Over the last couple of years many software manufacturers have been working on voice activated technology. We all remember 2001 a Space Odyssey with HAL the computer. I was fascinated by the ability to talk to a computer and have that artificial mind talk back to us. The next time I encountered computers was while watching Star Trek. We could talk to a machine and with only our voice command it to take us to the Bridge or make an entire meal appear out of thin air. It all seemed like a great idea at the time but no one believed that you would ever really be able to experience this wonder, at least not in our lifetimes.

However, today we are a lot closer to those fantasies. I’m dictating this article with voice activated software. In theory, I will be saving hours in the future preparing upcoming articles with this new technology. For now I am on a learning curve along with my trusty laptop.

I tried the earlier versions of voice activated software a few years ago and found it frustrating from an accuracy standpoint as well as difficult manipulating the document I was working on. This latest version is much better at navigating around the computer and it is also faster and somewhat more accurate. Saying the word ‘save’ and watching the screen as the computer hears your command and you actually begin to save the document has an odd combination of wonder and exhilaration.

However, there is a price to pay for this thrill. Learning a variety of new commands and in some cases dealing with the computer as it misinterprets what you’re saying delivers a level of frustration different from current technological anxiety. After all this is the answer we have been waiting for, the final step to make computers accessible to all including the infamous two fingered typist. On the plus side when you speak a complete sentence and watch the computer type it out in front of your eyes with no mistakes it is somewhat hard to believe.

But how does this new technology apply to marketing? Marketing is a lot of thinking and writing and rewriting. No one sits down to write a marketing plan in one pass or create the perfect copy for their website, an ad or brochure with the initial draft. So, in theory, if technology helped you to do some of the things that you normally don’t spend enough time on then perhaps you would be able to create those valuable marketing materials in a shorter period of time and get them out to your customers more efficiently.

We all have good intentions when it comes to answering e-mail, sending the follow-up thank you letter in a timely manner and creating proposals all requiring a fair bit of time parked in front of the computer.

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