Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Accents are a problem for voice software

Well, it's becoming more and more clear (thanks to my readers who commented) that an accent is a big problem for dictation- or voice-command software. Generally speaking it seems that unless you have a clear and accent-free English, the computer does not understand you well enough for it to be really useful.

That's a big challenge for all, because the number of people in this world speaking English as a second language or with regional accent is huge. And my hope is not great that anybody will make, for example, Danish voice-recognition and dictation software in the near future. And in any case that would not help me all that much, because I almost always write in English (excepting of course emails to my danish friends and family). If I write a novel (or just a blog), I want it to not be limited to the tiny Danish audience.

I guess, theoretically, if people generally understand what you say, at some point computers will get to that point too. But when? In ten years? Twenty? Fifty? Sigh.


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