When I Talk, My Computer Types!

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17 Νοε 2013 (πριν από 3 χρόνια και 6 μήνες)

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When I Talk,

My Computer Types!

By Karl Barksdale


After more than three decades of speculation about when speech recognition
software would be ready for prime time, Continuous Speech Recognition (CSR)
programs are now gaining popularity. With increased p
rocessor speeds,
declining memory costs, and increased storage capacity, the personal computer
can now “type” (key) in response to the spoken word.


The voice revolution began in the 1960s at IBM’s famed Thomas J. Watson
Research Center in Hawthorne, New
York. IBM has long believed that the next
jump in computer productivity would be caused by a voice
-
interface revolution.
To this end, they committed three decades of research to study voice
recognition. And they were not alone in their belief in the potent
ial of voice
-
typing. While IBM was introducing its CSR software called
ViaVoice
, other
companies were introducing CSR systems of their own.




Dragon Systems impressed customers and analysts alike with
NaturallySpeaking
1
.




Lernout & Hauspie excited the crowd

with
VoiceXpress
.




Philips shone the spotlight on its
FreeSpeech
software.




Microsoft introduced
Microsoft Speech Recognition
.




Dozens of smaller companies began to compete in the vigorous CSR
marketplace.


The voice recognition software now available ha
s progressed to the point that,
when you talk, your computer can key your words accurately. CSR is efficient
for students, consumers, and workers in many professions.


The Dream Versus the Reality


Star Trek
made talking to computers look so easy.


Things
are never as easy as they appear in the movies. The truth is, it takes time
and work to learn the basics of a CSR program. After the basics have been
conquered, it takes additional time for dedicated practice to train your computer
to understand your uniqu
e way of speaking.


The results can be astounding. A typical student who spends adequate time
training the software can expect to voice
-
key between 110 and 160 words per
minute (wpm) with 90 to 95 percent accuracy. Voice
-
keying of over 130 words
per minute

with accuracy exceeding 96 percent is commonplace after training.


Health and Safety Issues


Beyond the obvious input efficiencies for data entry, there are other reasons why
businesses and schools are accepting voice. There is concern about the
prevalenc
e of repetitive stress injuries (RSI) and carpal tunnel syndrome in the
When I Talk, My Computer Types!

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2

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3

workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) calls
these injuries
work
-
related musculoskeletal disorders
, or WMSDs.

It is interesting to note that the sharp rise

in WMSDs corresponds with the
infusion of personal computers into the workplace starting in the mid
-
1980s.
While most WMSDs still occur in the manufacturing sector, office workers,
using computer keyboards and the mouse, now suffer a significantly high
po
rtion of WMSDs. Speech recognition technology represents a very important
weapon in the battle against WMSDs. While it is possible to take preventative
measures against WMSDs (e.g., frequent breaks, hand and finger exercises, wise
choices in office furnitu
re), voice technology does take stress off the hands.


Voice dictation can help office workers who depend on keyboarding for their
livelihoods. CSR systems can dramatically reduce the number of repetitive
keystrokes these workers must make each day. Does t
his mean that some office
workers can quit keying and use voice instead? For many suffering with
WMSDs, the answer is an emphatic YES! For many carpal tunnel syndrome and
RSI sufferers, voice is a highly effective alternative to keyboarding.


Blending Keyb
oarding with Voice Input


Even on
Star Trek
, Mr. Spock and Commander Data key on their consoles from
time to time.


Most of us will continue to key part of the time and use our CSR software the
rest of the time. It is therefore essential that keyboarding
instruction continue to
emphasize correct keying techniques and proper computer
-
office ergonomics. In
some situations it will be difficult, if not impossible, to use a CSR program; for
instance, taking notes on your computer during a lecture or a sales con
ference.
Also, speaking all day to a computer can cause problems with your vocal cords.
If you are going to use voice dictation software, you had better keep your water
bottle handy and give your voice a rest by keying with your hands every once in
a while
!


However, if you use a CSR program for even 50 percent of the time you spend
in front of a computer, your chances of suffering severe WMSDs as you get
older will diminish. So, if for no other reason than to avoid future long
-
term pain
and suffering, a C
SR program is well worth learning. Millions of people are
already using voice recognition technology

at school and on the job.


1
Now owned by Lernout & Hauspie (L&H)


Hardware and Software Requirements


Minimum
Windows
-
Based Hardware




Pentium II 266 MHz or

AMD K6
-
2 333 MHz or higher processor




64 MB of RAM




200 MB of hard drive space




10 additional MB of hard drive space for each new student on that
specific computer




Creative Labs Sound Blaster 16 or other approved sound card


When I Talk, My Computer Types!

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3

Recommended
Windows
-
Based Har
dware



Pentium III 450 MHz equivalent or higher processor




128 MB of RAM




300 MB of hard drive space




10 additional MB of hard drive space for each new student on that
specific computer




Creative Labs Sound Blaster 16 or other approved sound card


Minimum M
acintosh
-
Based Hardware




350 MHz G3 processor or higher




64 MB of RAM (128 MB of RAM recommended)




300 MB of hard drive space




10 additional MB of hard drive space for each new student on that
specific computer


This article has been updated since it appea
red in
Voice Technology Basics
, ©
2000, South
-
Western Educational Publishing. We would like to thank the
author, a recognized Continuous Speech Recognition authority and enthusiast.

--------------------------------

Reprinted from
Century 21 Computer Appli
cations & Keyboarding, 7
th

Edition


Instructor’s
Manual