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Speech Recognition Software Converts Speech to Text

Updated on April 25, 2011

Dragon NaturallySpeaking Speech Recognition software

Wouldn't it be great if there is a software that can convert your speech into text. You would just talk out loud what you want to write, and the computer will just type it out for you.

If you are a writer, a blogger, of someone who is writing articles on HubPages, wouldn't that be a great productivity enhancing tool?

The fact is, there are such software out there. They have been around for a while.

The software that I use is Dragon NaturallySpeaking by Nuance. I often use it to produce the articles on HubPages, including this one.

Typing Gets in the Way of Thinking

How many of you can think and type at the same time? Okay, most of you. And if you were to ask a teenager, they would probably say "Of course, they can". They routinely text, listen to music, and do their homework all at the same time (or so they claim). However as we get much older, our brain slows down. And we cannot multi-task as easily.

Typing actually gets in the way of our thinking, or vice versa. Typing breaks the train of thought. When one is typing, one has to remember the correct spelling, figure out the right punctuation, and try to get the fingers not to stumble over each other. All this mental activity gets in the way of our train of thought. By the time we figured out whether the correct spelling is "weather" or "whether", we might have lost our train of thought already.

With speech recognition software, this does not happen as much. You don't have to worry about spelling, it has a built-in dictionary that spells words correctly for you. And your fingers do not stumble over each other. The only thing you have to worry about is not getting tongue tied.

With Dragon Naturally Speaking software, you speak at regularly talking speed. You do not need to say one word at a time. That's why they call it NaturallySpeaking. You do not have to wait for the software to type out the words, even though it may not display the words as fast a you say it. It remembers what you said and will catch up with your speech when you pause to take a breath.

Dragon Naturally Speaking Software

The software is available for the Mac and the PC. I had purchased Dragon Naturally Speaking because I felt that it has the greatest accuracy of any other software on the market at the time. I did not regret it. I felt that it would increase my productivity. It did.

Yes, the software does make mistakes. The accuracy depends on your speech pattern and accent. Obviously, if you are a native English speaker with near-perfect enunciation of English words, your accuracy will be much greater. If English is your second language, the software will make more mistakes.

All I can say is that even with the errors that the software makes, it is still faster than me typing out my articles by hand. If it was not, I would not be using it.

On their website they say it is three times faster than typing on average. That depends on how fast you type of course. It can be much faster than 3x if you are a slow typist.

They have a demo video showing the software in action here so that you can see the accuracy yourself. The software works best when you use a headset. If you don't have a headset, one is included with the software. The software trains to your voice so its accuracy improves the more you use it.

Nuance also produces Dragon Dictation for iPad, iPhone, and iPod touch.


Article written April 2011 and is opinion of author at the time of writing. Author uses the product mentioned and may receive revenue from the display ads and links within article.


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