Speech-related injuries caused by using voice-recognition software that requires discrete pauses between words. Symptoms include loss of vocal chord tension, chronic hoarseness, and loss of voice. (These are also known as laryngeal stress injuries, an echo of the more common repetitive stress injuries.)
“The cost of a voice recognition system today is trivial compared to all the associated costs with rehabilitation,“ said Mark Flanagan, general manager of speech recognition manufacturer Kurzweil.
But before you invest a few hundred for this Star Trek-like technology, you need to ask yourself a few questions: Is this technology right for your company? Do your workers have the patience to learn a new system? And what about reports that speech recognition can cause throat or voice injuries?
—“Speech Recognition as Accommodation For Workers With CTD - A Wise Decision?,“ Successful Job Accommodations Strategies, November 1, 1996
Speech pathologists say some patients have encountered what doctors call voice injuries from prolonged use of discrete-speech software.
—Andrew Tausz, “Worth shouting about?,“ The Globe and Mail, October 31, 1997
Some users have found that they shout at the microphone, when a softer approach is needed. “People tend to punch their words out and speak more forcefully because they‘re wondering whether the system will recognize their words,“ said Tom Knotts, who uses a voice-recognition system to design integrated circuits for a high-tech company in Palo Alto, Calif.
“But even speaking softly can lead to injuries if the voice is too tight,“ Knotts added.
There are no statistics on the emergence of computer-related voice injuries.
—Mitch Betts, “Voice strain plagues some pc users,“ Computerworld, April 24, 1995