October 7, 2020

The Prevalence of Speech Recognition Software in Research

It’s no secret that writing a scientific article is complex and time consuming. Researchers are already limited in their time because of all the responsibilities they have, so when it’s possible to cut corners and keep the thoroughness of their work, the strategies to do so are highly sought after. One of the newer methods being investigated is the impact of speech recognition software and how it can be used in the field of academics to help scholars write their papers. Dictation is a debated concept in research, but when the software allows for high-quality recognition, it’s a legitimate alternative to doing the work by hand.

It would probably take you less than thirty seconds to list thirty responsibilities you have in your role as an academic scholar, and you would barely have scratched the surface. Add in the complexities of writing up your research into a scientific article ready for publishing and you’ve got hours of time consumed, but if typing isn’t your strong suit, you can double that estimate as you hunt and peck for the right keys. It’s no wonder that scholars try to find ways to cut corners where they can gain time without sacrificing quality, such as speech or voice recognition software.

The debate between speech recognition software and manual typing started when the technology first hit the scene. Back then, there were many concerns about the potential for voice recognition software (VRS) to provide accurate and thorough replications of what the speaker was saying, and those worries were understandable. However, VRS has come a long way since its inception, making it possible for scholars to compose high-quality work faster and with less stress.

The Complexities of Typing a Research Article

First, you’ve dealt with all the research, data security, upkeep of records, and careful note-taking. Now, you’re done with the experimenting, you have an outcome, and you need to report it in a way that follows your institution’s guidelines, the formatting of the style guide, and the expectations of the journal you are trying to get published in.

What could possibly make all of that any more difficult?

Oh, yeah, the QWERTY typewriter and your preference to not spend hours sitting in front of your computer hunting and pecking your way through your research article or, alternatively, taking a course in typing.

While the complexities of composing your work aren’t going to go away, there are some factors that you can include to make it a little easier. One is using a legitimate program specifically designed for academic experts to make the flow of your work more streamlined, like Impactio. Another is to use a VRS program and train it well until it recognizes every accent and dialect of your unique speech patterns.

Challenges of a Voice Recognition Program

Like with any new technology, there are bugs in the system and challenges that must be addressed in order for a VRS program to work correctly. The program you choose will have its own requirements, such as the computer system it works best on, the rules you must go by, and how you have to adjust your speech patterns. But as a whole, these small issues, once they are thoroughly taken care of at the beginning, are a low price to pay for the conveniences you’ll have later. To obtain the level of productivity you want for your investment, you need to understand and overcome these challenges inherent in all VRS programs:

●      Get to know the commands the software uses to control your documents. It may take a little while to learn how to open, get started, edit errors, and close your work.

●      Watch for glitches in the system as you go. If you talk too fast or have a phrase the system is uncertain of, it may lag while it tries to figure out what you said.

●      Understand that there is no way for any program to be able to predict every vocabulary word you might use, especially if it is specific to your field. For instance, medical doctors will have diagnoses and medications they use commonly, but the first time you use it in your VRS, you will have to teach the system and record it.

●      You probably have some sort of accent or adjustment in the way you enunciate your words that can affect how the software hears what you are saying. Try to keep your speech clear and be sure to enunciate carefully. This can be made easier if you use a headset instead of the computer’s default microphone.

Once these challenges are overcome, the technology more than pays for itself. In fact, VRS programs are prevailing in academics because of the time they save scholars on the back end while they put together their lengthy research articles.

Tags Speech Recognition Research Voice Recognition
Jason Collins
Jason is a writer for many niche brands with experience “bringing stories to life” for both startups and corporate partners.

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