Voice Recognition–not yet…

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Voice recognition – I’ve been waiting for a long time (and yes, I’ve used Dragon – its good, but not great). Certainly the product has improved in the past five years I’ve used it, as has Omnipage (for OCR conversion) but processors on PC’s have grown significantly better while the improvements in these programs. Between handwriting recognition (which by the way is even worse), voice and scanned page I’ve been expecting a big explosion in features and functionality now for nearly 10 years.

Again, not to knock the programs because frankly they are much better now than they were, but somehow I’ve been expecting more. The reality has to do with the human voice and in particular the slight variations all human beings have in how they pronounce words. The scanning and optical character resolution (OCR) capabilities aren’t growing as fast because the number of paper documents you interact with is declining. But voice recognition is a growing area. Try telling your car where to go if you have voice enabled GPS. Sure, it looks cool in the commercials, but it is something to rely on in an emergency.

Its not like we can go into every school in the world and teach people the same 84 words to make it easier on voice recognition programs. We need to have a way to harness the power of the voice. You can train dragon and yes it does it get better over time. You can use a higher quality audio input device (that also helps) but in the end the technology is still to slow.

So, I guess I keep waiting.

.doc

Scott Andersen

IASA Fellow.