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TEXT SPEAK

cities Updated: Aug 29, 2016 21:32 IST

Smartphone speech recognition software can compose text messages up to three times faster and more accurately than humans can type, a new study has found

A COMMON MYTH

Most users find current speech recognition softwares to be frustratingly slow, and it is often inaccurate

However, the new study suggests a different reality

THE STUDY

The research team, which included scientists from the University of Washington, devised an experiment that pitted a cloud-based speech recognition software against 32 texters, ages 19 to 32 using the built-in keyboard on a smartphone

THE UNDERLYING TEXT

The subjects took turns typing or speaking about 100 phrases sourced from a standard library of everyday phrases used in text-based research – phrases such as “physics and chemistry are hard”, “have a good weekend” and “go out for some pizza and beer” — while the testing app recorded their times and accuracy rates

Half the subjects performed the task in English using the QWERTY keyboard; the other half conducted the test in their native Mandarin keyboard

WHAT THEY FOUND

For English, speech recognition was three times faster than typing, and the error rate was 20.4% lower

In Mandarin Chinese, speech was 2.8 times faster, with an error rate 63.4% lower than typing

THE ADVANTAGE

The researchers have quantified that speech recognition actually works well, they hope it will encourage engineers to design user interfaces that take better advantage of the technology