Texting software 1, man 0

Nuance mobile speech recognition software beats texting champion

Machine won out over man in a text messaging competition at a mobile-communications industry event this week in Orlando, Fla.

The John Henry of the event was Ben Cook of Utah, the Guinness World Record holder for texting, who lost to Nuance's Mobile Dictation software that converts human speech into text on a mobile phone. The losing round used the same text message that Cook typed to win his record title: "The razor toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygocentrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human."

Cook took 43.22 seconds, while the Nuance software did it 16.32. No contest.

Not that it would have mattered much based on the point spread, but maybe Cook should have been given a true texting equivalent like: "rzr 2thd piranas of genera Srraslms & Pygocntrs R mst frocious H20 fsh in wrld. IRL sldom attck U." And doesn't speaking sort of defeat the purpose of the privacy that text messaging offers?

The Nuance mobile speech software works on any Windows Mobile or Symbian OS device, and can be ported to other applications, according to Nuance. Users may like to know that they can dictate with Nuance automatically whenever the blinking cursor appears on their mobile text screen.

The application is probably also handy for quickly texting those not up on their texting lingo, IMHO.

About the author

In a software-driven world, it's easy to forget about the nuts and bolts. Whether it's cars, robots, personal gadgetry or industrial machines, Candace Lombardi examines the moving parts that keep our world rotating. A journalist who divides her time between the United States and the United Kingdom, Lombardi has written about technology for the sites of The New York Times, CNET, USA Today, MSN, ZDNet, Silicon.com, and GameSpot. She is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not a current employee of CNET.


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