Knee-high Resolutions & Medicating Issues

A voice recognition error by Dragon NaturallySpeaking software this week that left the recipient scratching his head, I’m sure:

What I actually said to my computer: communications issues
How my voice software translated it:  key medications issues

And one more from this week, equally nonsensical:

imageWhat I actually said to my computer: I need high res
How my voice software translated it:  I knee-high red years

I guess it’s too much to expect common sense logic from a software program.

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Skating Options

What I actually said to my computer: I think he will obfuscate this.
How my voice software translated it:  I think he will opt to skate this.  

I just hope he’s up to it.

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That Takes the Cake

This voice recognition software error, brought to you by my installation of Dragon NaturallySpeaking, makes me hungry:

What I actually said to my computer: I assume you’ve seen
How my voice software translated it:  Icing you’ve seen

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No Christmas Spirit at All

You’d think that the engineers who make Dragon NaturallySpeaking for voice recognition (you-talk-it-types stuff) would have programmed the software to properly recognize this phrase and its common context.  But that’s what you’d get for thinking:

What I actually said to my computer: Merry Christmas 
How my voice software translated it:  Mary Christmas 

Yes, Madam Christmas, Dragon favors you over the holiday.

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Bowling with Spit and Worshiping Deena

Here are two recent voice recognition errors, the first of which changed a common expression about brainstorming into a new kind of sport:

What I actually said to my computer: spit balling
How my voice software translated it:  spit bowling

The next is yet another example of how Dragon NaturallySpeaking is error-prone when translating the names of the people or places:

What I actually said to my computer:  Altadena, California
How my voice software translated it:   all to Dean in California

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Oh No, NOT Ms. Uno!

Names – always a problem for Dragon NaturallySpeaking, particular if it’s a new voice-PC-headset-drawingone for the program, as was the case with this question about shoes that became a statement about a model:  

What I actually said to my computer: Which Mizuno model’s best 
How my voice software translated it:  Which Ms. Uno models best

And one more: a common enough name, but a completely obliterated translation by Dragon:

What I actually said to my computer: Renate
How my voice software translated it:  Run not take

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Secret truth revealed?

So I’m writing Web copy for a client that is a church, when …

What I actually said to my computer: Adult worship
How my voice software translated it:  I don’t worship

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Do it Sterile Style

What I actually said to my computer: …but stylize it differently
How my voice software translated it:  …but sterilize it differently

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A Paraplegic Paragraph?

Today, I’m introducing a new category of artificial intelligence failure: Predictive text fails

Predictive text fails are those awkward, maddening, or funny errors that your mobile device’s software makes when attempting to complete a word you are in the midst of typing based on what it thinks you were going to type.  As you know, if often gets it wrong.  And, if you’re lucky, you catch the error before sending it to your recipient. 

To christen the maiden voyage of this new category, here is a predictive text typing failure that happened to my friend Tammy – one that she didn’t catch.

What Tammy actually typed from her phone keypad: paragraph
How Tammy’s predictive text software translated it:  paraplegic

That may not seem so bad at first blush, right?  But it made her blush when realized what message she had just sent to her friend:  I’m totally in love with your third paraplegic! — turning her  writing compliment into a creepy, politically incorrect outburst.

Has predictive text failed you?  Please tell me about it and I may end up posting it here on the Voice Tie Bows blog! 

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Ric’s Wreckage & Al’s Address Key

This first voice recognition error is from Google voice mail’s blundered attempt at turning a phone message into an e-mail text message:

What the caller said:          Hey, Ric, it’s Sheila.
How Google translated it: Hey, wreckage, Sheila.

I didn’t take it personally. 

And this one – more trouble with names! – was done with Dragon NaturallySpeaking:

What I actually said to my computer: Al Podrasky
How my voice software translated it:  help address key 

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God did it, not me

Oops.  This voice recognition software faux pas slipped by me, going straight to a client’s inbox!  clip_image002

What I actually said to my computer: The file has everything that got adjusted in today’s meeting.

How my voice software translated it: The file has everything that God adjusted in today’s meeting

It was an important meeting, but I hadn’t imagined the almighty himself taking such a hands-on level of interest. 

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Making Tourniquets–It’s a Legal Matter

Sometimes, the voice recognition software is SO CLOSE, that it almost sounds poetic:

What I actually said to my computer: Do you know how to make a tourniquet?
How my voice software translated it:  Do you know how to make attorney kits?

I’ll bet they’d be more affordable if they could be self-assembled from a kit.  One more:

What I actually said to my computer: the thematic connection
How my voice software translated it:  the fanatic connection

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Dragon Not Even Trying?

Sometimes, Dragon NaturallySpeaking is so far off in its translation of my words that I’m tempted to think it’s messing up on purpose.  Like on this one, in which I was describing a bit part performance my daughter had in a recent movie:

What I actually said to my computer: You could really make her out in this funny bit by the lockers!

How my voice software translated it: You could really make around in this funny bitch is back she said!

“Bitch is back she said”??  Even if I had been dead drunk (no, I wasn’t) and slurring my speech, I don’t see how Dragon could get that from “bit by the lockers.”

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Polanski’s Twist and Esry’s Runs

Twice this week, my voice translation software has proven to be no respecter of persons:

What I actually said to my computer: You guys seen Polanski’s Oliver Twist?
How my voice software translated it:  You guys seem bland skis over the twist

And one more, where it stumbled over the name of the former Sprint president:

What I actually said to my computer: Bill Esry runs frequently
How my voice software translated it:  Bill has the runs frequently

And poor Bill; when I deleted the error and spoke it again, Dragon NaturallySpeaking still got it wrong: Bill as three runs frequently.

So I gave up and hand-typed his name.

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Anti-Democrat voice recognition software!

What I actually said to my computer: Barak Obama
How my voice software translated it: Morocco bomber

Apparently, Dragon NaturallySpeaking isn’t shy about its political opinions.

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In Receipt of a Juried Superego

These common Spanish words in the English language are apparently not common to voice recognition software:

What I actually said to my computer:  Best chorizo burrito ever!
How my voice software translated it:   Best juried superego ever!

And one more:

What I actually said to my computer: Reseda Boulevard
How my voice software translated it:  Receipt of Boulevard

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Greasy Importers — More Mixed-Language Trouble

My voice recognition software often stumbles with words that we use in English but that are foreign language words or that use the pronunciation rules of a  different language.  Some that happened this week:

What I actually said to my computer: in Puerto Rico
How my voice software translated it:  importer Rico

And one more from a name gone wrong:

What I actually said to my computer: Iglesias
How my voice software translated it:  a greasy us

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Excavating Her Marks?

Carrying forth from yesterday’s example of the trouble with punctuation, here’s a doozy of a blunder the voice software made while I was writing some fiction:

What I actually said to my computer: “I love her!”
How my voice software translated it   “I love her excavation mark”

First, it wrongly assumed that my spoken “exclamation mark” should not actually be the “!” character. Second, it got the word “exclamation” wrong, thus “excavation.”

Definitely the kind of error you want to catch before submitting the story to a publisher.

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Dragon Misrecognizes Comma

Is it a spoken word, or is it spoken punctuation? Voice recognition software must discern which, and often gets it wrong.  A recent example while using Dragon NaturallySpeaking:

What I actually said to my computer: amazing camaraderie
How my voice software translated it:  amazing, Rotary

As you can see, it assumed that the “cama” part of the word camaraderie that I spoke was actually “comma” and inserted one, guessing the rest of the word to be Rotary.  Nice try, but FAIL.  Dragon has failed on the word camaraderie for me in the past, humorously so.

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Understandable… But Way Wrong

And spellchecker wouldn’t have had a problem with it either:

What I actually said to my computer: It looks so pretty from up here.
How my voice software translated it:  It looks so pretty from a pier.

Indeed, it is often pretty from a pier, but it certainly wasn’t what I intended to communicate.

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