Monday, November 08, 2010

speech recognition software and science inspired fiction

Quite amazingly, I'm dictating this blog post with Dragon NaturallySpeaking speech recognition software! Maybe I'm the last person to find this out, but this thing is bloody good! I got it four days ago,spent about 10 min training it, and it's really doing very very well. Not only can you dictate, you can also give commands to navigate around your computer. Unfortunately, this means that I can't use my laptop, which runs the LINUX operating system, so I have to use it on our Windows laptop which is just there for emergencies. I'm not a fan of Windows, I love Ubuntu, it's a brilliant operating system. Ah well, can't have it all.The oddest thing I'm finding is that I don't know what to do with my hands while I'm talking!Any (decent) suggestions welcome.Also, it's a bit hard to drink coffee and dictate at the same time!

I had a lovely time in the last few days to book launches, the ones I mentioned the end of my last blog post,Susannah Rickards' hot kitchen snow, and Vanessa Gebbie's storm warning: echoes of conflict. Great ideas for Christmas presents, if you're stuck!(sorry for the lack of links, really don't know how to do that with speech recognition.)

Just wanted to point you towards part one of a blog post I have up today on the amazing Wellcome collection blog. They asked me to write about science inspired fiction, and I wrote so much that they've split it into two parts! Part one is here: your comments are very welcome.


Sue Guiney said...

I thought about trying the speech recognition thing a lot but I couldn't believe it really works. I'm so glad to hear that it does. Amazing! Ok, I'm off to read the Wellcome blog now.

Matt Whyndham said...

I was gonna say (re RSI), try Dragon.

It's a bit like recitation, rather than writing, as far as my head's concerned.

I find I need to follow a recipe (takes 40 minutes, serves 5 emails or two blog posts):

drink water
scribble a script, enough for a couple 100 w
settle down
read it out (hand on pencil)
correct it
rest or pee
go to beginning

Kenney Mencher said...

Wow! I was thinking about how I would turn my art history lectures into notes my students can read. That sounds great!

By the way, I ordered your book on Amazon, enjoying it!

Tania Hershman said...

Sue, it really does work! but after five hours of talking to myself I felt like I was going bit mad…

Matt, I think you're onto something there! I can't do much writing by hand right now either, all to sore, but it's quite clear to me after today but it's not really possible to dictate and to create at the same time. Creating first, then the dictation!

Kenney,it's really worth it, I think. Other friends have told me how they write their fiction by hand first and then dictate it into the computer. Brilliant idea about the lecture notes! And thank you so much for ordering my book, and glad you're finding something in there that you're enjoying!

Neil said...

Hi Tania. I've just started using dictation software too. I'm a Mac person, and it works just as well.

I tried it first maybe ten years ago and found it really frustrating. Amazed at how good it is now.

I write short stories long-hand and then dictate them into the computer for editing.

Martha said...

Hi Tania, will be interested to hear if you keep using Dragon - I use it every now and again but due to a noisy house, it's not always practical. Still, I've found it great for fiction (but rubbish for technical writing as I use a lot of chemical names...) Off to look at Wellcome now. Hope your RSI is all better soon, M