Is voice recognition viable?
First of all, voice recognition is commonly confused with speech recognition. This article is actually about speech recognition, but the mistake is so common that it would be unhelpful to the average reader to fix it. Voice recognition technology means what it says, it's designed to recognize a specific voice (all voices differ importantly from one other). Speech recognition, on the other hand, recognizes speech and records it as the written word. But we'll stick with the term voice recognition, but for clarity's sake know that it is speech recognition we are talking about.
The question at the head of this essay is: "Is voice recognition viable?" And the answer is: "Yes," if by viable you mean does it actually work. Voice recognition works. Now, there are different programs out there, and some are better than others. This essay isn't about comparing one withthe other. A quick Internet search, however, will bring you reviews that go into detail over the different products and their hits and misses.
Voice recognition is complicated technology. Brilliant people have been trying to make it work for decades. You can imagine some of the problems involved. Most words sound like other words. "There," for example, if only spoken, could also mean "their," and "they're," depending on the context it's used in. How is a computer supposed to tell them all apart? I can't begin to explain the technology, but computers are quite sophisticated machines nowadays and probably understand the rules of grammar better than most humans. I.e., the computer contextualizes as you speak. If you said, "They're over there," for example, this would be a familiar enough construction to the computer that it would pop it out without any problem. Of course, nothing's perfect, and you may end up correcting a word here or their-oops-there, but overall voice recognition is a perfectly suitable way for you to write documents or letters, keep a journal, compose a poem, and so on.
Voice recognition is also viable in the sense that for many people it's a real convenience, while for many others it's a real necessity. Most human beings speak more naturally than they write; one study showed that it isn't uncommon for a person who can't write a sentence without multiple ghastly grammatical errors to avoid the same errors completely when talking. Also, the average's person's vocabulary tends to expend when speaking as opposed to writing. Voice recognition, therefore, might actually help you become a better writer through speaking. Voice recognition saves your hands from painful cramping, your back and neck from the poor posture that typing often induces, and besides all that it's fun to talk to yourself, to hear your ideas spoken aloud, to taste the flavor of words, as it were, as they roll from from your mouth. Voice recognition users have reported developing a more natural, musical writing style through speaking instead of typing. You can usually recognize pretty distinctive differences among your friends' styles of speaking; it would be much harder to do if you were to read essays they had written on the same subject. If they can write the way they speak, they can bring individuality to their essays or whatever.
Voice recognition, as I mentioned before, is a downright necessity for some people, but it's all too common that the very people who need it most aren't aware that it even exists. Or they are aware of it, but they tried an ineffective version years ago and aren't hip to the improved technology. For people without the use of their hands, voice recognition is the only way for them to enjoy the benefits of writing (unless they hired a scribe; but scribes are expensive).