Thursday, 18 August 2011


Hullo ma wee blog,

This may look like an ordinary blog. As you read it, it may even sound like an ordinary blog, but from this end of the laptop it's a different beast altogether. The reason for that is that this blog is being written without me even touching the keyboard in any way. I can absolutely promise you that my dainty little fingers have not been banging away in the usual four, five or six – fingered typing style in order to allow you to read this.
A few weeks ago I bought and installed a voice recognition system for the laptop which allows me – when connected to the laptop by a headset – to dictate speech into a microphone and have it translated into type automatically. It's taken me a while to get used to the system but now I've been using it for some time it's become used to the nuances of my speech patterns and so the words are typed as fast as I speak them.
Hopefully this will encourage me to do a bit more blogging although that hasn't happened this week as I've not been feeling particularly well. I have spent some time working with the word recognition system - which is called 'DragonSpeak' - and have used it to collate together lots of poems for future ‘Sunday Posts’. I've also spent some time reading up on background information on the series of blogs I want to do about " putting Scotland on the map" which I hope will mean that these can be posted a bit earlier than was possibly going to happen, at least if I was operating the laptop in the traditional way.
I do feel the voice recognition system is still a bit stilted and I'm not used to being so organised in my thoughts that I have everything prepared to just speak it out and have it land on the page fully formed. Hopefully though, that will come in time.
One thing is for sure; this has taken a fraction of the time it previously would have done even for this short post, if I had been typing it in the traditional manner. Although it's strange to hear your voice echoing in your head while you're sitting alone in front of the laptop, I hope I get used to it pretty quickly and become even faster in knocking out the odd blog post.

So, that's the news for just now.

Isn't technology wonderful!
See you later.

Listening to;


Morning's Minion said...

How well do these devices adapt to regional 'accents?'
The editor of our local online magazine [to which I contribute the odd photo essay] was musing that given the quirks of typical Kentucky-speak, one of these would be struggling to interpret and phonetically spell, rashly adding the syllables that typify a 'southern drawl.'
My speech is a rather bland eastern US version--which I think such a device could utilize. Surely most anything could type more accurately than I can!

dbs said...

Sounds great. So does Mad World, although I have the Gary Jules version on my iPod.

Antares Cryptos said...

Tried one of them a while back.
The only words the bloody thing got right was the swearing.

Good luck with yours.

Alistair said...

MM - thankfully this seems to be doing okay. The longer you work with it the more accurate it becomes as it gets used to the way your individual voice sounds. It's a clever bit of kit – so far at least!

dbs- it certainly seems to be doing the trick so far. Mad world is a great track isn't it? The Gary Jules version is classic. I'm sure I posted that great video on one of my earliest posts.

AC - I did go through a rough patch with about two weeks ago when it didn't seem to be picking up much of what I was saying and I seemed to be spending all my time making connections, but just having spent a bit of extended time on the programme this week seems to have turned a corner and as I said above it does seem to be doing what it's supposed to do.

Alistair said...

Still misses the odd bit here and there though.

coastkid said...

Good you ave the software working Al,
i have that song by Gary Jules, sometimes i hum it at work when it gets a bit daft!

Kat_RN said...

My laptop came with voice recognition included. I did the work to set it up and practiced with it till it does a great job, but I rarely use it. I do type well (most of the time)so it isn't really necessary.
I also have a tablet that plugs into the lap top that allows me to write long hand and convert to type. I use that for a lot of my digital art and it is quite useful for me.
I approve of anything that gets you to post more as I enjoy reading everything you write.

Alistair said...

Kat - Cheers. Kind of you to say so....

Alistair said...

CK - thanks too. So far so good. Incredibly sad lyrics of that song though don't you think....

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