Microsoft has launched a new dictation feature for Outlook, Word, and even PowerPoint.
Developed through Microsoft Garage, an innovation program run by the company, Dictate leverages the speech recognition technology used in the Microsoft Cognitive Services development platform. It does just what the name suggests, allowing users to dictate the text of an email or document without having to type; and Microsoft says that it supports over 20 languages.
It’s a reflection of the growing importance of voice and speech as a user interface. To a large extent, the trend is emerging because of voice interaction’s utility with devices that don’t support a traditional user interface, such as a keyboard, but Microsoft is evidently seeing increasing demand for this kind of interactivity across the board – in a blog post announcing Dictate, the company asserted that Dictate “quickly grew its fan base” after an initial prototype was built.
Of course, Microsoft isn’t the first big IT company to announce such a system: Google enabled dictation for its Docs last year. The companies have proven competitive in this area, with Microsoft researchers announcing they had reached human parity in speech recognition last autumn, and Google bested its accuracy rate this spring.
Source: The Fire Hose