Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Friday, February 3, 2012

Voice Recognition Software at RootsTech 2012

Yea for RootsTech. There is really no other place you can go to get the information and contacts that you can here. 

I have been trying to use voice recognition software for years. It is always an idea that sounds better in theory than in practice. Whenever I go to a conference and there is a class on voice or speech recognition, I always try to take the class just to see if anything has changed. I have also found that it will work a lot better with the right equipment; a digital headset and microphone. For years I dictated letters and legal documents to my secretary. I guess I have been looking for a program that would correct what I said into what I intended to say.

One of the problems I have using speech recognition to do things like write this Blog is that I don't write linearly and I end up going back, inserting words, sentences and other things constantly. I also have a lot of links, they can be done, but I type and enter data really fast and I have never gotten up to that speed with voice recognition. I don't have to think to use a mouse or a trackpad. Maybe, the software is up to speed now? I don't think the software responds at my speed yet.

Now you may have an entirely different experience.

The presentation at RootsTech is "Can You Hear Me Now? Voice Recognition Software and Genealogy" by Luana Darby. She introduces various software options including the voice recognition software built into Windows. Did you know Windows had voice recognition software? Neither did I, but from the description, I haven't missed anything.  Luana reviews many of the presently available commercial programs. The top program is still Dragon Naturally Speaking and the Mac version, Dragon Dictate.

Luana makes several suggestions to have success. You can completely control your computer by voice.

  • You must train the software over a period of a month.
  • Speak in a natural voice
  • Make sure there are no echoes, record in a quiet environment; ambient noise makes a difference
  • Learn the standard command prompts
  • The more you use the program, the greater the accuracy
  • Get a good microphone headset
  • Use a direct connection by USB to the computer not WiFi or Bluetooth
  • If you are using an iPhone use PureAudio an app
What can you use speech recognition for?
  • Old documents transcription
  • Reports
  • Letter writing
  • Notes into a genealogy database
The software is not quite able to transcribe old audio recordings because of the background hiss from the degradation of the media.

Assessment? I will probably try voice or speech recognition again. I have my headset right next to my computer and the program is loaded. If I find that I will be using VR, I will report in the future.

1 comment:

  1. I have the same problem with VR. As a paralegal, I type ... a lot. So I'm faster with the typing than the verbal commands. I try to remember to use it when I transcribe documents, but more often than not, I forget. I even have the most recent version of Dragon ... not sure if I'm afraid of it or if I can just do it faster myself. Let us know if you find any handy-dandy tips that will make it easier or more efficient.