[AI] No more keys!

vishnu ramchandani vishnuhappy at yahoo.com
Tue May 27 06:08:10 EDT 2008

No more keys!

Author: Priyadarshini Nandy

Looking to save time on typing out letters? Ever
considered a speech recognition software?

Things need to get typed and not everyone is an ace at
the keyboard. Fortunately, one doesn’t always have to
be a keyboard champ. Thanks to voice recognition
software that converts speech to text, all one has to
do now is talk and leave the typing to the software.
There are a handful of good speech-to-text software
that are available in the market, but a user should
always test the product out before making the

Speak away

Microsoft Windows’ speech recognition enables the
operating system to convert spoken words to written
text. An internal driver, called an speech recognition
engine, recognises words and converts them to text.

The speech recognition engine may be installed with
the operating system or at a later time with other

The Microsoft Speech Recognition Training Wizard
(Voice Training Wizard) guides you through the
process, recommends the best position to place the
and allows you to test it for optimal results.

For the impaired

There is an increasing use of speech-to-text
technologies to provide communication access for those
who cannot hear, or otherwise cannot directly perceive
spoken language. Caption Mic is a do-it-yourself
captioning system that produces captions with the help
of speech recognition technology. A voice captioner
echoes what is spoken at an event, and the resulting
captions are displayed on a TV monitor or other
display device. 

C-Print is a speech-to-text system developed at the
National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID), a
college of Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT),
as a communication access service option for deaf and
hard-of-hearing students in educational environments.
TypeWell is a system for transcribing speech
to text.  It is an effective learning tool for deaf
and hard of hearing people, as well as those with
visual, physical or learning difficulties.

e-Speaking, another software that can only be
downloaded from the web comes with over 100 commands
built-in and ability to add more commands. It runs on
Windows2000 and WindowsXP, utilises latest
technologies from Microsoft and seamlesly integrate
with MS Office and is easy to use.

Latest addition

Nuance, a 10-year old company has also launched their
speech to text software called Dragon Naturally
Speaking. Of all the software available, this is
the only one that comes with and Indian edition. “It
takes the software seven minutes to recognise speech
and customise it and delivers up to 95 per cent
accuracy. Dragon works on pretty much all sorts of
text-related software,” says Manish Rajkumar Goenka,
head speech and imaging department.

The software has seen a clientele that ranges from the
legal offices, corporate houses to even journalists.
“We also have visually-impaired people using
the product. The good thing about the product is that
it has variations, one of which  (the preferred
edition) allows you to read back the text in speech
so in case there are any errors, you can make the
necessary changes,” he adds. 

“What sets us apart from the rest is that the software
actually identifies Indian English. You don’t have to
speak with a unaccented voice or an American
accent at all. Plus you can customise the software for
typical words,’ concludes Manish.

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