Speaking Naturally

I’m writing this entry by using voice recognition software. I’ve just started using it, because I’ve been having some trouble with my hands when typing. I’m not quite sure what the issue here is, but it’s quite painful if I hold the mouse for too long or type at the keyboard. The software I’m using is called Dragon Naturally Speaking. I find its accuracy to be quite impressive, though having said that it just got the first part of this sentence wrong!What is most striking to me, as a new user, is how different it is to think aloud than to type things down. The closest analogy I can think of, is that it’s a little bit like interviewing yourself. Since I can speak much faster than I can type, I often find myself without the time necessary to develop the next thought. Luckily, unlike an interview, there is not quite the same pressure to sound coherent within a short time span. Nevertheless, I think there is something fundamentally different between writing and thinking aloud, that is between text and speech. I’m sure somebody like Roland Barthes or Derrida could make quite a lot of this.

In the meantime, I will continue to train the software, and perhaps one day it can write my next book for me!

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