Friday, November 18, 2011

The Dragon's Progress

When working with my son, a surgeon, in his rooms during recent times I heard him  dictating his medical reports at a rate of knots via voice recognition software. I was so impressed with the accuracy of his package to deal with complex medical terminology dictated at lightning speed that I vowed to purchase similar software for myself.

The Dragon appeared at my house about a month ago. Since them I have been working on taming it and making it work for me. At times the Dragon amazes me with its accuracy and at other times causes me great frustration.

I will continue to work with the  Dragon NaturallySpeaking Premium Version that I have installed on my laptop computer. I am amazed when the software accurately records proper names and place names and some quite complex phrases and sentences. What I find intensely annoying is its poor recognition of the full stop command and some simple words such as I, me, the, et cetera.

My arthritic fingers appreciate being liberated from the typing task. When I don't have to type I find that I am able to concentrate more fully on the subject matter about which I am writing. When I dictate into Dragon the quality of my writing seems better in the first draft and I don't have to spend so much time on subsequent editing. There are of course no typos from Dragon when it is doing its job.

I have used the Dragon in a few applications including Blogger, Outlook, Google Docs, Microsoft Word and even in Twitter. Dragon's accuracy in each of these programs is of a similar standard. Reading this reminds me that I must try Dragon in Excel and Google spreadsheets, programs that I use regularly.

Dragon is a complex piece of software with many VoiceCommands that one can employ to streamline dictation process and other tasks such as Internet searches. I am hastening slowly with this new tool  consciously teaching myself a couple of new commands per week and others on a needs basis.

My previous experiments with voice recognition software have been disastrous. I am quite positive about this new product and expect even better results as it becomes more familiar with my vocabulary and voice.

If you, like me, lack keyboarding skills I would encourage you to purchase and persevere with a Dragon


Anonymous said...

Thanks for your feedback on this would be a real boon for people whose medical condition makes typing non-stop a problem. I've been considering it for purposes of speed but reluctant to lose my hard-won typing "skills"...I taught myself years ago. Let's say the words were not always polite. I've had a couple of bosses who use the Dragon with mostly successful results - and they both had very strong accents and one was an amalgam of national's a clever little dragon.

Joan Miller (Luxegen) said...

Interesting! I need software to transcribe the voices of several people speaking at Mom's 80th BD party. Will it do that or does it have to be 'trained' for each different voice?


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