For time immemorial, lawyers have been dictating machines. We talk for a living, and we communicate with secretaries and paralegals with dictation equipment. In the early days, dictation was recorded on a microcassette, which was either walked to the secretary’s desk for insertion in a tape player for transcription, or, as technology advanced, sent over a phone line to the transcription machine. The secretary donned a headset, and had a foot pedal for start and stop operations.
Fast forward to the digital age, and many companies have tried to create dictation systems that communicate via computer and network. It’s naturally faster and easier to send a computer file over a network for transcription, but computer transcription of the spoken voice has been problematic at best.
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