A year or so ago I was editing a memoir for one of our Write My Memoirs authors who had requested our editing services, and I realized that something was different. The language and sentence structure sounded natural, as if a native English speaker were telling you his life story. But the many misspellings were odd, not the typical spelling errors that people make. I came to the conclusion that this was a “voice-to-text” manuscript. The software didn’t get everything correct, but it was close enough for me to figure out the words.
I never asked whether my hunch was right and, if so, why the author chose to speak his life rather than to write it. But this got me thinking about all the reasons someone might use the increasingly sophisticated voice-to-text software on the market today. Here’s what I came up with:
- It’s quick. You almost certainly can speak faster than you can type, even if you’re taking the time to enunciate clearly or specify punctuation.
- Look, no hands! The advantage to this is obvious if you have a condition such as carpal tunnel syndrome or anything that makes typing difficult or awkward.
- Sitting not required. Even if you don’t have physical limitations with your hands, other body parts—your back, for instance—may ache after you’ve been sitting for long periods. When you use voice recognition software, you can walk around speaking into a laptop or phone, killing two birds with one stone—getting in your walking steps while writing your memoir.
- No keyboard. With voice-to-text software, you don’t need a desktop or laptop. You can use a tablet.
- Accuracy. A skilled speller and typist will, at best, break even on this, but someone who isn’t that great at spelling and typing will find a big relief from letting the words write themselves.
So think about it! Blogger Clifford Chi @bigreddog16 identifies eight worthy voice recognition software programs.