Programming P{erl; with Vista Sp>eech@

Sometimes it's ok to sit back, take stock of where we are at, and allow our sense of humour to breathe.

All of us in the speech industry are keen to demonstrate and remind our clients and prospective clients that speech recognition has finally come of age and delivers tangible returns and savings in processing calls. And it does.

But it's easy to get a bit blinkered from time to time and forget the image speech recognition has in social consciousness; the consumers' experience of the technology is often different from the experience the industry promotes (and, on the whole, delivers).

This video is both painful and funny on several levels. It is painful to see someone struggle like this, but also painful to think the speech industry still has to overcome this kind of experience. It's funny because - well, let's face it - someone else's plight is usually pretty funny. But also the results are so predictable yet so obviously unintended.

But it highlights really nicely just what the challenges are of providing intuitive speech interfaces to "everyday" activities.

Even I was swearing at it half-way through, and I wasn't even there....