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Getting started with Speech Recognition

Getting started with Speech Recognition

To enable built-in speech functionality, from the Start Menu choose All Programs | Accessories | Accessibility and click Speech Recognition.

Getting started with Speech Recognition

Vista's built-in Speech Recognition tools work exceptionally well. From this Control Panel, you can set up a microphone and train the system to recognize your unique speech patterns.

Use these cheat sheets while learning Speech Recognition

Use these cheat sheets while learning Speech Recognition

Learning the syntax for voice commands and dictation can be daunting at first. That's where these lists of available commands from the Vista Help files come in handy.

Use this floating toolbar to set options

Use this floating toolbar to set options

While Speech Recognition is running, this toolbar provides status messages and feedback to voice commands and dictation. Right-click to choose from this menu of available options. Or, better yet, use voice commands ("Start listening") to enable, disable, and control speech-to-text features.

Talking to Windows Vista
 

Accuracy is only part of the equation. With the Windows Vista speech recognition technology, Microsoft has a goal of providing an end-to-end speech experience that addresses key features that users need in a built-in desktop speech recognition experience. This includes an interactive tutorial that explains how to use speech recognition technology and helps the user train the system to understand the user's speech.

The system includes built-in commands for controlling Windows—allowing you to start, switch between, and close applications using commands such as "Start Notepad" and "Switch to Calculator." Users can control on-screen interface elements like menus and buttons by speaking commands like "File" and "Open." There's also support for emulating the mouse and keyboard by giving commands such as "Press shift control left arrow 3 times."

Windows Vista speech technology includes built-in dictation capabilities (for converting the user's voice into text) and edit controls (for inserting, correcting, and manipulating text in documents). You can correct misrecognized words by re-dictating, choosing alternatives, or spelling. For example, "Correct Robot, Robert." Or "Spell it R, O, B, E, R as in rabbit, T as in telephone." You can also speak commands to select text, navigate inside a document, and make edits—for instance, "Select 'My name is,'" "Go after Robert," or "Capitalize Brown."

The user interface is designed to be unobtrusive, yet to keep the user in control of the speech system at all times (see Figure 4). You have easy access to the microphone state, which includes a sleeping mode. Text feedback tells the user what the system is doing, and provides instructions to the user. There's also a user interface used for clarifying what the user has said–when the user utters a command that can be interpreted in multiple ways, the system uses this interface to clarify what was intended. Meanwhile, ongoing use allows the underlying models to adapt continually improve accuracy over time.

The user interface is designed to be unobtrusive, yet to keep the user in control of the speech system at all times
Figure 4 Speech UI in Windows Vista

To enable built-in speech functionality, from the Start Menu choose All Programs | Accessories | Accessibility and click Speech Recognition. The first time you do this, the system will step you through the tutorial, where you'll be introduced to some basic commands. You also get the option of enabling background language model adaptation, by which the system will read through your documents and e-mail in the background to adapt the language model to better match the way you express yourself. There are a variety of things the default settings enable.

 

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Page Was Last Updated On  06/03/2008

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