Voice Recognition Software Is Impressive, But It Still Has a Long Way to Go

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Voice recognition software has been around for many years. Unless you had a high-end system, the program would have a lot of glitches in the early days.

Speech recognition has advanced to the point an application can recognize as much as 95% of what you say. There are, however, persistent problems that are mostly due to the current limitations of speech recognition software. External factors exist as well.

Here is a look at the pitfalls of such software and how they can be overcome.

Limited Recognition Capability

The accuracy of the software is affected by many things. Excluding issues such as poor signals from the microphone, the system may not understand the sound of a particular brand or surname because it is not programmed into the library. You might run into problems if the software does not recognize variations in phrasing.

Tones and positive/negative feedback is something researchers have been working on, but software in general is limited when body language is taken out of the equation. The same goes with accents. Speech recognition systems will misunderstand you if they are not programmed to identify specific speech patterns or consider alternate meanings of phrases.

Slow Performance

A lot of computer memory is inherently used by speech recognition systems. Unless you have a fast hard-drive and sound card, the system will run slower than you’d expect it to. In theory, speaking into a computer should allow you to draft a document much faster, since most individuals don’t type nearly as quickly as they talk. Another factor that can slow you down is having to proofread and correct documents that you dictate. This step of the process can add a bit of time and reduce the software’s efficiency.

Sound Quality

The ability to recognize sound is strongly dependent on the quality of the input. You should own a good quality microphone if you expect to get the most out of voice recognition software.

It should be able to filter out surrounding noise. If not, sounds and other voices can cause the program to input text that was not intended to be there.

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You should also work in a quiet area, with minimal distractions and noises that can affect the voice-to-text capabilities of the software. Sometimes people feel the need to speak louder than they usually would. You could end up straining your voice, although no research has indicated that using speech recognition systems carries any risk. However, make sure the area is quiet so you don’t have to strain at all.

How to Maximize the Potential of Your Voice Recognition Software

Whenever you use a speech recognition system on your computer, it’s always important to follow several protocols. A decent built-in microphone is a bonus. You also want to be able to read clearly and fluently to ensure maximum accuracy. Check the type of sound card that’s installed as well. The better the quality, the more accurate the software can be. Back up voice files can help too.

Despite the limitations, there are ways to get the most out of any voice recognition program. Speak close to the microphone and try your best to differentiate between similar sounding words. Sure, there may still be hiccups, but if you consider the work the software is doing for you, you can help it better perform its functions so editing documents is not so tedious.

Voice recognition software, as many can attest, still has a long way to go, even with advances in technologies like hybrid cloud computing. Its impressive capabilities keep evolving as do the techniques for using it. If you follow the tips in this article, you can get the most out of speech recognition and find it to be an advantage in many situations.

Rick Delgado is a business and technology consultant and writer based in Utah.

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