Dragon for productivity

From ballpoint pen to speech recognition

From ballpoint pen to speech recognition

Seventy-five years ago, Hungarian brothers László and György Bíró filed a patent for their revolutionary invention – the ballpoint pen. Its creation eradicated the need to rely on fountain pens and the medieval quill, which were more prone to produce smudgy and messy script. Closing in on a century later, people continue to trade in older, manual instruments for sharper tools; solutions like voice-enabled technology, that, like the ballpoint pen, can capture more detailed documentation.

Many businesses today heavily rely on documentation, especially ones facing increased regulations and governance, smudgy or messy documents just won’t do.

Financial advisors are just one example. Because financial compliance is contingent on capturing clear and detailed notes during the advisor-client interaction, many advisors and financial services firms are shifting away from manual note-taking processes and turning to technology solutions, like speech recognition, to help.

Law enforcement, too, cannot trade accuracy for urgency. While police officers need to create incident reports in a speedy manner to meet prosecution deadlines and move criminal proceedings along, they also need to ensure what is documented in their reports is highly accurate; if not, this can literally impact a case.

So with nearly 40% of police officers saying they spend 3-4 hours each day on incident reports, it’s not surprising that they, too, are looking for sharper tools to help with their documentation needs.

No sooner said than done!

Everyone benefits from accurate documentation– transcription costs are lowered for those paying the bills, and workflows are automated for individuals across locations and devices; saving time, mitigating risk, and producing precise results the first time, every time, by the user.

Voice and language solutions are just one of today’s tools that enable professionals to produce intelligible, unambiguous, and thorough reports, notes, forms and other business paperwork, immediately and accurately. Not only are they intuitive to use, these technologies empower workforces to improve productivity and streamline workflows with the ability to add custom options, like templated content by voice or industry-specific terms and acronyms.

Enough ballpoint pens have been sold to draw a line to the moon and back hundreds of thousands of times; however, with no disrespect to the Bíró brothers, if you’re going to document something permanently – and when accuracy matters, sometimes you just might need a sharper instrument.

From an article by Mark Geremia, copyright Nuance.


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Transforming documentation by voice

It’s now possible to see the powerful impact voice and language solutions are having within the document-intensive industries we work with daily.

New voice and language solutions continue to impact productivity at every level – from improving workflows, to simplifying daily tasks.

The automation of these tasks – whether at home or where we work – rely on a set of intelligent systems; all of which use complex algorithms driven by machine learning to take a human ability, like language, touch or a simple gesture, and transform it into an action.

In fact, this was the premise that Dragon Speech Recognition was built upon over twenty-years ago; to take the everyday task of typing and transform it into a simpler process by voice.

The first iteration of Dragon Speech Recognition took incoming streams of sound and interpreted them into dictation. What used to take hours to do; namely typing a document, turned into literally minutes, all simply by speaking into a computer.

Advances in technology have turned the complex algorithms engineers scratched out on their white boards back then into reality. Today’s intelligent speech recognition engines not only interpret dictation, but also understand its context; distinguishing between words like homophones (for example: to, two, and too). They recognize the difference between dictation and a command, like “open Microsoft Word” and the technology learns and adapts the more it’s used, learning the subtle nuances of spoken words. It can even distinguish, and remove background noise.

The power of all of this built-in functionality has propelled documentation productivity further than we could have ever imagined 20 years ago.

Law firms, whose clients are becoming ever more tech-savvy, are embracing voice-powered documentation solutions to shift labour-intensive tasks such as writing case files and briefs into seamless workflows. And financial services firms are using the accuracy that speech recognition offers to mitigate risk and improve compliance, in the face of expanding rules and regulations.

For the document-intensive industries that we work with daily, seeing the transformative impact our voice and language solutions are having is just as exciting today as it was twenty years ago when we first started automating talking into text.

To find out how I can help, with a no quibble guarantee of satisfaction, please contact Neil by following this link

From an article originally written by Mark Geremia. Copyright Nuance.       See full article here https://whatsnext.nuance.com/office-productivity/transforming-documentation-voice/

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Five ways speech recognition can make your life easier

Voice recognition software has become an integral part of modern life. With technology such as Apple’s Siri, and Nuance’s Dragon NaturallySpeaking we now have the ability to command our devices to do tasks with just the sound of our voice. So how can we benefit from this new technology and how can speech recognition software improve the way we work?

Today, voice recognition technology has become an integral part of our daily lives.  Taking our oldest and most natural method of communication – speech – and combining this with technological advances, we are now accustomed to carrying out essential everyday tasks using voice command and recognition.

These tasks range from responding to telephone banking security questions and performing simple online searches, to asking our smart phone’s voice activation assistant to set a reminder for us or dictating a to-do list to our mobile device or laptop.

In fact, voice recognition software has become so sophisticated it is even able to understand the particular nuances of people’s voice patterns and regional accents, making it a powerful tool for consumers and businesses alike.

But how can you use this technology to make your life easier – at university, at home or at work? Here are 5 benefits of voice notes that you may not have considered:

  1. Improve reliability

Voice recognition systems today are so reliable that such software is now widely used in the health service, the legal profession, the security industry and the military, to name a few.

It is now common practice for a doctor to dictate his case notes for them to be converted into digital or paper documents for later use (solving the problem of illegible handwriting), while solicitors, barristers and legal secretaries use voice software to record client information and other notes to be converted into legal files.

  1. Save time

Dictating is, on average, three times faster than typing, so when time is of the essence and deadlines are looming it makes sense to resort to methods that will help to speed things up.

This is where speech recognition software can be especially helpful, by enabling you to dictate, rather than type out, your work.  This is especially handy if you’re on the road or short of time – simply voice your thoughts and let your computer do the hard work by transcribing what you say.

This is especially helpful when transcribing interviews or when you want to create a transcript of a presentation or debate – saving you lots of time trawling through recordings and listening back to find the most relevant quotes.

  1. Increase work productivity

Workload piling up? Increase your productivity by spending less time typing, giving you more time to focus on other work.

Voice notes enable you to produce a large amount of writing in a relatively short amount of time. By speaking naturally into the microphone, and letting the software do the rest, you can easily get your initial thoughts onto paper – leaving you more time for editing, drafting and revising.

  1. No more mistakes

No longer will spelling or writing hold you back. Voice recognition software, as well as being faster to complete tasks, is increasingly accurate when it comes to vocabulary and spelling.

Although the first systems that came onto the market were often under 90% accurate in terms of the words recognised and the way they were used by the software, today’s systems can reach accuracy levels of 99%+ – thanks to the hundreds of thousands of words now being stored in their database.

You can even add your own words to the database to help the software understand you better.

  1. Greater Mobility

Use voice recognition technology to dictate on the go, giving you greater mobility and more efficient use of time.

With speech notes applications like Dragon Notes by Nuance, you can record your notes immediately after your meeting while conversations are still fresh in your mind, or even dictate your ideas on your way to the meeting. Voice notes applications are perfect for recording your thoughts and ideas while you are on the move, especially when you are unable to write down your notes because you are travelling or have misplaced a pen.

From an article published on the Nuance website by Brandon Most; full article available here http://whatsnext.nuance.co.uk/office-productivity/5-benefits-speech-recognition/

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Celebrating 20 years of Dragon speech recognition!

celebrating 20 years of Dragon

Dragon celebrates its 20th anniversary

Twenty years ago, Dragon NaturallySpeaking made its debut, and what began as an innovative computer software for converting speech to text has left an indelible mark on the technology industry – setting forth the next generation of voice-enabled applications, devices, cars, healthcare systems – and so much more.


On April 2, 1997 Dragon NaturallySpeaking was unveiled a groundbreaking solution that was light years ahead of speech technologies previously available. Dragon NaturallySpeaking was the first-ever continuous dictation product – capable of understanding about 100 words per minute. And while the product required training, the use of a headset and the need to be tethered to a desk, never-before had there been a software technology that allowed people to speak somewhat naturally and have their words appear right before them on a computer screen. Suddenly, the ability to speak to machines as we’ve seen in movies from Star Trek to the Jetsons was becoming a reality. Even Richard Dreyfuss volunteered to participate in the very first launch for sheer admiration of the technology.

Twenty years later, Dragon continues to transform the way people work and live. Proving to be an incredibly empowering accessibility technology for creating documents and commanding and controlling the computer itself, Dragon also quickly evolved into a consumer software must-have for just about anyone who wanted to get more done faster. Over time, Dragon has become faster and incredibly accurate, supporting multiple languages and with accuracy in the high 90th percentile.

Today, Dragon’s core speech recognition innovation is at the heart of so many solutions, including automotive, healthcare, enterprise customer care and a wide range of speech recognition capabilities for the rapidly emerging Internet of Things. The technology set forth an evolution where even twenty years ago it was thought to be the start of where you could use your voice to finally set your VCR correctly or tell your microwave to not burn your popcorn. For those of you born around the same time as Dragon – yes, we had microwaves, and no, we’re not misspelling DVR – which now thanks to our Smart Home and TV solutions inspired by Dragon you can actually talk to, and find virtually any movie from any genre.

Nuance’s Dragon Dictation and Dragon Go! Mobile applications brought speech and natural language understanding from embedded technology to the mobile cloud, and quickly proved to the consumer market that simply using your voice to send text messages, search the Web – even make dinner reservations – was just easier. And that sparked an evolution across a wide variety of mobile applications that are now considered must-haves for any mobile device.

A lot has happened over the last two decades. Now we’re talking to automotive assistants in our connected cars, virtual agents intelligently guide us through our banking transactionsvirtual assistants are assisting physicians in the most remarkable ways to give them back more time with their patients. It’s hard to think of a place where we can’t simply use our voice to get the most out of technology.

Today the promise of Dragon remains the same, inspired by ways in which the solution can make people work smarter and more productively. Dragon has moved from the PC to the Mac, to the cloud – and has evolved to deliver incredible time and money-saving values to the legal, financial, corporate enterprise and even law enforcement markets.

So, what do the next twenty years have in store? Nuance’s speech and language technologies will undoubtedly be at the heart of the world’s next generation of cognitive and conversational innovations that have moved beyond recognizing just the words we say, but understanding what we mean and responding in ways that in another twenty years, will become standard in how we engage the digital world around us.

This adapted article was originally posted by Mark Geremia and is copyrighted to Nuance




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Increase productivity with technology

Can you increase productivity with technology?

You may be busy, but are you productive?
increase productivity with technology
From bouncing between meetings, drafting client emails to simply trying to find a few moments during the day to capture our own thoughts, we’re a busy workforce on the go. We’ve all come to rely on mobile devices and apps to help us navigate through our busy days. But, are we being as productive as possible? Or, is all this “busy work” running from meeting to meeting and trying to overcome document overload really getting in the way of productivity?

“I’m so busy…”

almost every professional in today’s fast-paced workplace can relate to this statement. Between higher-than-ever expectations on productivity, having to wear multiple hats, struggling to find work-life balance, and trying to check off the many to-do’s on our daily work list, are we really just “busy” without being productive?

Busy vs. productive

While many people believe they are productive at work, in all actuality they may be just really good at being “busy” – working longer and harder, but not necessarily making big dents in their ever-expanding workloads. In fact, a recent study showed that the majority of business leaders agree that productivity is a high priority for their business, however, nearly one in four (23%) said their company is less productive than it should be.

So, what truly makes a person productive at work? Generally speaking, they focus on their goals, are able to complete tasks and projects, and can draw upon all of their resources, both internal and external, to achieve them in an organized manner; simple, right? Not necessarily.

In actuality, there are only so many hours in the work day to get things done, and those who maximize their time through planning and the proper tools are ahead of the curve.

Nearly 270 years ago, Benjamin Franklin coined the phrase,

“Remember that time is money.”

This metaphor still holds true today, and remains a major tenant of good business. According to the 2016 Workforce Productivity Research Report, 76% of business leaders agree that productivity is a high priority, and 82% agree that it is one of the top indicators of financial success.  Thankfully, mobility in today’s work culture can bridge the divide between having less time at your desk and being more productive. Mobility means productivity can follow you from the office, to a client meeting, and the nearest Starbucks. You don’t stand still, and neither does work, and the power mobility brings means productivity wins out too.

Being able to make up for lost time between your desk and client meetings can deliver some serious productivity gains. But, we need the right tools to make us as productive as possible.

Increase productivity through technology

Technology can be our biggest bridge towards productivity. Take the cloud, for instance. Professionals who use cloud-based solutions can significantly improve efficiency, especially when working remotely, from the road, or as part of a team with members scattered across various regions. Cloud computing allows for easy collaboration between employees, since they can access relevant files and documents from wherever work takes them.

Solutions like Dropbox enable document sharing between teams of employees, who can easily read, edit, and share work. This not only saves time by mitigating the need to email different versions of documents back and forth, but also maintains version integrity; ensuring team members are working on the latest documents, thus creating a much more streamlined process.  In fact, Nuance’s Dragon Anywhere, a cloud-based, professional-grade mobile dictation tool, has recently integrated with Dropbox, so now Dragon Anywhere users can create documents accurately and quickly – in the moment on their mobile device, and then access their personal Dropbox account to share their work with colleagues.

Mobility truly works well when we combine it with solutions that not only enable dictation of notes and documents by voice via our smartphones and tablets, but also lets us effortlessly share our work with colleagues and clients from anywhere. This fosters an environment where productivity reigns supreme.

Productivity is truly attainable when independent tools work seamlessly together – allowing professionals to collaborate as a team no matter where they are.  Real-time access into documentation tools such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint all under one roof is important. And affording professionals the ability to create, edit, format and share documents directly from their mobile devices, frees us all up from a world that is no longer exclusively tethered to a keyboard and mouse.

This article is copyright Mark Jackson and originally appeared here


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Writers and voice recognition software: deadly enemies or best friends?

writers and voice recognition software

All you need to do is to dictate your work and as you speak, you will see your words appear in your document on the screen in front of you.


This article about writers and voice recognition software first appeared on Suzan St Maur’s How To Write Better resource website

If you regularly create documents using Microsoft Word or send and receive emails, you may have considered using voice recognition software, or may even have tried it in the past.

If this is so, you may have found that it wasn’t transcribing your speech accurately and was more trouble than it was worth.

However all this has now changed dramatically … and it is a genuine productivity tool. You will be surprised by how good it is now, and what you can do just by talking…

What was wrong with earlier voice recognition software

If I’m being honest, voice recognition software was very frustrating for users up until about 6-7 years ago. Everyone could see the potential, but it wasn’t quite good enough.

But of course technology is advancing all the time. And not only are computers more powerful, but also for voice recognition software, the speech engine driving the transcription of what you say is now more accurate and reliable.

In addition, the quality of the microphone and sound system that you use is also greater than in the past.

The latest versions are using technology called Deep Learning, which is a precursor to artificial intelligence, and it really gets to know how you talk!

Do writers feel naked when you take their keyboards away?

This is a different way of working in that most people are used to using a computer keyboard, and some find it difficult to adapt working without one.

I was talking to a client of mine recently who is now using voice recognition but was finding it difficult.

He said “I find it difficult to talk and think at the same time,” to which I replied, “but that’s what you’re doing now, just by speaking to me!”

In reality, many people find using a computer keyboard difficult initially and the average typing speed is 30-40 words per minute.

On the other hand, people learn to talk naturally from a young age and some people find it very easy to talk for long periods of time. (Note from Suze: even speaking very slowly, you’re likely to achieve at least 100 words per minute when you’re talking. Do the math.)

So, in practice, all you need to do is to dictate your work and as you speak, you will see your words appear in your document on the screen in front of you.

However, if for any reason the accuracy is low, this will lead to frustration and a vicious circle where you try to improve it but just make matters worse.

Although it might sound daft, there is a ‘proper’ way to speak to your computer to make it work well from the first five minutes.

So how do writers (and business folks who write) make friends with voice recognition software?

Windows computers provide a free version of voice recognition but by far and away the best and most well known of the applications is Dragon NaturallySpeaking, which has been around for 20 years or so.

It is now very accurate and as well as dictating text or emails, you can virtually control your computer using voice commands if you wish.

“This is extremely useful for people who have disabilities such as RSI, arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome because they no longer need to use either a keyboard or a mouse.”

It is also brilliant for people with dyslexia who often say to me, “I know what I want to say but cannot write it down – however I CAN talk about it.”

One feature that is not well known is the ability to ‘store’ frequently used text such as a standard paragraph and call it with a single voice command.

Another is the ability to create blog posts and other documents using your mobile phone or a digital recorder whilst working away from your office.

“I often use my phone to dictate something that will later go in a document, send this recording via Dropbox to my PC and have Dragon transcribe it when I am still out and about.”

There is then a Microsoft Word document waiting for me when I get back to my office.

Finally, you can quickly edit text within your document and define whether text should be formatted in bold or underlined, all with simple voice commands

Tip from Suze for voice recognition writing newbies:

If you’re concerned that you won’t be able to get your spoken words into a logical structure for a blog, article or other longer piece of writing, scribble down (or dictate!) a skeleton outline of what you want to say first. Bullet points are ideal. Then speak your way through those.  

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