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Straight from the Dragon's Mouth

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Dragon's Mouth?

Writing, right from the dragon's mouth. I say Dragon because this contribution is made possible through Dragon NaturallySpeaking. Speech recognition is something I played with over the years, mostly less than successfully. This time however it is able to recognize my English dulcet tones, a major advance. I still have some small problems for example I prefer to say "full stop" rather than "period" and both words are actually commands to tell the computer to end the sentence. Occasionally Dragon writes "stop" instead of the full stop mark, buy I expect I muddled my speech.

One of the things I have long known is that you can speak faster than you can type. This would seem to be a good thing but at first glance, is it? If you know anything about writing you will understand that we speak very differently to the way that we write. This can be a challenge. It's not simply a case of speaking faster it is a case of speaking differently, for example the words we select.

Dragon can do fancy things like correct your text. I have noticed that it does get the occasional word completely wrong, but correcting it is not always straightforward. Yes it is possible to correct an individual word, but corrections are only part of the problem. I find any work I do has to be fully edited before I will allow it to be published and the majority of problems are fixed at that time, at which time I will add bold, italic, etc.

Can I grow to like this way of working?

I think I can but I would've liked to have had it two years ago when my eyes failed me so dramatically. Being able to talk to a machine would have been a good idea at that time. Yet is is not really possible to talk to Dragon, the reason, it isn't very interactive, it doesn't talk back, it doesn't tell me what I've said. There is a "read that" function, which can allow text to be read in the Dragon dictation box, such as the text I am typing now, but it doesn't help me read a web page. I had hoped to be able to dispense all my text-to-speech software. This is not a software that provides a voice interface.

I would like to do more than simply dictate to my computer. I want more than a computerised dictation machine, I want to start to have a conversation with the computer, tell it what I wish it to do. It must be voice activated, so voice recognition is the starting point, but Cortana (with Windows 10) and Google are already capable of accepting voice inputs (and provide responses). I find myself wanting more.

Voice dictation limits the number of typos that occur, but in truth it also brings its own faux pas.

What more is there?

Truth is this is a question I have been asking for a little while now. In part I fondly recall Captain Kirk talking to his computer, that was of course fictional, but it was a part of my youth. I am going to look at the possibility of having an AI assistant once I am used to working with Dragon. One step at a time.

Other work by Peter

Peter B. Giblett is a writer, editor and thinker. He has a blog, called GobbledeGoox and has written many articles on Wikinut.

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