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On Voice Recognition Accuracy

This interesting post on voice recognition on The Streeb-Greebling Diaries brings up something that always irritates me a little bit. Folks are always saying that until voice recognition gets past 99% to 99.9% accuracy it is not useful. I would agree that if you’re going to try to use it to replace a keyboard this is highly desireable, if unrealistic. I say unrealistic because how often do people even type with 99.9% accuracy?

Experiment: remove the backspace key from your keyboard, and see how long you can type before your finger crashes into the empty spot.

But even so, when used with a digital voice recorder for recording thoughts on the run, even at 75% accuracy it beats the pants off of manual transcription. Sure, what you get is not polished ad-copy, but to ensure you get your notes on paper in a complete way it works quite well. It’s also a lot easier to record thoughts this way while driving, or walking a trade show or conference, or just walking down the street.

Just so we’re clear, though, if they increase the accuracy, I won’t mind 😉 The rest of Streeb’s post, which covers recent advances in the voice recognition field is interesting and worth a look (along with the links to MIT and such).

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