Day 162: Yes, I really am talking to my computer, or writing a blog post with speech recognition software

Dragon NaturallySpeaking running in a VM!

Dragon NaturallySpeaking running in a VM! (Photo credit: Arthur H.)

I can manually type. Compared to most peoples typing speed is terribly slow and painstaking, though it has gotten much faster since I was in elementary school. Shortly before I went to college I was introduced to a program which has been of immense help to me and immense confusion to others. Dragon NaturallySpeaking is probably the best speech recognition software out on the market to date and I’m sure my English courses would  have suffered greatly had I not been able to utilize it. I have lost count how many people have walked into my computer room and asked me if I was indeed talking to my computer, to which my answer usually is, yes I am, and it only answers back when I ask it to. The bewildered expression on their faces inevitably lead to an impromptu demonstration. One of the more annoying aspects of typing via voice control is that people often inadvertently mess your writing by speaking too loudly too close to the microphone. As a matter of fact when I was a freshman in college I had someone take perverse joy in deliberately messing up one of my freshman composition papers after I had explained to him that he would have to speak quietly or else the microphone would pick up when he said and alter my voice pattern file. Of course he then proceeded to speak so loudly that the program typed at least a page and a half of complete gibberish and it took me three days to retrain the voice file and finish the paper correctly. Because of similar incidents (though thankfully none quite as frustrating as the first) I seriously considered setting up one of those red lights that photographers have outside of their darkrooms as a signal for people to stay out lest they ruin the film. Or maybe just a sign that says “shhh, blogging/writing in progress to hang outside my door.I still think the photographer’s light would be cool though.

2 thoughts on “Day 162: Yes, I really am talking to my computer, or writing a blog post with speech recognition software

  1. I love Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Yeah, there is a bit of a learning curve, but it’s just so neat seeing your words magically appear onscreen as you say them.

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