Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 – Voice Recognition Accuracy at 99% Out of the Box

Posted on July 19, 2006 I Written By

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A recent article in PC World(Australia) claims that Nuance claims breakthrough on speech recognition. It looks like Nuance is trying to continue their lead in the voice recognition market in their latest version of Dragon Naturally Speaking 9. The article says it will ship to Australia in August, but it is available immediately through Nuances global network of reseller partners, software retailers and professional sales organizations according to their recent press release.

Here’s the good information from the article.

Nuance Communications says the latest version of its speech-recognition software can achieve — with some speakers — 99 percent accuracy out of the box, without a “training” session to familiarize the software with how a particular person talks.

The accuracy rate, or what percentage of words the software spells correctly by itself, varies depending on sound quality and how a person talks, Revis said. But Nuance has improved it by 80 percent since NaturallySpeaking 8 was introduced in 2004, according to the company.

Version 8 could reach 99 percent, but only after the user read a prepared script, Revis said. Now users can get that level of accuracy right after installing the software and starting it up, though a script is still available if a user isn’t satisfied with the results on the first try. In any case, the software can continue learning on its own just through normal use, Revis added.

The out-of-the-box 99 percent accuracy figure is for the American English version, but the new Dragon releases for other languages get similar boosts in accuracy, Revis said. The software is available for Dutch, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish, as well as for Australian, Asian, Indian and U.K. English. Also with NaturallySpeaking 9, Nuance is certifying two Bluetooth wireless headsets for use with the software.

Nice to expand the product internationally. I can only imagine what new technology Nuance has come up with to be able to recognize out of the box this many languages. It would make sense if they only had listed latin languages. Howevever, Japanese, Asian(what language is that) and Indian is definitely not anything like latin languages.

A few other interesting notes:

-Dragon Naturally Speaking 9 can be used anywhere on the network including at thin clients
-New support for Nuance-approved Bluetooth headsets
-The Upgrade cost is usually a know brainer if you use Dragon Naturally Speaking 8
-The RAM and CPU requirements are of course higher
-Still requires Windows XP

Call me a skeptic, but my feeling is that despite the increase in accuracy available out of the box with Dragon Naturally Speaking 9, you are still going to want to do the training or enrollment..