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by olivia beke

Busting the Myths about Speech-to-Text Software

(aka Speech Recognition)

Speech-to-Text software has a bad reputation. The reputation it has, whilst not necessarily a lie, is based on the software in its early days.

Let’s think about the first phone, having to spin to dial each number and wait an age for it to dial, compared to a phone you can get in 2021, the old phone was garbage in comparison, but what we have available now is a small computer you can do most things from instantly.

The same situation is to be said with Speech-to-Text, or now more commonly known as Speech Recognition. In the early days the software was just getting off of the ground, it was slow and took a lot of effort to get high accuracy levels, but was still amazing for the times, and used by many people as regardless of it’s flaws, it still saved them valuable hours every week.

Now in 2021 we demand faster, better, and lighter software, and the world’s #1 Speech Recognition engine, Dragon Professional Anywhere, delivers on this.

In this blog we will explore the 5 most common myths about Speech-To-Text software, where they came from, and why they are now false.

1. Speech-to-Text requires loads of training

It is true that Speech-to-Text software used to need a lot of training and would have trouble understanding the individual speaker until it had “learned” their voice.

However, in 2021 the top Speech Recognition solutions such as Dragon Professional Anywhere require no training at all and are ready to use straight “out of the box”. Boasting up to 99% accuracy straight away, documentation can be produced instantly with no upfront time commitment.

2. Speech-To-Text doesn't recognise strong accents

A common feature of many comedy sketches, one of my favourite being the 2 Scottish Men trying to use a Speech Recognition controlled lift. Speech Recognition did struggle with accents in the past.

Nowadays the software is accent agnostic due to the DNN technology being used. The software no longer picks up words but each tiny sound which is made, meaning the accent is irrelevant as the software is diving much deeper into the sound.

Video – 2 Scottish Men trying to use Speech Recognition controlled lift

3. Speech-to-Text doesn't work in noisy environments

Back in the day it was common to be misunderstood because the software had picked up on background noise and the user would have to start or correct the errors manually.

Between the advances in microphone technology and the software itself background noise is no longer an issue when dictating as it is cancelled out.

4. Speech-to-Text always makes the same mistakes

This whilst now being a myth for advanced Speech Recognition engines such as Dragon Professional Anywhere, is still true today of many “freeware” solutions, such as Google and Amazon engines, where they are just plain “Speech-To-Text” engines, you speak into them, they instantly translate it into text but that is all you can do.

Leading engines like Dragon Professional Anywhere are constantly learning and recognise your personal profile. If you want the word “plaintiff” to always be capitalised, you can teach the engine to do this, or if you want to want to add a commonly used name such as “Ajja’s Accountants” it won’t take you more than a minute to do.

Whilst on the topic of freeware solutions it is worth also noting that in professional environments such as Healthcare and Legal which require confidentiality it is important you check the T&C’s as often using such software can break your Data Protection Policies.

5. You need a top spec PC for Speech-to-Text to work properly

Yes, in the past Speech-to-Text software was incredibly greedy (or resource heavy), and many people put up with this due to the incredible time savings they were making with the software.

Fortunately, as the software has improved in performance, it has also become light-weight and can run on almost any PC of any spec.

It does still surprise me how many people were using Speech Recognition even with all of the issues it had in the past, it really is a testament to the impact the software has for professionals.

Discover the impact with none of the old issues free for 30 days with a trial of Dragon Professional Anywhere today. There are also Medical and Legal specific versions of the software.

So What now?

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