Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Do I speak sussing Cully?

I bet you say that to all the virtual assistants... - Siri

Voice dictation is going to change the way you talk. Did you know that?

I first used voice dictation under OS/2 which required "distinct speech" to work. In distinct speech you need to say each word as if it was the only word you were saying - independently. It produced a very specific way of talking. Very few people interacted with the OS/2 dictation engine, so it probably didn't have much of an impact on us.

When I first got a US Robotic PalmPilot I had to learn to write in "graffiti" to enter things. It was a specific way of writing each letter that made it trivial for a PDA to understand what you were writing. I got really good at writing in graffiti. To this day, I can trivially write in graffiti on a piece of paper.

Do you remember watching Star Trek:TNG where everyone could interface with the ship's computer using their voices? And yet, when ever they were all on the bridge or working in engineering, everyone used the LCARS interface. Why? Because when you have a group of people within hearing range of each other and they all want to use a computer, it's ridiculous for all of them to do it verbally. Could you imagine?

Siri is pretty good. I don't have to use distinct speech. Generally, I can speak normally, but it's creating a few abnormalities. I say, "Call Ashley" it asks, "Which Ashley?" and so I tell it to "Call my wife."When I try and say, "Call Don" it tries to call my father's cousins. So it's gotten me into the habit of saying, "Call my father." I'm getting used to referring to people by their relationship.

I am also getting very good at speaking succinctly and clearly annunciating everything I say. Yet, when I ask Siri "Do I speak succinctly?" she would prefer not to say...