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Training Speech Recognition Software

Speech recognition software has evolved significantly since its entry into the market years ago. It still is far from perfect, but many who use speech recognition software claimed to have achieved speech recognition accuracy levels beyond 95%.

Achieving that kind of accuracy rate is possible but you have to be prepared to do some serious grunt work i.e. data logging for that. Training your speech recognition software involves just that, and can take up to a year, according to some users. Speech recognition programs do come with basic training modules, but these may not be adequate, especially if you have a thick accent.

Topping the list of recognized speech recognition programs are Dragon Naturally Speaking and Microsoft Speech Recognition (available on Windows 10 and Vista). Users of both programs claim to have attained high speech recognition accuracy rates. However, as mentioned before, the accuracy comes with a cost: extensive training of the software to acclimatize it to your speaking habits.

The necessity of training your software

It is necessary to train the software in order to ensure that it understands the unique nuances present in your speech. No two human vocal tracts are alike; everybody has a unique voice. There are two broad aspects to a voice. These are the physiological aspect and the behavioral aspect. Innumerable variations in both aspects are what cause the diversity in human voices. Therefore, no matter how well the software is programmed, it can never completely encompass the full range of nuances present in human voices. This is why the necessity of training the software exists.

The more time you spend training your software, the more time you will end up saving and correcting fewer mistakes. The training required also depends on the intended usage of the software. For example, if you intend to only make notes, operate your computer at a basic level, or generally make documents for which accuracy is not paramount, the basic training that the software offers may suffice.

How long will the training take?

Having an unusual accent may require you to put in a lot more hours compared to someone who is far more accustomed to clearly articulating the English language. You would have to be prepared for the process to take a few months at the very least. Even if your spoken English is excellent, the software would need approximately three to four months of consistent use. If you correct the mistakes it makes by going through the procedures advised during this time, you will begin to notice substantial improvements in accuracy.

For example, in Dragon Naturally Speaking, you need to correct every single error made during the process. This can understandably be tedious and frustrating but patience is necessary for the training, but the payoff is worth it. The resulting speech recognition accuracy allows you to create documents with a lot more speed.