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Does Voice Recognition Replace The Need For Typing?

By Pam Connolly

A few years ago we thought typing was pass". We would no longer have to struggle with typing. And our children may not have to learn how to type anymore. My aged mother was thrilled because she never learned to type and thought this was the answer to her prayers. Typing, at last, was on the trash heap of technology, because of this "new and improved" invention... Voice Recognition Software.

Did voice recognition come to pass? Well not exactly! In fact, voice recognition technology has been a great disappointment.

If you have ever used voice recognition software on cell phones, you know exactly what I'm talking about. Not only do you have to train the cell phone to recognize your voice but you have to interface with the name in your address book as you say it.

It hasn't been very dependable. The success rate of this feature has been less than steller and for the most part very frustrating. Often you have to repeat (or yell) the name over and over to initiate the call (most times resorting to dialing it yourself).

Similarly, voice recognition software for the computer promised to be a panacea to those who were "keyboard challenged" but it too has fallen short of the promises.

Most doctors thought that voice recognition would eliminate the need to outsource medical transcription. Not so! Most don't have the time nor the patience to "train" the voice recognition software. If you are tempted to try it, expect a long learning curve.

If you would only use your computer in a closed silent room, never have a cold or other voice altering condition, and don't have an accent, voice recognition software would work and be fabulous most of the time. But how often are you in that situation? The conditions in my life are never perfect for voice recognition. I am either talking on the phone with my children or husband, or in the room with the radio or TV. Thunder, lighting, hail and petulance, there is always something disturbing my silence. When working at my laptop I maybe at Starbucks, the airport or a restaurant, all very noisy places affecting voice recognition software.

The ability to type quickly and accurately is crucial for everyday life. Typing speed will affect how fast you can do research, surf the Web, write papers, and save time in school and the rest of their life! Every job requires typing skills.

Typing is important for school work starting as early as elementary grade level. Life will be a lot easier for your children if they learn correct typing techniques at a young age. Did you now that typing has been shown to improve spelling, writing, language skills, and grades. Maybe in the future someone will perfect a voice recognition system that can be used in our noisy lives - but for now HAPPY TYPING!

Copyright 2005 Pam Connolly

About The Author
Pam Connolly is a professional educator with the San Diego School District. She has been teaching kids how to type for over 11 years.



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