Microsoft’s new dictation app will free you from your keyboard
AI assistants like Siri and Cortana are making voice commands the go-to way we interact with our speakers and smartphones, but on our computers, most of us are still chained to the keyboard.
Microsoft, which is in the midst of a major push to put AI in just about everything, wants to break PC users from their keyboard bonds using AI. A new app add-on from Microsoft Garage, the company’s arm for experimental projects, will bring the next-level speech recognition system used by Cortana to transcribe your words in Outlook, Word, and PowerPoint.
Microsoft announced the new transcription app, simply called Dictate, in a blog post today. Since its birth as a prototype at one of Microsoft’s annual hackathons, the project has been used by more than 1,500 of the company’s employees in over 40 countries.
Dictate can transcribe in 20 languages, and Microsoft claims the AI can provide real-time translation in 60 languages. You can use spoken commands to add punctuation, new lines, and some editing and formatting features, or test the AI’s accuracy with an auto-punctuation feature.
Voice-based productivity isn’t exactly new; Google introduced a dictation feature to Docs last year, even giving users some next-level voice controls to allow for extra formatting and editing power.
Microsoft also announced that its speech recognition software was as accurate as humans earlier this year — but that system hasn’t been introduced to its programs just yet.
If you’re ready to give up typing on your PowerPoint slides forever, head to Dictate’s project page to download it.