Dragon NaturallySpeaking 10 speech-to-text engine reviews itself
By Loz Blain
July 1, 2009
Note: this entire article has been written using the uncorrected output of Dragon's NaturallySpeaking speech-to-text engine. Regular podcast listeners will know that a couple of weeks ago I had the misfortune of falling off my motorcycle. Well, it turns out I broke my wrist in the accident, which makes it pretty tough to type. This stupid plaster casts can be on for at least six weeks so I figured I'd better watch out an alternative that would let me keep writing. And here it is: the number one speech to text engine on the market, Dragon NaturallySpeaking. And what better way to review a speech to text product and the Post an article written entirely using it, and completely uncorrected will stop
Last time we looked at the Dragon speech to text engine it was pretty rudimentary. But that was several years ago, and things are bound to have come a long way since. Now that I'm forced out of necessity to look at hands-free typing solutions like this, the stakes are a bit higher will stop
The first version of Dragon Dictate sold to US$9000 per single user licence back in 1990, which puts version tends 450 Australian dollar prostate into some context. By prostate, of course, I mean pricetag. (That price is for the preferred wireless version, which includes a Plantronics Bluetooth headset stop)
Installation and setup is simple enough, you get to choose which language dictionary you're going to translate into and you get to warn about what kind of accent you've got. In my case that some of the accent -- sorry, in my case that an Aussie accent, but the system can cater for British, Indian, Spanish, Southeast Asian, and several different types of US accents will stop
Choosing the right accent, dictionary and audio device set of options are of critical. The software was completely unable to understand me if I, for example, used to Bluetooth headset with the audio levels were set for a line-in microphone will stop -- by the way, every time you see "will stop" at the end of a sentence, that's just Dragon mishearing me saying "full stop will stop"
This is day two of my Dragon experience, and I understand that the system needs to spend time learning and adapting to the way that I speak. Each time, for example, that I correct a word that's come out wrong, Dragon apparently takes this into consideration the next time you something similar.
There is also the option to "train" the system by reading it a selection of texts to allow it to calibrate your voice type. I've already done three have about 12, but I'm not sure the unseen massive improvements.
I should also add, that as a professional writer I'm very much used to thinking through my fingertips. It's actually proving to be quite a challenge to learn to construct sentences verbally and on-the-fly will stop it feels clumsy and awkward -- and I find that to be a really interesting experience, a new skill to get my head around.
Where Dragon does Miss EU and take down the wrong word, it's easy enough to go back and corrected, but this is a pretty fiddly process. In fact, the claim on the box that writing documents using Dragon is more than three times faster than typing, is looking like absolute bushes to me. Getting a slab of text down on the page might be a lot quicker, but the process of going back on correcting every mistake using voice commands seems to take forever will stop
One thing it has proved exceptional at his amusing friends in instant messaging conversations. Nobody seems to get tired of listening to me complain about the sucking stupid thing, and while I'm aware that you can train to swear, I find it much funnier to see what the car comes up with by itself stop
I've got at least a month or 2 to spend getting used to Dragon, and I have no doubt that it will improve as it says it will on 10. We record a lot of interviews here it Gizmag, and were looking forward to the opportunity to use it to transcribe interviews for its. Note: the ability to import audio files and have them transcribed is only available on the preferred and professional editions, not the standard edition of Dragon 10.
But I have to say that at first glance, it seems that the biggest surprise about speech to text software in this day and age is that there doesn't seem to be a lot of surprises. if you have ever spent time on the phone yelling and swearing an automated response system, you know roughly what you're in for will stop for the most part, Dragon seemed to do its job fairly well, but when it's stuff things up its sucking infuriating.
Perhaps in the interests of fairness, I should post another review in a month's time. Till then apologies in advance to my editor Knoll is perhaps on correcting the -- wow, way to end on a bad night.