Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cloud Computing is no Longer Only for the IT Field!

The words “Cloud Computing” might sound like a new advancement in the IT world, but it has literally been right above our heads this whole time! Think of a time that you were at an airport. Remember the huge screens/signs that were hanging from the ceilings. Well that is a very good example of Cloud Computing at its best!

Cloud Computing: An Introduction

If you work in a data center then you probably know that there are multiple servers for only one client. So you might think that this would make the link between them move faster, but sadly it does not. The term “Cloud Computing” became popular in 2007 as it had the potential to bring a halt to the busy days of network trafficking. The average time of work is greatly reduced due to the fact that this steady network is inclined to operate and converge on various machines, these shared databases can then be accessed with a application that is web based (E.g.: Business software’s, custom application as well as gaming interfaces). If you think that this might cost you a fortune then do not worry! For this to work all you need is a computer and an internet connection. We would recommend this to anyone that has a growing business since it is easy to use and the functions can be used at anytime, anywhere! 

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Digital Dictation for the Wonderful Field of Education

Whether we want to accept it or not, it is an irrefutable fact that the world is being filled with gadgets and devices that are completely digitized! So who has time for writing?! When was the last time you wrote a letter to someone? When was the last time you wrote a memo? Everything is being run by digital devices and modern technology. This is why more schools today are teaching children about computers and typing than they have in the past. This is sure to cause quite a stir since such classrooms will, in most likelihood, accommodate digital dictation technology.

What to Consider Before Buying a Digital Voice Recorder

After all the research and discussions it is a proven fact that digital recorders are much more convenient than tape recorders. Even though the advantages of these devices are countless, you still have to be smart when it comes to purchasing them, especially if you are considering getting it for your business! Question is: Do you only need Dictation software or do you need voice recording software with transcription capabilities? So we took the liberty of coming up with a list of features that you should to pay more attention to before investing in this software.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Making the Change – From Analog to Digital

The advantages offered by Digital Dictation far outweigh the advantages offered by Analog cassette-tape recorders. Digital Dictation may seem like a new form of technology that needs to be studied and tested carefully before installation; however it is a fairly seamless integration to your company's workflow.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Is Digital Dictation “Nice-to-Have” or will it Improve Patient Care?

A lot of people think that Digital Dictation is something that can save time and increase efficiency. If you know what the benefits are then you will realize that this can dramatically improve patient healthcare!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Digital Dictation Tools for Journalists

If there was ever a profession that relied solely on recording speech it has to be Journalism where quality of information is everything! Gathering information and transcribing them into text is the backbone of this industry. To acquire this information journalists often write information down on paper, but the most popular method seems to be the digital tape recorder to ensure that no information is overlooked.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Advantages of Digital Dictation Software

There are a number of advantages to using Digital Dictation software. Many industries today use this software to increase their productivity levels since we all know by now that Digital Dictation software is a tool ideal for those who multi task. Well, we came up with a list of benefits that is sure to make you think twice about including Digital Dictation to your business!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Digital Dictation: Is it making an appearance in the Legal Industry…?

Imagine a lawyer with countless court cases and a very busy practice. With all of this he/she also needs to draft, edit and re-write certain important and confidential legal documents. Apart from that, they will also have situations, where writing or putting together countless letters and other documents to clients becomes a very demanding job. Many of these lawyers or advocates will not be typing these documents on their own and therefore this type of documentation or drafting will be done by a legal aid, law clerk or legal secretary.

Digital Dictation

We've spoken at length about Speech Recognition and its various contributions to many industries. So today we want to talk about another exciting development: Digital Dictation!

We all remember the cassette tape recorder. We use it for interviews, to record lectures and even to make brief notes for something important i.e. writing a report or a book. The truth is.. 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Manual Transcription – A Thing of the Past?

Voice recognition software has become quite a hot topic in the recent past and has made quite a few developments and advancements, but the real question on everyone’s mind (Even ours!) is, “Can Voice recognition software really replace manual transcription?” Well, many people have many opinions about it, but we think it’s safe to assume that although voice recognition is being used for many purposes, it won’t be taking over the world as we know it any time soon.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Speech Recognition Software: From Science Fiction to Everyday Life?

Star Trek, Knight Rider. These are some of the movies that first got us interested in computers that have the ability to generate speech. And if that wasn't enough they had the intelligence to reply to any and all questions thrown at them! All of these movies and TV shows were centered on a computer that was jammed into the control panel. So why computers? Why has the focus solely been on computers when talking about speech recognition? Well it’s simple. Only computers have the ability facilitate and process the controls that perform the work necessary for speech recognition to work.

Since the introduction of computers, they have been quite a fixture on our lives. If you think about it we use at least one thing each day that is run by computers. No matter how hard we try there is no getting away from it. For example, almost everyone has a GPS (Global Positioning System) in their cars to help you figure out where you’re going and how to get there. But wait! Why stop there?! What about the most popular and widely used product anywhere in the world today? MOBILE PHONES!! Voice Dialing is a feature that has become a staple in the cellular world. Any type of mobile has this feature which makes it much easier for you to use your mobile phone and is also a great tool if you need to multitask.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Impact of Voice Recognition Software on Medical Transcriptions

Voice Recognition! This is the software of the future for medical industry. This software has been able to successfully synchronize with medical transcription.
Today, we will be focusing on how speech recognition software has become so popular, and mainstream that even the medical industry has made a point to make speech recognition a part of their everyday business. We all remember the days when we went to the hospital and received our prescriptions, written by a doctor, on a piece of paper.  It is safe to say that since then a lot has changed in the software business and it’s making its way into the medical industry. Before stepping into the depth of this discussion, let’s first focus our attention to two abbreviations, that have already caught on, and are sure to make quite a splash in the world of electronic records:
  • EMR (Electronic Medical Records) – In simple terms, these patient records are entered into a computer rather than being on paper. Patient information like patients’ past medical history, illnesses, medical test results and treatments provided by the medical practitioner. This data is gathered by qualified individuals, who belong to the healthcare field.
  • EHR (Electronic Health Records) – This does pretty much the same tasks as EMR, but the difference is that these records are distributed to a certain healthcare organization that initially collects the data. This system is quite impressive, since the information is split and sent to the respective healthcare providers. The best thing about this is that, if a patient has more than one medical practitioner, it will appear in the system, and all those records can be accessed by multiple healthcare organizations.

Imagine that you’re a medical practitioner searching for a patient’s hand written records, while the patient is in a critical medical situation. It will greatly affect the well being of that patient. If EHR was implemented doctors and other medical practitioners will have all the information they need at arm’s length! Although the benefits of this are quite high the most important fact is that it can help save lives!
Now that we’ve discussed the basic impact, we can move on to why this software is proving to be so important to medical practitioners. Well, we came up with the following results:
  • Information on the EHR can provide doctors with the tools they need to treat a patient, that might be suffering from a life threatening ailment and can immediately start the treatment.
  • EHR is also useful to patients. You can look at your medical records and keep a track of their medical history. You can then see the progress of your health whenever you want to!
  • Simplicity in deciding/checking the admission and discharge dates of the patient. If the patient has to be transferred from one location to the next, well, guess what?! This system will make sure that you are transferred with no delay!
Importance of EHR is one thing, but how will the relationship between medical transcriptions and EHR affect the general standing of the healthcare field. Well, here are some points we thought might shed some light on the subject:
  • Medical practitioners need not scripting patient information. Dictation options are available, which can record the required information of the patient. Once this document is transcribed, it can be returned to EHR’s of the medical practitioner.
  • Companies, that focus solely on transcription, can make use of separate Reportable Transcription software to transfer the information directly into specific fields of EHR.
  • If the interaction between the patient and the medical practitioner can be preserved, then medical practitioners will be able to use the EHR system more productively.
  • Creating a summary of medical reports is something that voice recognition can offer to medical practitioners. The file can then be listened to by the transcriptionists and makes the necessary changes.
  • No software is perfect! That’s something that we can all agree on. There will most likely be errors made by the voice recognition software. This is where the medical transcriptionists step in. They will edit the documents and create the final ones.  
So there you have it! Voice recognition coupled with EHR is well on its way to becoming the software of the future! Well… it’s already here, but as we know, with all software there is always room for improvement!

What do you think of our blog? Would you like to see any blogs about what interests you in the intriguing world of Speech/Voice Recognition? Well, here’s your chance! Send us your suggestions and we’ll do our best to put up something just for you! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

Current Systems in Speech Synthesis

Small Vocabulary (Can be used by many users)

We believe that this option is most suited for those who require services such as automated telephone answering. The most attractive feature in this system that you can have any kind of accent or different pattern to your speech and system will completely understand what you say!!! There are so many products and software out there that does not work on different variations of speech and this feature makes sure that is no longer a barrier for effective speech recognition. But the only downside to it is that there is limited usage and it can only answer to pre-set commands.

Large Vocabulary (Can be used by limited users)
If you’re running a business and need software that only a small number of people use, then look no further, as this is the perfect selection for you! Large vocabulary systems are known for their high level of accuracy of up to 85% (Or could even go higher depending on the user). Even though these systems have an impressive vocabulary which progresses well into the thousands, they are still unable to work with a small number of people without prior training. It is also important to mention that if it is being used by any other user than Primary users the accuracy rate is most likely to fall by leaps and bounds.
Discrete and Continuous speech. These are two speech recognition systems that were being used a decade ago. Discrete speech could be explained as a program which requires the speaker to speak words with regular intervals and much clarity. If the speaker were to speak in a normal manner with regular word flow and in an appropriate conversational manner then the best suited system, according to my research, would be the Continuous speech system. We believe that the latter option would be the best since the speaker does not have to spend a significant amount of time thinking and pronouncing their words so that the system can understand it. The good news is that the Continuous speech system is freely available in most modern systems so you’re good to go!

The healthcare industry is also benefiting quite heavily with this system. Using it in their front-end and back-end processes is proving to be quite helpful when it comes to documentation. All you have to do is speak into the speech recognition software and it instantly records everything and converts your speech into text. So whether you’re entering patient data or even doing some complicated and delicate medical research, this speech software is sure to make your life much easier and a plus point is that you can multi-task as well! So you’re actually getting twice the work done in half the time! Now that’s what we call advancements in technology!

Don’t forget to check in tomorrow where we will be discussing (In great detail) the impact speech recognition has on the Medical Industry.

Concatenative Synthesis & Formant Synthesis

There are three types of Concatenative Synthesis all of which consist of pre-recorded speech stored in a memory then retrieved from the memory and simply concatenated to produce the sentence to be spoken. Hence eliminating the need to store large number of words for synthesis of un-restricted text, basis sounds (phonemes) can be used, as basis sounds can be combined together to form words and create sentences.

  •  Unit selection synthesis
This division is specially modified to align diphones, morphemes, words, phrases and sentences stored on large databases and composed so as to gain a sense of naturalness in TTS systems.

  •  Diphone synthesis
Diphones are obtained by cutting a speech waveform into phone-sized units, with a cut in the middle of each phone so as to preserve the transition between adjacent phones in each diphone, the pitch of diphones aren’t as distorted therefore the pitch varies. (E.g.: To synthesize the word straight, the six-diphone sequence)/#s-st-tr-re-et-t#/ would be used (# denotes silence).

  • Domain specific synthesis 
Domain specific synthesis implements very simple voiceover patterns and sequences and is often found in household electronics. E.g. in the domain of animated characters, it has been observed that features occurring in human expression need to be exaggerated in synthetic Expression in order to be believable.

Formant Synthesis

It is a custom filter model based on the acoustic theory of speech production where the vocal tract transfer passes through the filter and in time morphed to create a waveform of artificial speech also called Rules based synthesis .The source proceeds as a sampling function for voiced speech, in much more simpler models transfer function of the linear filter modeling the vocal tract has only poles. This format has been used before in Sega and Atari. Video games, the lead source for this function are produced by the vocal cord and noise made by pressure variations across the constriction formed in the vocal tract. The resulting speech sounds “inanimate” or “robot-like”. No human speech recordings are involved at run time. Several larger undertakings have used formant synthesizers because the high degree of control they can provide not only with conveying questions and statements but a range of other multi-purpose functions. Formant synthesis is currently in use within the VAESS project.

 • Source Filter Model

The source filter is the most common of all synthesis techniques. This theory states that the vocal tract can be used as linear filter. The vocal cord has to vibrate in order for this process to activate. The result sound which is produced must exit through the lips. All sounds can be later filtered, the different aspects of this theory are complicating and so left for professionals.

In a model made by a journalist it is explained that the source filter model is divided into 3 separate parts the source, the filter and lip radiation.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Speech Synthesis – An Introduction


(1962-1977): The first generation of speech synthesis featured a formant like synthesis of phonemes based on the phonetic breakdown of phrase to formant frequency contours which at that time was at the peak.

(1962-1977): The synthesis had low precision and naturalness due to the limited resources of that generation and was soon replaced by successors.

(1977-1992): In the second generation of speech synthesis the standards of intelligibility were improved with the immediate use of LCP parameters, however many would say that the lifelikeness of this process still remained low. This system relied on converting the appropriate units from text input to speech form.

(1992-present): This system can be customized to suit the given process, and uses “Unit Selection Synthesis” which according to a web based article were introduced to the public Sagisaka at ATR Labs in Kyoto. The latest version of this is available for American and British English, Danish, Finnish, French, German, Icelandic, Italian, Norwegian, Spanish, Swedish, and Dutch. Digital Equipment Corporation [3] (DEC) talk system is originally descended from MITalk and Klattalk and offers nine different voice personalities, four male, four female and one child (depending on the equipment). The present DECtalk structure is based on digital formant synthesis.

Speech synthesis has increased its commercial acclaim in modern applications mainly due to advancements and further requirements of existing research organizations in the past decade, most of which aim to reduce the  cost and time of standard procedures. The product consists of a text-to-speech system that converts (e.g. : Plain text based input to synthetic speech, Additional ramification of phonological and acoustic details must be shared for greater accuracy).Due to a large increase of widely used speech databases simpler applications have been developed to adapt with the acquired standards that are met with, while these waveform techniques are in great demand improvements have been made to original TTS systems currently in use in many research based companies. The growth of speech applications for both recognition and synthesis has increased since computers developed. The implemented software or hardware product can also render symbolic linguistic representations like phonetic transcriptions to synthetic speech. Speech synthesizers have also been used to allow people with disabilities to interact with people. Danish scientist Christian Kratzenstein has been credited for building a prototype model mechanized to produce five distinct sounds (commonly associated as the 5 vowels in the international phonetic alphabet). This was followed by the bellows-operated "acoustic-mechanical speech machine" by Wolfgang von Kempelen of Pressburg, Hungary, described in a 1791 paper. This machine added models of the tongue and lips, enabling it to produce consonants as well as vowels. Further developments of the system include attempts to program emotion into synthesized speech operational systems; several small studies have been conducted as an attempt at progress on emotional speech synthesis. Both engineers and linguists who work in the research region of TTS are trying to enlist a great deal of data required for TTS, an European author claims that the general view of this field is dominated by Americans even though the pioneers of this systems are almost exclusively European.

Thursday, June 6, 2013


Medical professionals are constantly on the search for ways to improve efficiency. Less time spent taking notes and filling out charts means more time to help patients. One way doctors are increasing efficiency is with the use of voice recognition software. 

Talking computers has been nothing more than a science fiction dream, however the real change in our lives will come when computers can listen and understand. Voice recognition software which is more popularly called speech recognition software has made significant improvements in the recent past.

Everyone from doctors to the disabled is making use of voice recognition software and applications that are voice activated. The biggest advantage of speech recognition software is that we now have the ability to do hands-free computing. Dictating to secretaries or writing out by hand can now be submitted directly through the use of voice activated software to a word processing program. A small amount of editing is required to perfect the document and it’s ready to go! This type of software can vastly improve your ability to multitask and focus on several tasks at the same time. This software can also make improvements in the lifestyles of those who cannot use a mouse and keyboard as a result of having limited mobility or suffering from another type of disability.

This specialized software can only be accessible to those who have the correct features such as the ability for the technology to convert a person's voice into a recognizable data pattern. Everyone speaks differently. The use of an accent or simply the way a sentence is put together can make all the difference. This makes it quite difficult for the computer to translate without it first being trained on the necessary requirements. Any type of software being used for voice recognition or speech recognition will most definitely require some kind of training that is user specific.

The main purpose of this software is to allow you to be able to navigate your computer using only your voice. This means that any task, whether it something as simple as opening and closing a document or installing a program, should be able to be completed all by using voice command. The second most important purpose of the software is Dictation. Dictation means that we should be able to speak text into a Word document or other form of text editor that you prefer, however the program must be excellent at identifying speech in order to accurately transform it to text. For this reason dictation is the best test to determine a solid voice activated program.

Initially, voice recognition software could only be used with the help of a specific program or a exact piece of equipment, however with advances in technology it is now possible for this software to be made available in not only almost any program, but also in a significantly large amount of computer systems.

Apart from voice recognition being a great advantage in the business/corporate world, there are also numerous amounts of non-business based benefits to using voice recognition software. For example, it is a great tool for individuals who are visually impaired or those who cannot use a physical keyboard or mouse due to a physical disability. These individuals lose the opportunity to manipulate a computer and in most instances acquire a certain level of independence. With the introduction of voice activated programs any type of person, regardless of their physical shortcomings, will be able to work and in some cases gain a significant level of self sufficiency.

These are just a handful of the non-business benefits that are developed for those who require it. The benefits of using this software inside office are numerous. The ability to create documents, reports, and even internal memos can easily be spoken thus leaving your hands free to complete other more important tasks. Telephone calls too can be made through voice over IP software applications. This type of software solely depends on the ability of the computer to convert voice into data, thereby providing a quick solution to your typing needs.

The ability of voice activated programs to improve your lifestyle and give you more time for more pressing tasks can simply be explained through statistics. For example, the average office worker is able to type anywhere between 50-70 words per minute. However, with the use of speech recognition programs the average typing speed can be increased to 120 words per minute at an astounding accuracy rate of 98%! With suitable training, you can also be able to leave the editing portion of the task to be completely handled through the use of voice activated programming. With all these advancements in voice recognition software it can definitely be said that vast improvements in the lives of many and the productivity levels will surely increase. 

New ways to interact while working on important tasks can now be achieved with the use of voice recognition software!