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Speech-to-text software is a type of software that effectively takes audio content and transcribes it into written words in a word processor or other display destination. This type of speech recognition software is extremely valuable to anyone who needs to generate a lot of written content without a lot of manual typing. It is also useful for people with disabilities that make it difficult for them to use a keyboard.
Speech-to-text software may also be known as voice recognition software.
Although speech-to-text software is commonly sold as a standalone application, it has also been built into newer operating systems for some devices. Most speech-to-text software programs aimed at assisting with transcription focus on recognizing a wide range of vocabulary from a single user or a limited set of users, rather than recognizing a smaller range of vocabulary from a larger user base.
In terms of technical function, many speech-to-text software programs break spoken-word audio down into short "samples" and associate those samples with simple phonemes or units of pronunciation. Then, complex algorithms sort the results to try to predict the word or phrase that was said. Speech-to-text software has improved quite a bit in accuracy and evolved in general functionality to play a larger role in modern communications over digital platforms.