• J. Woken

Dictating to a Robot

It was strange. It was magical. It was everything I thought it would be: sometimes frustrating, sometimes elating, and even sometimes downright confusing. I couldn't get her to center an image, but I could get her to put it on the page. She got sassy with me when I didn't issue the right command, showing on her little instructional screen and (I'm certain) thinking it in a tween-ish voice with that characteristic rolling-eye attitude ,

Her: "Next time just say Bold." Me: "Well, FINE, then." *scoff* "Maybe next time I will."

But through that trial our relationship has inevitably risen to a new level. Robot -- aka my now affectionately named laptop -- and I have bonded.

Yes, that's right. We're friends now.

I was talking to her and she was hearing my words and doing things I asked her to do. Sure, we had awkward moments -- when she thought me asking her to create a new paragraph meant for her to type out "create a new paragraph" -- but, overall, we dished out that one page of text like champions, give or take a few grammatical and syntactical errors. And here is our result.

It took a little over an hour (and lots of backspacing... and some cheating with the mouse), but we did it, Robot! We totally made it work... kind of.

Have you used voice recognition software? If so, what has been your experience: good, bad, couldn't live without?

This article originally published September 26, 2014.