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How To ‘Langue’ Your Dragon

“Writing obscures language; it is not a guise for language but a disguise.” (Saussure, Course in General Linguistics)

Saussure (and other semioticians after him) suggest that the semiotics is a process of encoding and decoding. I’m curious to see how machines might be able to do this with live events. As I mentioned in one of my first posts, I’ve been thinking about the ‘analytics of performance‘. If signs can be reduced to their physical properties, is it possible for them to provide a more “true” interpretation of live events? Can these analytics provide a convenient and accurate reproduction of the live event? Is there a way that we can produce a stream of data about a performance and provide it in an open format so that others can read, experience, interpret, mash-up and create their own meanings?

As an experiment, I purchased some voice recognition software. I thought it would be great for taking notes while reading texts and capturing thoughts while putting together papers. Plus, I may be a bit of a geek. I ordered it online with an educational discount. When it was delivered, I had to pay duty on it (which was, incidentally, more than what it was discounted by). Unshaken, and determined to explore it’s potential, I installed the software and the data disks and did the preliminary voice training modules (all of them).

I’ve been using it for about a week. To date, I’ve had mixed results, a bit of frustration, and a couple good belly-laughs.

Test 1: Taking notes from Structure and Semiotics by Terence Hawkes

  • “Umberto Eco” transcribed as “1-Bertolt Brecht go”
  • “aesthetic idiolect” transcribed as “as stated ideal lacked”
  • “a poetics of writing” transcribed as “a poll where ticks of writing”

Test 2: 10 attempts at the word “simultaneously”, transcribed as follows:

  • Simo tenuously
  • sci Mauritania sleep
  • sign my detainee is 3
  • Simon Taylor needlessly
  • Symantec Leslie
  • Simo Cleinias lady
  • sci multimedia 3
  • site continuously
  • sign Memorial pain needlessly
  • Simo tediously

The good news is that I can use advanced tools to refine the vocabulary so that I can speak as I am now and the robots behind-the-scenes can turn my utterances into printed text automatically. So let’s see…I will try to say “the magic word” again.

Here goes:

  • Simon continuously
  • Simo tediously
  • Simo dangerously
  • Simon Davies late

Ah hell. Oh well, it’s been fun…?



BTW: If you’re into Semiotics, and/or have read Saussure, my subject line is hilarious.


One comment on “How To ‘Langue’ Your Dragon

  1. guelphchrysalis
    September 24, 2011

    Dragon speak? A lot of kids with LD’s use voice recognition software.It is pretty funny to hear as they train it to understand their voice. On a practical level though it is soooo time consuming to get it up to speed.

    Good luck!

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This entry was posted on September 24, 2011 by in thinkings and tagged , .

What’s all this?

I've created this site to document and share research and activities related to my Masters of Arts program. It's partially a blog, partially a journal, partially whatever you want it to be. Feel free to have a good look around at what I'm reading, seeing, writing and thinking about. I'd love to see/hear your comments.

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