Speak-and-Type - 4/28/06
Old roommate Kolleen and I were recently hired to give a three-part presentation on College Reading and Writing at the nearby high school. Yes, I know, I throw cell phones against brick walls and run around at night taking pictures of sprinklers, and somebody wants to hire me to teach kids how to read. I blame the American educational system.

Anyway, as part of our presentation, we wanted to make copies of an essay Kolleen pulled out of one of her "we're so post-modern that we're not even post-modern anymore" grad school books. Rather than photocopy the article, I decided it would be better to transcribe the article into my computer in order to make faster copies and have the article on hard disk for future printers.

The only problem is, I absolutely loath transcribing articles. That crap in middle school, you know, how many words of this article about oak tress can you type in 100 seconds? So I decided to try out the fancy new voice recognition feature my computer has. You know, the one where you speak into your crappy "came-with-the-computer" microphone and the computer translates what you said into text.

Not very well, apparently. The following is, word for word, what ended up on my computer screen after I read out loud two paragraphs about legal rights for animals:

Indication when of the loss of jurors have proffered many criteria as sufficient including sand dunes a sense of justice that possession of language are morality and having a rational plan of one's life stages of when the loss of jurors and have a 32 points and have them when they're in the man whoat the end of the enemy that the "new court court but you wait till it's where it's the stupid, does leave and are keeping our attitude actually the button that writing that are all but just as you are thinking aluminum receiving gifts and paragraph break
Way to the Those are the
Notice that I said that it on me is sufficient for basic legal rights it obviously isn't necessary we don't eat or vivisection and babies born without brains were selecting incentives that they are operated on without anesthesia. 38% who is against better than we do this but this is so many ways it is that of a press all loss of the Roman jurist her margin in the dns a shooter of our board and the kaleidoscope butter churned tofu oath T. where scope eat a bowl of the ex and market that's blocking funny, your honor its original plan might go a long

I don't know what the word 'whoat' means or how it got italicized, but I do like the voice programs strong fondness for the words "jurors" and "jurist" (neither of which were actually in the passage. In the program's defense the part about vivisecting babies born without brains was actually in the passage. Apparently the computer can understand that.

We ended up just photocopying the article. Then I threw my crappy microphone against a brick wall.



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