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Culture Change and Speech Input

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Do you use speech recognition software as an input on your desktop or mobile devices? The basic tradeoffs have been studied for ages. Speech allows the user to keep hands-free, particularly helpful for maintenance workers and health care providers who have their hands busy while they need to input notes. Also for physically challenged people who have limited motor control for typing.

In a sense, voice-writing requires people to change their cognitive style. It’s relatively free and easy, more like speech than writing. But because it’s hard to edit and tinker, dictating to a phone is most like working on an old manual typewriter, where you have to map out each sentence in your head before clacking away. “I think through more completely what I’m trying to say,” Erik Olsen, a video journalist at The New York Times and another dictation adherent, told me.