Speech Recognition (Part 1)
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Speech recognition has left behind its early days of inaccuracy and awkwardness and has earned a degree from the school of usability. The technology is becoming a common feature (or annoyance) in customer-service phone menus, which allow you to say the option you want instead of pressing a corresponding number. The Duo tries out ScanSoft's Dragon Naturally Speaking 8, which has long been considered the best program for dictating text to a computer, but wasn't quite ready for everyday use--until now.
The latest version of Dragon streamlines the process of going back and correcting mistakes made by either you or the software. It's easier now to choose what you meant from a drop-down menu, and as before, the software actually learns from its mistakes each time you correct it.
Installation starts with calibrating the included headset and reading passages off the screen from books by Scott Adams or Dave Barry. Steve and Angela, for once, agree on something: Setting up a voice-recognition package is much more fun when you can laugh while you speak.