Speech-to-text: how it works and how it helps

In our latest guest blog Alistair Robbie, Nuance Communications, discusses the benefits of speech-to-text technology for disabled employees.

There’s no doubt that the digital economy has accelerated the pace at which business is conducted. For many companies, this has caused them to change many of their backend processes and applications, in order to both perform effectively and to meet changing customer expectations over speed and service delivery, nationally and internationally.

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One way some companies are meeting these new expectations is through the use of desktop speech recognition solutions like Nuance Communications’ Dragon software for the PC and Mac.

Its appeal lies in the fact that it is easier to talk to your computer than to type, especially given that few of us are trained typists. We tend to talk up to three times faster than we type and that, combined with recognition accuracy rates of 99%, means that users of Dragon, for instance, can see a tangible boost in their productivity levels.

For service companies in particular – or any business that prides itself on customer service and prompt responses to enquiries – users can respond to a greater number of enquiries during the course of the day.

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The productivity boost can be appreciated by users with accessibility requirements. Whether they have an upper body mobility issue, RSI or they find using the keyboard and mouse physically uncomfortable, with a piece of software like Dragon they can simply sit back and dictate, knowing that it gives them not only full access to the power and communication features of a computer, but a dramatic increase in productivity, too.

Employees with conditions like dyspraxia and dyslexia will also come to value speech recognition technology like Dragon. Their thoughts and knowledge are no longer restrained by the keyboard and mouse, with its text-to-speech functionality enabling it to read back what has been dictated, making it easier to spot any mistakes or errors and correct them.

It is rare a technology can have such a profound effect on both personal productivity as well as benefitting users with accessibility requirements. But, as some forward thinking companies have already discovered, speech recognition technology fulfils its promise to cater for both. And, given the relentless pace of the digital economy, this technology could be instrumental in maintaining a competitive edge both now and in the future.

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