Taking Dictation: Testing Windows 10 Speech Recognition Software

Edited post

Hello everyone, it’s been a very long time between posts.  To be entirely honest, I only decided to do this post because I am trying out speech recognition software. My Surface Pro has Windows 10 which includes a free Speech Recognition program.

I decided to give dictation a go after reading a number of other blog posts espousing* the benefits of dictating into speech recognition software as a way of improving writing speed and output.  I read a few from The Creative Penn – check out this link for a list of Joanna’s posts on the topic: https://www.thecreativepenn.com/tag/dictation/ .
I’d recommend her YouTube videos on the topic as well.

This blog post is divided into two sections:

  • The first half (i.e. this half) – under the heading ‘Edited’ is the blog post proper. I have done my dictated draft, pasted it into WordPress, and then undertaken a reasonable edit. I expect it is what you are reading now.
  • The second half is my original – the dictated text pre-edit. Whilst I did correct terrible errors as I went (see below), it is still somewhat ‘raw’. It might be useful as an example of output.

At the time I dictated this, I was terribly uncertain as to how it would go. Sitting here doing my editing, I can say right now I am kinda impressed. I understand that before I will see any improvement in speed or accuracy, that the voice recognition software will requires a certain amount of ‘training’ – meaning that I will need to edit as I go.  I expect that editing as I go will slow things down in the short term, but in the long term I hope that windows 10 be accurate enough correctly capture me speaking naturally and without requiring constant self editing.  I figure I will need to give it a few weeks to see well it learns.

Apart from this experiment I’ve been trying to keep focus on my writing, doing my 350 words a day, and (broadly) I have achieved this. I recently started to push this out to 500 words a day.  All up my writing is going OK. The story I’m working on at the moment is up to 30,000 words – all terrible of course – but still sitting there, ready to go all the same.

I haven’t done too much more of the homework set by the Writing Excuses podcast crew, mainly because I found it chewed up more time than I was willing to dedicate to it.  I think the activities they suggest are valuable, but only if doing it doesn’t eat into the time of actually writing something.

I’m going to close off the blog post here – it was just intended to be a practice run after all.  Overall the experience while talking hasn’t been too bad (although it does feel unnatural to write out loud like this). I think my head is firmly in a mindset where I think as I type, and thinking and speaking feels really weird. 

Let me know if you’ve tried speech to text dictation. Have you used free software like the Windows 10 one I’m using, Siri, or perhaps some of the more powerful paid software like Dragon Naturally Speaking?  I’d be interested in your experiences, as if I can get this free program working reasonably well and start seeing the benefits it, I’ll look into buying Dragon.

Cheers
KT

*I absolutely threw in the word ‘espousing’ in an effort to trip up the software, and was both impressed and also a little miffed that it got it correct first time.

Original (raw speech-to-text dump)

Strictly this is attempt two.
Hello everyone, a long time between the blog posts. To be honest I’m only doing this one is an attempt to try out a speech recognition software. I have read a number of other blog posts, espousing the benefits of dictating writing into speech recognition software as a way of improving overall output. So this is me, giving ago.
The way I see this blog post working is as follows;
– Half the post will show the roar unedited results of my little experiment
– The other half will semi-final edited result.
I am not sure how this will go, and whether I will see any improvement in speed as I understand that voice recognition software requires a certain amount of “training”. And even if some doing this on finding it very hard not to automatically as I go. In the beginning I expect that editing as I go will slow things down in the short term, but in the long term I hope that windows 10 will learn how I speak. Eventually though, it will be important for me to be I was speaking naturally and without self editing. I figure give it a few weeks and see how things go.
What have I been doing recently? Apart from my regular work activities, I’ve been trying to keep focus on my writing, doing my 350 words a day, and recently have tried to push them out of 500 words a day. This going OK, the story I’m working on at the moment is up to 30,000 words space – all terrible of course – but still set down all the same.
I haven’t done too much of the homework set by the writing excuses crew, mainly because I found it chewed up more time and was willing to dedicate to it. I think it’s valuable, but only if a dozen key in the time of actually writing something.
I’m going to close off the ball post here, this was after all it just intended to be a bit of a practice run. Overall hasn’t been too bad although it is still a bit of fresh an unnatural to to write in this matter. I think my head is firmly in a mindset we are I think as I type, and thinking and speaking feels really weird. If
Let me know if you’ve tried speech to text dictation whether the free windows software, siri, or some of the more powerful paid software like a dragon naturally speaking. If I can get this working reasonably and can see the benefits in that, I’ll look at buying that software.

Published by: wildbilbo

My name is Kristian Thoroughgood, alternately known as KT to my friends, or @WildBilbo on twitter. As of August 2015, I am forty years old. Australian. My blog is intended to be both a place for me to polish my creative writing muscles (not a double entendre) and for others to read and comment on my musings. Expect short stories, articles, essays and other brain dumps. My opinions are my own, and whilst I take care to be at least moderately informed about any topic I speak or write about, these opinions are subject to rapid change in the face of passionate arguments and greater evidence. Please note - on my blog, Evidence beats Passion.

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