Vista's speech recognition – useful for Perl scripting?

Vista’s speech recognition used for a simple perl script.

Although the video is, on the surface, indicating that the speech recognition is bad, it actually leaves me quite impressed. The main problems that I see are:

* the user is untrained in use of speech recognition tools in general, evidenced by the fact that he constantly mutters loud enough for the system to mistake his utterances for speech[1]

* the user is clearly not very familiar with the specific system in use, evidenced by the fact that he has to experiment in order to, eg, insert an @, or capitalise letters.

* the system is intended for general-purpose use, not for the specific vocabulary of perl programs. I cite no evidence for this beyond the fact that I don’t think that even MS would be mad enough to ship a speech recognition system targetted more at writing perl scripts than for writing Grandma’s weekly missive.

Once you ignore the problems arising from these, the system actually looks impressively capable. Asking the system to delete the last few words works most of the time; even better, asking to “correct” those words suggests corrections, which seem to be useful in most of the cases in the video where this feature is used. “Capitalize info” finds all the occurences of info and asks if this is what the user intends to be changed.

It’s almost a pity that I’m not likely to be using a Vista machine any time soon – I’d really like to try it out 🙁

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