a day.... Your vocal chords are 'relaxed' in the morning but become less flexible as the day goes on and you use your voice. Training your system should be done in the afternoon I suppose and if you have a tooth removed it can change the way the system "hears" your intonation and may require re-teaching....
 
amagqira
#12
I have used it on and off for the past year - initially it is tiresome because you have to train it and frankly, it also trains you. I am a 3 finger typist so anything faster than 20 words a minute is fast for me. Recognition rate is about 90-95 % at the moment which sounds good but that still means 1 in 10 to 1 in 20 words are not going to be recognized correctly.

I have an added disadvantage in that I am not from north america and speak english with a south african accent, but there is a software switch and I've set it on British rather than North American.

There are other perks - it recognizes windows command and allows you to write email and send it and move betweeen windows without touching the keyboard or mouse.
 
#juan
#13
I have just installed NaturallySpeaking and though I'm no expert I can see the possibilities. I think that most of the problems can be overcome.I am typing this reply by talking to my computer. It doesn't seem too awkward but it will take some practice. It is very fast
 
Zan
#14
That's cool Juan!

heh heh... must be kinda funny for your wife to walk by the room and hear you in there talking to yourself.
 
karrie
#15
I think ultimately I'd find it invasive of my privacy to use it all the time. I like that I can type a response in Wreck Beach while my kids are in the room. lol.
 
amagqira
#16
Now that I've had time to think about it, the only thing about it that really irritates me is the headphones and microphone, I find it difficult to get an ideal position.
 
#juan
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by Zan View Post

That's cool Juan!

heh heh... must be kinda funny for your wife to walk by the room and hear you in there talking to yourself.

There is that........

The software basically works very well. I haven't stumped it yet. It seems to sort out synonyms and antonyms and all the other funny bits of the English language through context. I understand version 9 which I have, has solved at least some of the problems Dexter mentioned. Understand though, that I would not have purchased this software for myself since I have no requirement for speed and the novelty will wear off very quickly. My daughter bought it for me and I will use it where I can, but left to my own devices, I wouldn't have bought it. Having said all that, it is a great gift and I'm glad I got it. If you have a hundred and twenty dollars lying around not doing anything, go for it. This program will let you do just about any kind of word processing, including all the formatting, without you laying a hand on your keyboard.
 
#juan
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by MikeyDB View Post

I use a speech recognition engine called Via Voice from IBM. The training takes a while but this software hasn't recieved the same raves as Dragon....

It took about an hour to teach the system but (I've heard) that Dragon is less sensitive to changes in vocal frequency changes that occur over the period of a day.... Your vocal chords are 'relaxed' in the morning but become less flexible as the day goes on and you use your voice. Training your system should be done in the afternoon I suppose and if you have a tooth removed it can change the way the system "hears" your intonation and may require re-teaching....

Mikey

When I installed the program I had a choice between the standard training, that basically makes you read aloud to the computer for about half an hour, and the quick method that takes around three minutes. I opted for the longer method. So far the only mistakes have been my own and I have been very impressed with the performance of this software. I haven't witnessed any changes morning to night, so I would assume that this latest version has overcome most, or all of the earlier problems.
 
Dixie Cup
#19
Wow, wonder if I could use it at work. Just had carpal tunnel surgery on my right hand and will eventually need it on the left, despite using an ergonomical keyboard for years. What applications can it be used for as we use programs at work that are specific to our industry.
 
#juan
#20
This program can be used in virtually all word processor applications where you would normally type. So far I've used it in Word, Word Pad, and every e-mail system I have, as well as these forums. The basic training takes about thirty five minutes and there is a tutorial that teaches voice formatting that you can spend as long as you like at. One of the problems is that you can also use the keyboard for punctuation and formatting so it is easy to be lazy and not learn all of the voice system. I dictated this reply with the microphone.
 
#juan
#21
well-I've had the system for a few weeks now and it is certainly faster than my normal typing. I think the main trick is to slow yourself down and try not to race the computer. At this point I have yet to fool the system or find a word that it couldn't spell. Earlier someone mentioned that I might feel silly sitting here talking to my computer I guess you just get used to it.
 
Zan
#22
I wonder if something like this would be useful in a work setting - I'm thinking it would, and I wouldn't feel at all silly talking 'to myself' at work - I seem to mutter under my breath constantly anyway...

Juan, you mention that it can be trained to punctuate - can it also format?
 
jenn
#23
I tried something like this years ago.... I was impressed but it had a few too many bugs in it for my liking...but this was at least 10 yrs ago so I am sure they have come along way since then....
 
karrie
#24
I'm glad it's working for you juan. My next carpal tunnel flare-up may necessitate something similar.
 
#juan
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by Zan View Post

I wonder if something like this would be useful in a work setting - I'm thinking it would, and I wouldn't feel at all silly talking 'to myself' at work - I seem to mutter under my breath constantly anyway...

Juan, you mention that it can be trained to punctuate - can it also format?

There are a dozen or so formatting commands that I've seen so far. Capital letters at the start of a sentence are pretty well automatic, as are periods. For commas and quotation marks you just say comma or quotation mark when you want them. New paragraph, new sentence, or any other formatting are just simple instinctive commands that seem completely reasonable. One of the good things is that for "new paragraph", you can say next paragraph or another paragraph and it seems to know what you want. You can do everything without touching the keyboard. My favourite command so far is "scratch that" for erasing something I've said wrong. I have a a tendency to try to speak fast for some reason and sometimes the words come out sideways or something. Another few weeks and I should be quite comfortable with it.
 

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