I have played with voice recognition software on and off over the years. My Mac has been able to recognise basic instructions for some time and I have had a licence for DragonDictate from back in the days when it was Macspeech. Using these tools has always been a little bit frustrating though. They have invariably been inaccurate and unreliable. However, I am really enjoying using DragonDictate 3.0. For the first time it is consistently usable. In fact I’m writing this blog post with it, speaking at an almost normal speed with little or no need to go back and correct.
I am also loving Siri on my iPhone. It is so much easier to say “Wake me up at 7 o’clock” than to have to work through menus to set up alarms in the clock application. It is even easier to say “What time is it” than to dig into my pocket or rucksack to take my phone out to look at it! Okay so it is frustrating that Siri relies on a decent Internet connection but it consistently blows me away that it is even remotely possible to talk to my phone, being careless about syntax, and have it understand me and do what I ask.
It seems incredible, and the stuff of science fiction, to be able to control my computers, and have them do my writing for me, simply through the use of my voice. There may be unforeseen consequences though. I have often, in the past, been commended for the concision of my blog posts. Part of the reason for this concision was that I didn’t like typing. Brace yourselves for unconstrained verbosity!