Voice Recognition and Real Recommendations

February 15, 2011

When watching the Jon Culshaws, Roni Anconas and Rory Bremners of this world, my reaction is invariably the same: ‘who the heck was that meant to be?’ It is just as well that so many use catchphrases – if there is an ‘Ooh, Betty’ I can rest easy in the knowledge that it was meant to be Prince Philip. So anyone who has observed me during an impressionist’s act will find it hard not to laugh when I say I am thinking hard about voice recognition.

But a few minutes of research as to the best buy and what might suit me was enough. Too much information, too unspecific and too much waffle. And that was just my questions – the supplier’s information was worse. So I did what we all tend to do in less technical areas like recruiting a chimney sweep, I asked friends and acquaintances what they thought – especially those with chimneys.

But I realise that this blog and the SCL web site are not entirely designed for my benefit (nothing’s perfect) so this is not a call for more advice and assistance with my dilemma (hint: even though there is a comments box at the bottom of this post). Given my reaction to the voice recognition dilemma, I began to think about the many other SCL members who, as individuals, are faced with tricky choices at the moment when it comes to acquiring technology – iPhone or Blackberry or generic-Android; iPad phone, netbook, Kindle or generic-Android tablet; red wine, white wine or Android wine; even (God save us) Mac or PC. And then there are browser choices and so many software choices (including apps) that reverting to chisel and stone for information recording seems like a rational option.

At this stage, I am concerned with the choices that you make as individuals – not the firm-wide adoption of IT, where high level technical analysis and consultant input can be readily justified. But recommendations from equivalent users (or at least similar users) carry so much more weight when we are making individual choices (look at tripadvisor and the like). And there are even more of those choices now that some firms are encouraging their lawyers to purchase their own kit. We don’t do enough to encourage such recommendations on the web site at present.

So I am keen to see more – both in the magazine and on the web site – of material about the technology that lawyers are actually using and finding useful (iPhones, voice-recognition, e-books and the like). I would like to encourage contributions from SCL members that recapture some of SCL members’ early evangelical enthusiasm. They do not have to be properly rounded articles – it is enough to say ‘this works for me’ and why. But I need your input on this. Do feel free to e-mail me with suggestions (unless you are a PR company representing a supplier). I want to hear about real-world applications, and about real-world successes and failures.

If I can get your comments and suggestions, I will post them in whatever style suits the material (article or amalgam) in an occasional Technology Forum series. I will happily post contributions without naming my source if that is what you want. Comments and responses from others will be encouraged.

And if it works for these individual technologies we can cover your working experiences too – which e-disclosure software really stinks and so on.

Get recommending, or condemning, now!

You can contact me at lseastham@aol.com