Nuance Communications are famous for their Dragon speech recognition products. They have a dizzying range for different industries and applications. All use an AI-based algorithm, they refer to it as ‘Deep Learning’ in their marketing materials.
This means that speech recognition, like any other form of machine learning technology, learns by using raw data to improve. As data grows, speech recognition is also improved and algorithms become more accurate. Then the software will recognize how you speak. It allows you to use dictation as an alternative to typing. At the time of writing, it’s rumored Microsoft is buying Nuance to enter the healthcare market or to improve their own AI, Cortana. whether this will improve Dragon solutions is unclear.
Nuance’s Dragon Products Have Lower Accuracy Rates
Unfortunately, there is no human transcription option within Nuance’s flagship Dragon products. You cannot connect with a team of speech-to-text professionals to work on your audio or video files.
AI-based speech recognition solutions are typically much less accurate than using human transcriptionists. Human transcription is the best solution if you’re going for accuracy, despite the fact that that Rev.com’s and Rev.ai’s AI solution is ahead of many global competitors.
We know the limitations of AI and offer a cost-effective solution to those requiring increased accuracy. Rev’s AI is more accurate because the source data is of higher quality, because it’s based on our human professional transcription data.
Pricing Details of Each Service
Dragon software is designed to simplify data entry on a computer. It has the potential to make data entry more convenient but only after training takes places. It learns as you make corrections.
Nuance charges $500 for its Dragon Professional (Individual) download. Then charges its users an extra $150 per annum for Dragon Anywhere. This allows dictation and synchronization on the move for Android and iPhone users. It should be included free in any solution costing hundreds of dollars, don’t you think?
Rev’s pricing is far more competitive, with a minute of audio or video transcription or video captioning costing just $1.25. With Rev, you can also opt for our AI transcription solution for just $0.25 per minute.
Rev also offers the world’s most accurate speech-to-text API solution, which can be used by developers to build transcriptions or captions into applications & software.
Choose the Best Transcription Solution for You
Dragon’s speech recognition and Rev’s speech-to-text solutions are two sides of the same coin. Dragon’s solutions focus on converting a single licensed user’s speech to text. Data entry or dictation are common usage scenarios. Rev’s services involve transcription or captioning from source files. This is something that Dragon usually can’t handle accurately. Add several voices or accents and results get worse.
Journalists agree that transcription is the most tedious part of the job. They often outsource the task so they can write their next article. Video producers seeking captioning or subtitling will avoid doing it themselves. In these situations, Dragon is not a viable solution, unless you want to dictate everything yourself, correcting errors as you go. Expect an hour of audio to take 6-12 hours using this inefficient method. Dragon commands such as “Correct That”, “Delete that” or “Replace That” will become second nature by completion.
Dragon is a leading dictation solution, has its merits for those who take the time to train it. Users must learn the specific commands needed to perform tasks. Different commands work within the word processor, web browser or other application.
It’s not a valid solution for transcription from audio files or video files. AI is still incapable of replacing humans in the transcription, subtitling and captioning fields.
Windows’ Speech, often referred to as voice typing, was among the most accurate tools I tested for this article. Both Windows 10 and Windows 11 come with Speech, which you can try out using the keyboard shortcut Windows Key-H in any text field. Up pops a window with a microphone icon. Tap the microphone and start talking. Text shows up more or less in real time.
You can add punctuation manually using commands(Opens in a new window), or you can try the experimental auto-punctuation feature. As a writer, I prefer adding punctuation manually—I’m pretty particular about my punctuation—but the automated feature worked fairly well and I could imagine it being good enough for some people. See our complete guide to learn more about using speech recognition and dictation in Windows.
You can dictate text in Microsoft Office by clicking the prominent Dictate button in all versions of Word, Powerpoint, OneNote, and Outlook. This brings the excellent engine Microsoft offers all Windows users, complete with the auto-punctuation feature, to just about every major operating system—the web, Android, iOS, and macOS versions of Office all include this dictation feature. It’s great news if you use one of those systems and don’t love the built-in speech-to-text engine.
Apple has included Dictation in macOS since 2012. To enable the feature, head to System Preferences > Keyboard > Dictation, where you can also set a keyboard shortcut. Newer Macs have a dedicated function key (F5) to enable and disable dictation in the top row of the keyboard that looks like a microphone. The speech detection is very accurate and shows up in near real time. You can add punctuation with spoken commands(Opens in a new window). Potentially incorrect words are underlined in blue after you’re done with dictation, and you can right-click or Command-click on them to see other potential options, similar to how spellcheck works.