Voice Typewriter Update

Voice Card  -  Volume 30  -  Paul Card Number 1  -  Sun, Dec 12, 1993 1:36 PM

I continue to follow the status of technology related to John and Roger's "Voice Typewriter" bet with great enthusiasm. The following is particularly significant because, while it meets few or none of the technical requirements, it comes in at less than half the dollar ceiling. John's stock just shot up a point or two.

IBM - To start shipping speech-recognition PC software package at under $1000

{The Wall Street Journal, 3-Nov-93, p. B6}

For now, IBM is aiming its system at the medical and legal communities, which have specific dictating needs. The package has a 32,000-word vocabulary, much of it oriented to medical and legal language. The system can take dictation at about 70 words a minute, which is normal speech with discrete pauses.

The system, which took 21 years to develop, has two pieces - a software package and two adapter cards that add some juice to a computer microprocessor. The technology, which originally required mainframe processing power, was first offered in 1992 on a RISC System/6000 platform. The PC version runs on Intel 486 and Pentium chips. It's considered 97% accurate, meaning it makes three mistakes every 100 words.