Will the phrase “take a memo” be returning soon?

Today I’m not going to talk quite so much about marketing but instead about office work in general. Because for the first time ever I am dictating this article into my computer. I promise that I won’t do any editing on it afterwards so if any of this is unintelligible well perhaps dictation and voice recognition isn’t quite perfect yet. however I suspect that even if it could do with a bit of editing that wouldn’t take more than a few seconds. I’ve been keen to try voice recognition many times over the years but I always found it difficult to train and in need of far too much editing afterwards. However I think it has really come of age now and although I can type reasonably quickly it is much easier and quicker to dictate this into my computer. I wonder if the last 30 years which coincides with my own working lifetime will be seen as a strange period where untrained people needed to type. Perhaps we’re only a few years away from only specialists needing to type once more and we will be back in the same situation as we associate with the 60s and 70s with one person dictating while someone else does the typing. In this case however the typing will be done by a computer.

Working out what you’re going to say is quite a different skill from working out what you’re going to type but it’s a skill which was obviously familiar to people who dictated letters many years ago. I’m sure we will get it back. In the meantime we will probably have articles like this which do seem a little stilted even if they are much quicker to put together.

For those of you who are interested I am using the built in voice dictation which comes with the new Apple Mac operating system but I am sure there are many alternatives on Windows and other systems. It will be a sign of intelligence if the system has put capital letters on Apple Mac and Windows here.

This article took about three or four minutes to assemble which isn’t bad really – maybe this is the future?

Discussion

  1. Wendy Bourne

    Actually quite impressive! I would say my only criticism on the finished version is a disturbing lack of commas (and maybe a missing hyphen or two), but as you mention, the editing would not take very long at all: the bulk of the work is done. It’s given a better result than some e-mails I’ve seen in my time (though maybe that’s a reflection of the person generating the e-mails…).

    I believe, as you mention, the skill now becomes thinking what you want to say before you say it – a skill that we could all use more everyday, I’m sure!

  2. Carolyn Lundy

    Very interesting and helpful. Chris – I am trying to locate your very first blog about the death of marketing as we know it. Cannot locate in the archives. Can you direct me please? BTW, do you have a USA counterpart? Don’t mind if you do not publish. Just needed a way to contact you and locate the article. Many thanks!

  3. Chris Rand Post author

    Not sure which article that is, Carolyn, but they’re all listed here if it’s of help. We’re not in the USA although we have done some work for US-based companies, and I have some good contacts Stateside if you need a referral for anything. You can email me directly at chris@bmon.co.uk

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