Voice Recognition Software Brittany Holman: SED 540
What is Voice Recognition Software?Voice recognition software allows you to talk to your computer wearing a headset, so that what you say into the microphone is typed on your screen. Some software also allows you to verbally work the mouse on your computer.Certain software also enables the computer to directly read text to you from the computer screen.Certain programs, specifically for people with a deteriorating speech, save the user speech after every session so it is able to keep up and still understand the speech next time.
Who is Voice Recognition Software Designed For?Voice recognition software was initially designed for using in automated phone systems, like when you call the cable company to pay your bill and you talk with a machine.This type of software is also used in businesses, primarily for medical and legal transcriptions.
Which types of students with disabilities most benefit from this?Although not initially designed for students/people with disabilities, voice recognition software has grown to be incredibly helpful in this area.People with no hands, or those that are unable to type for whatever reason due to their physical disability, use this software to help with schoolwork. This would include blind students as well.Also, students with learning disabilities benefit. For example, a student with dyslexia that has trouble seeing the words they type accurately would benefit from the speech to text factor to get their papers done, and they would also benefit from the text to speech factor seeing as they have trouble with reading words.
Popular Voice Recognition SoftwareIt seems that in researching this topic, Dragon NaturallySpeaking is the most popular software used. They even have an app for your iphone! It has a 99% accuracy level, which is the best out there. The Cons of this software is that it is very expensive (about $200), and it uses a lot of computer memory.
Benefits of Voice Recognition SoftwareVoice recognition software helps children with physical and mental disabilities stay on par with their peers, and puts them on a more equal level. They are able to get the same information as other students, even if they have trouble reading, and they are able to communicate their ideas, even if they have trouble writing/typing. It saves them time as well, as many students with these disabilities would take much longer to read and write without this software, and not get as accurate results.
Weaknesses of Voice Recognition SoftwareAlthough voice recognition technology has come a long way, it still has some flaws. For example, even though you can talk fairly conversationally and still have high accuracy, there are always issues with having 100% accuracy, especially if you have a thick accent.It is also necessary that you do speech to text in a quiet room, where background noise doesnt interfere with the recognition of what you are saying.Also, a significant amount of hardware space is taken up by these programs, since they need to have an extensive vocabulary. Depending on your computer, this can be harmful to it.This software can also have difficulty with homonyms, so when you say “there,” they could interpret it as “theyre” or “their” as well.
The Future of Voice Recognition SoftwareScientists are currently working on a universal voice recognition translator of sorts, where people of any language can speak, and what they say can be translated into any language, in both speech and text formats.Though far in the future, it may also be possible for computers to not only recognize what you are saying, but understand what you are saying and communicate back with you as well. (crazy!)