Feb 01, 2012

How reliable is current voice recognition software for business use?

When I was in college, I used Dragon Naturally Speaking (at least I think it was that program) for drafts of papers. Frankly, I spent more time correcting than writing, replacing poorly transcribed terms like Eon Burr, Um Burr, amber when I just wanted to write Aaron Burr. I do some part-time work for a local law firm, and the attorneys have expressed a desire to be able to use voice recognition software for dictation. As one of them pointed out, "Siri does a pretty good job of understanding what I say, and if my phone can do it, why can't my desktop?" How good is the current generation of voice recognition software? Has it reached the point where it really can be used for dictation without spending a ton of time making corrections?

Depends on the speech recognition software that you are using. I am using Braina speech recognition software and it works quite accurately. Other plus point of Braina over Dragon is that it doesn't need any training and you can start using it as soon as you install it. Moreover, it is also a personal assistant software like Cortana and Siri. Dragon is good too but its quite pricey.

I personally use the latest version of Dragon Naturally Speaking (ver 11) and really like it, though I'm not in a noisy environment. This new version was truly an upgrade to any previous version.


The initial tuning is not enough to be very precise, however, there is a very good built-in accuracy tool that you could spend 30+ minutes fine-tuning speech recognition. The accuracy tool allows you to select from a number of different speech types, i.e. easy reading, technical writing, etc. Additionally, it has an easy method to add words to the database when dictating, which really comes in handy.


Resource: Voice Recognition Software Reviews


Gus Miles

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Some of it depends on the person.  All voice recognition software works better the more clearly people e-nun-see-ate (enunciate).  Even so, I've used Dragon over the years, and it has gotten very good.  The others I am not really familiar with.  It is pretty close to the point of matching a good secretary transcribing dictation, and has surpassed mediocre ones.  Really the only thing that you have to adjust to is remembering to verbally say punctuation (comma, period, etc.), but you have to do that with a lot of secretaries as well.  If your office is loud, the accuracy will go down slightly, but not as much as you might expect.  With a law office, that probably wouldn't be an issue for an attorney.  I find that Dragon is perfectly usable for most dictation needs, but don't expect 100% accuracy.   

I haven't used it so I can't give you a first hand opinion about it. But here are some links that might help answer your questions.

What is the best speech recognition software out there?

PCMag Speech Recognition Reviews
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