ShortTalk: Dictation Made Rewarding

Video Demos

The youtube video above [changed 2014/NK] shows a common scenario of writing a letter that needs only little editing. (Click on local mp4 version for streaming from present server.)

The video makes two important points. First, it shows how modern speech recognizers will quickly convert spoken words into text. (We have ignored the problem of speech recognition errors in this video. In practice, somewhere from 2% to 10% of words are not recognized correctly.) Second, the video shows how ShortTalk makes editing the text very fast. In the demo, we use ShortTalk for moving the cursor around, capitalization, insertion of lines, insertion of punctuation, moving text, and deleting text. Often we carry out quick operations in a two or three-syllable command without loosing the cursor position. That is convenient in the frequent situations, where some little error has to be corrected in the vicinity of the cursor. The video also shows how ShortTalk commands can be issued one a time or as a quick series of utterances interspersed with dictation. Stringing commands together in spurts is inherent to how the human mind works—but impossible to do in commercial systems without the forced use of highly unnatural pauses between individual commands.

Even for the simple editing and punctuation we employ in this demo, we would have spent almost three times the vocal effort had we done it with, say, NaturallySpeaking's command language.

AcknowledgmentsBrian Roark gratitously donated the use of his voice for these demos.