Typing without touching the keyboard

22-02-2005

In previous editions of Czech Science we reported on a couple of computer systems, specialising in speech recognition, developed by the Laboratory of Computer Speech Processing or SpeechLab at the Technical University in Liberec. In today's Czech Science we'll look at another voice recognition programme devised by the SpeechLab team.

Are you sometimes so tired of typing that you wish you could simply dictate to your computer? Well, the tools are already there, even for the Czech language, which can be very tricky.

"The problem of the Czech language, and similarly also other Slavic languages, is that these languages are highly inflected. The vocabulary, the lexicon, contains not just the basic word forms but many inflected word forms, so for example nouns, verbs and adjectives - all of these word groups can have many different forms."

Professor Jan Nouza, the founder of SpeechLab and head of the research team in Liberec. The voice dictation computer programme has almost perfectly mastered the Czech language, including some colloquial word forms. The system could find many potential uses.

"The dictation system could help handicapped people for example. Those who cannot work with the standard input means like the keyboard or the mouse. For those people the voice dictation could be a very good solution because they could input text into their computers simply by their voice."

And could you use it for dictating letters?

"That's also possible, of course, but some people say that well-qualified and well-skilled secretaries could be faster than the computer. And of course, they could be more precise and make fewer mistakes than the computer. But there are also some professions where people could benefit from voice dictation. For example, some physicians, like radiologists, when they for example inspect X-ray images. Their eyes must focus on the images themselves and at the same time they could dictate the report. So it could be very beneficial for them if they can focus on the images and at the same time dictate into the computer without looking at the computer screen."

More information at http://itakura.kes.vslib.cz

22-02-2005