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Friday 11 March 2011

Talking out of the box V

In the previous two blog entries, we discussed two important concepts, name transformation and landmarks. In this blog entry, we'll discuss how to use these concepts in a practical application.

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Talking out of the box IV

In the previous blog post, I showed an applied example of working with non-speakable text. This example highlighted some of the issues pertaining to name transformation. In this post, we shall briefly discuss a way at looking at non-speakable text as a precursor to using these concepts in a practical environment.

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Talking out of the box III

In the last segment, the discussion covered on the conceptual jump between traditional Natural Language Commands/direct dictation to working with data not normally manipulated using these techniques. The distance between working speech recognition friendly data and non-friendly data is not as far as it may seem at first.

The starting point is the application with the data in a form that cannot be spoken. As we've described, code, XML,JSON are all great candidates for something that hurts to speak. I believe a key concept in manipulating something unspeakable is removing it from the context it is in and transform it into something that can be spoken. The reason this approach should work is because it shortens the conceptual distance between what you say and what's on the screen.

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Wednesday 9 March 2011

Talking out of the box II

In the last post, we covered some of the issues pertaining to speech recognition user interfaces. As we started to discuss, a significant impediment to speech recognition use is its inability to deal with applications whose data is inaccessible through "normal" means or, data that cannot be described with human languages. Example of this data would be spreadsheets, databases, programming languages and data notations like XML. These impediments are not killers. They require thinking a different way about how to say what you want to get what you need.

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Monday 7 March 2011

Talking out of the box

The next few entries in the blog will attempt to illustrate problems and solutions when enabling applications with a speech interface.

When people think of speech recognition, often the first image that comes to mind is one of robots and computers found in popular media such as the iconic HAL 9000 from 2001. Hal is a great image but a lousy role model for speech recognition.

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Tuesday 1 March 2011

Complex thoughts, simple answers, difficult path.

Whenever a consultant starts up their solo practice, it is usually a tangled hairball of reasons and motivations. Some are private and should not be discussed outside of a therapist's office, others are public and things a customer should hear because it directly affects how they will work together.  In this case, I speak of a major killer of projects and saboteur of success, misunderstanding complexity in projects and technology.

I left a long career as a software developer for a variety of reasons. One of the dominant ones was a complete and total frustration with how we develop software. Everything we did added overhead, complexity, and frustration to both the developers and management alike.

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