3 February 2018

Voice Recognition – Worth It?

Earlier this week planets aligned: a lengthy copy-typing task, and I attempted to add the end of one finger to a pile of carrots I was dicing – new knives tend to be sharp.

As luck would have it I’d been reading a blogpost from Joanna Penn (‘The Creative Penn’) on using voice recognition software. And what did I have lurking in a cupboard but Dragon NaturallySpeaking 11.5 which I’d had for years (2011) but never got on with. 

Taking advice from her interview with Scott Baker regarding a healthier writing life, I dropped my old headset mike, ordered a USB desk mike, and began training myself to enunciate properly – fun with my accent. To my surprise it didn’t take long to show decent results, even when I tried it with just the laptop’s internal microphone.

More than that, the constant ache at the bottom of my back and across my shoulders eased substantially. I know I hunch over the keyboard, but I didn’t realise how tense I held myself.

Have I tried creating fiction via dictating? Not yet, but I intend to. My biggest hurdle will be thinking in long enough phrases. Dragon doesn’t understand individual words but context, and the more context the less likely it is to mis-recognise individual words.

Did I use it for this blog post? Yes – with additional editing input from my fingers – LOL! Part of the reason is that I've set up two profiles: one for the copy-typing task and one for my chat, and the former has had a more intense learning curve.

For those who wish to know such things (I usually do) the USB desk microphone is an entry-level (FiFine) on a six-year-old laptop using Windows 7. Dragon NaturallySpeaking Home editions have now reached #13 but looking at some current reviews not everyone is happy. I shall be sticking with my #11.5.

No comments :

Post a comment