Talk to the Hansard

A voice recognition application will be used in preparing the official record of Parliamentary debates

Voice recognition will for the first time be a feature of the preparation of the Hansard record of Parliamentary debates when a new production system is set up, later this year

It will not be an integral part of the main Hansard Production System, which is the subject of a Request for Proposal, but the RFP stipulates that the production system is expected to “operate in combination” with Dragon NaturallySpeaking “or an equivalent voice recognition application.”

The process of producing Hansard begins with the recording of the debates on a digital audio system, time segments of which (called “Turns”) are allocated to reporters and transcribed. It is envisaged that Hansard reporters will use the voice-to-text application “as an aid to author Turns documents,” says Ashlee Betham, management support officer in the Office of the Clerk at Parliament.

Therefore the authoring tool component of the new HPS will need to interface with Dragon Naturally Speaking or equivalent, she says.

Betham confirms that the voice-recognition interface is a new feature.

The period for responses to the RFP or closes today and a contract with the successful supplier is expected to be concluded in mid-to-late March.

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