Dictating On Voice Activated Devices

Dictating to a voice activated device is a novel experience for me. Sometimes you just don’t want to type your ideas but want to speak them out loud. The technology these days empowers authors like myself who are too lazy to type or just want to try out the technology for the sake of it. So I’m trying this out to see how it goes. I haven’t figured out everything yet. But I am pleasantly surprised that my voice is recognizable to the iOS software and without too many corrections I can get this thing done. The built-in software within iOS is pretty good at translating voice to text. It is far more challenging for me to get accustomed to dictating what I want to write to software. I have yet to Google how to delete my mistakes when I see them typed by voice commands. I would like this experience to be completely hands-free and smooth flowing. And it should not take too long to get to that stage.

So, in order to practice, I decided to test it out by dictating this article. Just to see if I can throw this thing off. So far it doesn’t seem to mind and types whatever I say as long as I say it in English intelligibly enough. I haven’t have to type any tongue twisters or easily misheard or misinterpreted words phrases or sentences. Abracadabra hocus-pocus this is truly magical, the thing ignores my coughing and sneezing and other noises from the background. While I cannot say that this software built into the device will work for everyone but it seems to work for me. So far so good. Now if I can only focus on the writing (dictating) it would greatly increase my writing speed and productivity. I do type pretty fast but naturally I speak faster.

Writing is an artform and it has come a long way since the days of pen and ink on manuscripts to typewriters and desktop PCs to small portable smart devices that support voice recognition so good that the writer can free himself or herself from the medium and focus on the content itself. It will take some time but it will truly be the way writers write in the future. I think. I’m loving this. I think.

I have to learn to use this dictation thingamajig properly before totally adapting it over typing. For instance I still pause, as it eight [hesitate], while I wait for it to type what I just said instead of just saying it because it does take a few seconds to process. I still have to figure out how to delete mistakes using voice commands.

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Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson


I just finished listening to the audiobook version of this recently released biography of Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. It’s a brilliant book that everyone should read or listen to.

Isaacson has a unique style of writing which is perfect for biographies. It’s easy to read, understand and follow along. He keeps you interested in the writing by keeping the suspense at just the right level without really making a big deal out of it.

He did a lot of research in writing this book which is probably typical of writing any historically accurate biographical book. However, what is fascinating about Isaacson’s method is his uncanny ability to ask the right questions of the right people making them open up to him.

Isaacson’s integrity to his writing mandated that he let his subject (Jobs) know from the get go that he would not stop at anything. This wouldn’t be huge with most personalities, but Jobs was notorious for secrecy. Granted Jobs had approached Isaacson to write the biography, still it’s a remarkable feat that Isaacson managed to accomplish with writing about Jobs’ personal life in such detail. The book, in my humble opinion, is a masterpiece, not just because of the quality of writing but because of the subject matter.

I would have loved for the book to have more about Jobs’ spiritual life, although there is a fair amount of information in it. I think Isaacson could have collected more material around that aspect of his life. If he collected it, it would have made a more wholesome read to have included more. The religious beliefs and actions don’t say a lot more about him than any other aspects of his life but they do offer a very interesting insight into their existence as a human being.

His background and his unwillingness to call his biological father (although having had a chance run in with him at a restaurant!), I will never understand. Why would he do that? Why do people do the strangest things that they do?

All in a all, Jobs was a fascinating personality we could all learn from. And not just from his positive qualities either.



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