Re: voice recognition tools

Subject: Re: voice recognition tools
From: Peter <pnewman1 -at- home -dot- com>
To: Jeff Hanvey <jewahe -at- mailandnews -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 09 Sep 2000 07:26:11 -0400

Jeff Hanvey wrote:
> I currently have Via Voice 98 Home Edition and I HATE it.
> I don't have a particularly strong Southern accent, but it constantly says
> "pardon me?" because it has no clue what I'm saying.
> Maybe it's improved since this version, but my understanding is that all
> voice recognition software is woefully inadequate for everyday use.

I cannot agree that all voice recognition software is "woefully
inadequate for everyday use." You do not say what sound card you are
using, nor do you tell us how much memory you have. A good sound card,
decent noise canceling microphone and lots of memory are the key to
satisfaction with any voice recognition product.
I have been using voice recognition products since 1994 and have found
that it is a tremendous aid to document production. With the earlier
versions, using a 486, I was able to eliminate half a secretary in a
busy office. In the early days I was able to achieve higher recognition
rates through the use of voice macros. I do however, agree that voice
recognition is not for everybody. One must have patience to train it
properly. I am experimenting with the new Microsoft's speech API.
Although it is an early beta version, it functions reasonably well out
of the box.
ViaVoice Home is a low end voice recognition product. My guess is that
you are also using it with a low end microphone. For serious production
use you should only use either: ViaVoice Millennium, Executive or
Professional; or Dragon NaturallySpeaking, Premium or Professional.
Dragon NaturallySpeaking version 4.0 requires about 20 minutes of
training. It has a feature called "vocabulary builder" that permits you
to add words to your active vocabulary. Both products also have
reasonable context recognition algorithms. In order to adopt these
algorithms to your style, you must run the vocabulary builder. Here is
an example of context recognition: Mr. Wright was right when he wanted
to write this letter about the time he went to see the beautiful blue
sea. I have even been able to get good context recognition with the
phrase "which witch is which."
If anyone is seriously interested in the possibility of using voice
recognition as an input device, I would strongly recommend that they
contacted a local Dragon certified VAR. A competent one will be worth
for more than the money you will have to pay him/her.
I have not tried using Dragon NaturallySpeaking in Frame, however Dragon
should be functional because Dragon is designed to operate them all
Windows applications. Notwithstanding the foregoing sentence I have
found that some features, mainly the ability to select text by voice,
may not be functional in all Windows applications.
I have found that after training my accuracy rate is approximately 96%.
I have not really measured my speed, but I find types just about as fast
as I can speak. I am using a PIII 500 with 256 MB of memory. My notebook
has a similar configuration except that it has a Celeron 500.
This message has been dictated using Dragon NaturallySpeaking,
professional version 4.0. However, I have done a minimal amount of
keyboard intervention.

BTW, If your typing is not 100% accurate, why would you expect 100
percent accuracy from a different input device. (Just a thought.)

"When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a
minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute-and it's
longer than any hour. That's relativity," - Einstein-

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