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Dragon Naturally Speaking (1 Viewer)

Amy Barnes

Grip
Joined
Nov 6, 2002
Messages
20
A friend of mine needs some advice on Dragon Naturally Speaking. Can anyone help? She has repetitive-stress injury to her wrists and arms (hence why I am posting and not she), and she bought DNS to help her write papers for law school.

Basically she says it doesn't work that well: the program tends to understand complicated or multi-syllabic words much better than simple words, and sometimes it just translates into gibberish. She's using version 5.0. Her computer is a Dell Optiplex GX150. She didn't know the details about her soundcard, but the DNS salesperson told her it was compatible. And I don't know if this matters, but she also has a slight southern accent.

I noticed in the "Speech Recogition in XP" thread from awhile back that there are some DNS users out there (and an engineer--Steve K?). Any help/advice would be much appreciated. :)

(Also, she needs to buy a new microphone and would love some advice on that as well!)

Thanks,
Amy
 

KyleS

Screenwriter
Joined
Jul 24, 2000
Messages
1,232
A must is a good microphone but tell her that it will take A LOT of time before it will learn to recognize her voice. She will need to train the program for quite awhile (Couple of weeks+) but once the program gets used to your voice the accuracy will go way up.

And I don't know if this matters, but she also has a slight southern accent.
Yes it will make a huge difference and it will take the program longer to respond to her commmands or to at least learn what she is meaning to say.

KyleS
 

Amy Barnes

Grip
Joined
Nov 6, 2002
Messages
20
Thanks! I'll tell her to buckle down! I think she got frustrated training it. Do you know anything about the newer version?

(edit)
Also, which microphone do you use or would you recommend?
 

Scott L

Senior HTF Member
Joined
Feb 29, 2000
Messages
4,457
I use the Telex H-831 headworn USB mic for using Roger Wilco during pc gaming tourneys. Very good quality and my voice comes back crystal clear. Plus the fact that it's USB will bypass a sound card's analog mic input, meaning less chance of distortion and electronic noise interference.

I picked one up for $8 new on ebay.
 

Steven K

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 10, 2000
Messages
830
Hi Amy,

I'm still around :)

We just released Dragon NaturallySpeaking v7 (not sure if the retail package is available yet).

What your friend is experiencing about shorter words not being recognized as well as longer words is definitely predictable behavior... it's just the way that the engine works... it is much harder to decide is someone dictated "rakes" or "wreaks" as opposed to something such as "mononucleosis" (nice example, huh :))

However now the good news... DNS v7 is a far improvement from DNS v5. I can't really go into specifics for obvious reasons, but I can tell you that we did make large changes from v5 to v6 and then from v6 to v7.

I actually don't work for the DNS engineering team; rather I work in the TTS (text-to-speech) and ASR (Automatic Speech Recognition). The ASR that I work with is different from DNS in that it is "command and control" which means that it is speaker independent, but limited to a certain number of finite words that it can recognize. DNS uses a "dictation" engine, which means that the engine must be trained by each user, but offers a much larger vocabulary than C&C.

I work hand-in-hand with the DNS team on many occations, many joint projects, etc... I have alot of friends and alot of good relationships with my friends in DNS engineering, so I do know the inner workings of the engine and code pretty well.

I can honestly say that DNS v7 is a fantastic product (shameless plug). I've never really used any version of DNS in the past (or Voice Xpress, which was our older product) but I find myself using DNS v7 more and more every day.

One thing that I highly recommend is a USB microphone. The USB mics have on-board DSPs which are usually much better than the ones in your sound card. Having a high quality mic is probably the most important aspect of speech-rec.

If you have any specific questions just let me know, I'd be glad to help out in any way I can :)
 

Amy Barnes

Grip
Joined
Nov 6, 2002
Messages
20
Steven K--thanks for the info! I've been out of town for awhile. Hopefully my friend will be able to get it working better (last time I spoke to her she was seriously considering upgrading to v7).

Thanks again!
 

Steven K

Supporting Actor
Joined
Jan 10, 2000
Messages
830
Amy, you get to come back to a newly opened Big Dig central-artery tunnel... and as an added bonus, the city of Boston threw in an additional 75,000 vehicles a day to help clutter up the new system :frowning: Well, at least the Red Sox won last night :)
 

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