By Timothy Dyck  |  Posted 2003-05-05 Print this article Print


In testing, one of the biggest challenges was speaking so that we enunciated each word carefully enough.

We had initial problems with prepositions being omitted from text and with some words being consistently misinterpreted. ("Commoditization" and "may be" were problems for us.)

We also had trouble with verbs being recognized with the wrong tense (for example, "enable" versus "enabled").

After adjusting our speaking patterns over time and making consistent use of the word recognition training facilities that come with NaturallySpeaking, we found that problem words were subsequently recognized correctly. This is a package that rewards persistence and user dedication.

We found that dictation worked best for creating initial drafts, but it wasnt well-suited for handling further document editing. There are good facilities for text selection and editing in the package, but moving text, joining and splitting sentences, and general navigation were faster with a keyboard than with equivalent voice commands.

An organizational issue that businesses need to weigh is whether the sound of dictation and correction will disturb nearby co-workers. Quiet, private offices are definitely the optimal environment for speech recognition.

Timothy Dyck is a Senior Analyst with eWEEK Labs. He has been testing and reviewing application server, database and middleware products and technologies for eWEEK since 1996. Prior to joining eWEEK, he worked at the LAN and WAN network operations center for a large telecommunications firm, in operating systems and development tools technical marketing for a large software company and in the IT department at a government agency. He has an honors bachelors degree of mathematics in computer science from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, and a masters of arts degree in journalism from the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada.

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