Tagged With speech recognition

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Speech recognition systems are assessed using a standard test called Switchboard - a collection of recorded telephone conversations. Microsoft has achieved a 5.1 human parity word error rate rate on this test using new machine learning techniques, putting their software on par with human transcribers who are concentrating hard on recognising and translating audio.

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One of the more useful and interesting features in OS X Mountain Lion is Dictation, which allows you to speak to your Mac and have your words translated to text. It's system-wide, and works in any app where text can be entered. Before you dive in and start speaking to your Mac, here's how to use it to its fullest.

Predicting the future is near impossible -- but that doesn‘t stop us all from having a red hot go. Human beings have been predicting the future since the beginning of history and the results range from the hilarious to the downright uncanny.

One thing all future predictions have in common: they‘re rooted in our current understanding of how the world works. It‘s difficult to escape that mindset. We have no idea how technology will evolve, so our ideas are connected to the technology of today.

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Chrome (Beta/Dev): Voice input is now baked into Chrome's beta version and soon to hit the standard, stable release. When it does, consider installing Speechify. This simple, handy extension adds a microphone icon to Google, Amazon and other sites, so you can simply say what you're searching for.

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The Vista for Beginners weblog walks through the process of setting advanced options for Windows Vista's Speech Recognition—from adding words to setting custom profiles for multiple users. If you've ever used speech recognition software with technical terms, you've probably noticed that your computer has no idea what you are talking about—so adding new words to the dictionary can really help with your daily workflow. Most of the options can be found by digging around the settings panel, but the guide covers everything with plenty of screenshots—well worth a read for anybody interested in making their computer do exactly what they say. For more, check out our own guides to controlling your PC with your voice and controlling Powerpoint presentations.

Windows Speech Recognition: How To Benefit From its Advanced Configuration Options

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Windows Vista's built-in speech recognition tools are seriously powerful and convenient, as Adam demonstrated by controlling his PC with his voice, but, as he noted, the process for adding seriously helpful macros to the "technical preview" macro tool isn't quite apparent. Luckily, Rob Chambers of Microsoft's speech division has posted a guide to editing, saving, and enabling speech macros in Vista. Good thing, too, because his own blog has lots of geekily awesome macros available for free copying: a Windows Media Player controller that lets you say something as casual as "Play something by Led Zeppelin"; a simple "Send email to ..." Outlook macro; and many more. Got some of your own favourite macros? Post 'em up in the comments. Thanks, Al!

Using Macros of the Day: A Step by Step Guide

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If you've started controlling your PC with your voice but were looking for more ways you can take advantage of speech recognition to make your computer do things, blogger and Microsoft employee Rob Chambers publishes a handful of free macros you can add to your Speech Macros folder to execute any time. For example, Rob's Next Slide macro advances a PowerPoint presentation when you say "Next slide" and goes back when you say "Previous slide."

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Taking a tip from Adam's recent look at Controlling your Vista PC with Speech Recognition Macros, the Productivity Portfolio blog takes an in-depth look at the speech recognition features built into nearly every Microsoft Office release since 2002. With a decent microphone and a little training, you'll be able to dictate, issue commands, and hear your content read back to you. For those with arm and hand injuries or anyone looking to get comfortable with voice commands, it's a helpful post.

Use Your Voice to Power Microsoft Word

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You've been talking to (or screaming at) your Windows PC for years, but unless you were willing to shell out hundreds of dollars on pricey software, chances are it wasn't listening to a word you were saying. With Microsoft's new freeware tool, Windows Speech Recognition Macros, the days of you talking into your computer's unsympathetic ear are over. Not only is it listening, but it's up to the task of doing whatever you want it to.

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Windows Vista only: Microsoft has released a free "Technical Preview" of new macro features for Vista's Speech Recognition features, offering the kind of text substitution and macro-keystroke-firing provided by Texter and similar apps to voice commands. The interface is extremely simple, as explained by Lifehacker reader Abdul—simply choose the type of macro you want to enable, give it the text or commands to fire, and turn on Vista's speech recognition. It worked pretty well with my cheap USB headset on a test run, and the software is pretty refined for a "preview." Windows Speech Recognition Macros is a free download for Windows Vista systems; downloading requires running a Windows Genuine validation tool.

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Speech recognition software can be a great solution for people with keyboard-related RSI, or those who like to capture their thoughts with a voice recorder. As Lifehack.org points out, commercial software (like Dragon Natually Speaking) can be expensive. But he offers a free solution -  Windows Vista has in-built speech recognition software.

This post runs you through how to set up Vista's SR program and train it to accurately transcribe your voice into text. He also includes some general tips for using speech recognition.

How to Use Windows Vista Speech Recognition