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Writing Blog Posts Using Speech-to-Text

olpeh profile image Olavi Haapala Originally published at olavihaapala.fi on ・3 min read

TL;DR

No, at least based on my experience, I won’t be using this approach in the future. Writing with a proper computer keyboard with 10 fingers is in my experience way faster and less error prone than speech to text, based on this experiment. This is true in my case because I’m lucky enough to have two healthy and functioning hands and I’m able to use a proper keyboard and computer.

I’m not trying to downplay the usefulness of these kind of technologies as way to make writing more accessible and easier for different people and different use cases. I occasionally use speech-to-text for writing short messages as well. The technology is also getting better and better over time, and there may be better solutions available that I haven’t heard about.

Getting Started With Speech to Text

The other day, I had this idea of drafting blog posts on my mobile phone by using the speech-to-text keyboard input. This would allow me to draft blog posts easily while doing something else at the same time, or simply while lying on a sofa. So, I wanted to give this a go, and this is how the two first sentences looked like. I started drafting this blog post a few weeks ago and I have no clue what I tried to say here:

my phone and this is how did people with.

Taylor dayne I had an idea what is

Not a good start! However, after a few sentences, the results improved, and the rest of this blog post is mostly drafted by speech-to-text with some manual editing and fine tuning afterwards.

The Actual Content Drafted Using STT

The other day, I had an idea about writing blog posts by dictating them using my phone. So, now I’m trying this out. I will be talking to my phone and drafting the post like this. This seems to not be working well. I’m on my Android phone OnePlus 7T Pro and I’m using the Google keyboard as it can listen to me and write it down. Of course, I have to admit that I’m not a native English speaker and that’s why it might not recognize my words in the way I pronounce them. Also, somehow it seems like this starts working better when I focus on this when I look at the screen and try to speak a bit more slowly and clearly and think about letting the phone get what I mean.

Not Ready to Give up Just Yet

So, I’m not ready to give up yet. I will try to finish this blog post and my idea is that maybe I’ll post the raw output or at least a couple sentences from it so you can see what kind of output my phone produced for me. In theory this should be a powerful way for drafting blog posts because you could quickly draft some notes – dump your brain to text and then you can edit it later and iterate on it and then publish it when you have finalized the text.

Wishful Thinking

At least based on this test, this will be pretty useful too for me. On the other hand, if I would be talking in more technical terms, I think the keyboard really won’t be able to recognize all my words. I haven’t looked in more detail in the Google keyboard how this works but it somehow feels like it might be learning more if you’re using it. If I actually start using this now, it may learn more about my words and even the technical terms I would be using.

Any Tips for Me?

Have you tried drafting your blog posts by using speech-to-text? How did it work for you? How does your writing process look like?

Are there some better tools for this purpose that I should know of?

Feel free to reach out to me.

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