“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
Test 2: 10 attempts at the word “simultaneously”, transcribed as follows:
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.
Ah hell. Oh well, it’s been fun…?
BTW: If you’re into Semiotics, and/or have read Saussure, my subject line is hilarious.