Voice Dictation

Google Docs has a new tool that will make getting through your ever expanding workload a whole lot easier…  

The team at G Suite (formerly known as Google Apps for Work) have been busy adding numerous new features for Docs, for example, you’re now able to have your own virtual assistant type up your work for as you dictate it. The Voice Dictation feature is supported within the web browser and both the iOS and Android apps once enabled from the Tools menu. So as long as your device has a microphone, all you have to do is click the little mic icon or use a voice command to get started.

One of the most impressive features of the tool is its ability to distinguish the difference between text and punctuation, for example; “new paragraph”, “comma”, “hyphen”  etc.

And if you’re worried about not being able to use it for your latest modern languages essay, then there’s no need, as it’s already available in 40 different languages. When it comes to making mistakes while using the app, there’s a simple delete button available alongside your voice commands to keep things clear. It also seems remarkably able to cope with local accents – we’ve recently seen it working well with Edinburgh and Stirling accents.

Google’s voice recognition doesn’t just stop with Google Docs though; they’ve also seamlessly integrated it into some of their other services. One of the most helpful applications they offer, Google Now, has been using it to make everyday life easier and easier. If you have the app on your phone, you can activate it by saying “OK Google” and follow on with your question, such as “What are the 10 best Google Voice commands to make my life easier?” Google will then offer you a selection of answers and web pages to choose from within the app. This can be from anything like the weather, sports results, movie trivia, new artists or how long it’ll take you to get home from work that day. These sorts of features are only going to appear more and more in their business systems too.

What impresses most about Google’s voice recognition is how it’s been developed to understand normal speech patterns so it can better process the information and deliver such accurate results. A lot of clever machine learning behind the scenes does the heavy lifting. Most of this post was written using the Voice Dictation in Google Docs. I had planned on leaving in the mistakes, but scored out, just to prove how useful it was. However I made it through the whole section without any errors, and that’s speaking Glaswegian, which I hadn’t really expected to be one of the 40 languages…