Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I don't want my laptop or mobile to just dictate/type down what I say, but instead write what the caller on the other end of the line says. Why doesn't Google or Nuance enable that functionality? Is it even possible? What would be needed for that to work?

share|improve this question

migrated from Jul 29 '11 at 13:31

This question came from our site for professional programmers interested in conceptual questions about software development.

In theory it's probably possible if Dragon were able to monitor the audio output signal that Skype is generating. Why haven't they done it? There's probably not enough demand. If Dragon has a plug-in architecture, this could be a good hobby project... ;) – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner Jul 29 '11 at 13:27

When you are speaking your voice is being recorded through your computer's microphone and audio hardware. This audio signal is available to any applications on your computer. When you are speaking to someone over Skype the voice signal is encoded in a bunch of packets. You would need to reverse engineer Skype's protocol in order to decode the voice signal.

If you're talking on a cell phone in speakerphone mode the quality might not be good enough for voice recognition. Also the voice recognition software would need to be trained on both your voice and the other person's.

I'm not sure what relevance Google has here.

share|improve this answer
Well, there's some wrong information in that answer. The software could always just grab the audio signal from the line out for example. – Falcon Jul 29 '11 at 13:17
true in theory it could pick up on the line out, But emddudley is true Dragon requires training on your voice before it will correctly recognise the words. Although this is just for Dragon the intelligence agency's have been doing this for years but Im guessing the reluctant at releasing their algorithms for the greater good! – squarebear Jul 29 '11 at 13:39
Not that it belongs here but there is also some legal issues with recording phone calls. – Chad Jul 29 '11 at 13:46
Google's relevance is in the Google Voice tool. Technically, Google Voice does transcribe incoming calls, but only when you send them to voicemail. Then it can text the voicemail message to you. – music2myear Jul 29 '11 at 14:26
I'm with Chad on this one. There are some serious serious legal consequences here. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure you need consent to transcript a phone call. . . – surfasb Jul 30 '11 at 3:05

Dragon NaturallySpeaking (unlike Google) needs to be trained before being able to transcribe speech into words.

Google does speech to text transcriptions for the caller on the other end of the line when someone leaves a message on your autoresponder on Google voice.

Note that the voice quality is often altered quite heavily during a call, which makes voice recognition even harder.

share|improve this answer

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .