Tom Sloan Cartoon: Speech Recognition? Pa-Leez!

Written by Tom Sloan

Speech recognition is here. You utter a voice command. You shout at it. And it does your bidding. Ask Dr. Hydrogen. it’s the latest Tom Sloan cartoon … — Here’s the latest Tom Sloan cartoon, in which he ruthlessly skewers speech recognition. Pa-leez!

When both your hands are busy and you need a third, verbal commands can be helpful. Dictation, for example. A boss can dictate his memos by voice commands while his hands are free to practice his putting.

byte cartoon 51 olden day voice commands

Image credit: Tom Sloan

For better or worse, speech recognition is here. It’s simple. You just utter a voice command. It does have its uses. Smartphones and automobiles are using this technology more and more with very good results. Many other applications exist in the military, medicine, industry and the sciences.

Unfortunately, there too many times in our lives that using a voice command is not the preferred method. A typical telephone call to some business will likely have a voice asking you to enter a number for the department you want.

“For sales, press one. For service, press two …”

Others might have a voice asking you to say what would want to do in addition to pressing a number.

But the worst case is when voice command is your only option.  “Tell us what you want to do. To pay a bill, say Pay Bill. To speak to a representative, say Speak to a Representative.  You end up shouting because the system doesn’t understand anything you say.

Does anyone actually like that? Pity the poor person with an accent.

For, I’m Tom Sloan.