Tuesday, June 11, 2013

I'm a Thespian, Get Me Out of Here

So, the play has come around. Dress rehearsal tomorrow followed by four performances in three days.

To say it is disorganised would be an understatement. If I went into everything here that hasn't been right I would miss the performances. I know my lines when reciting them but whether they will come out when on stage is another matter and when other people are there to throw me off.

Normally I would go into a performing week rested but I'm not, which is worrying. Despite stereotypes, performing does take it out of you. I think it's the adrenaline kicking in and out.

Anyway. it's unlikely I'll post again before next week. Not that I probably would have anyway.

Sunday, June 02, 2013

Voice Recognition or Hoist Reconditioned

If you ever watch the BBC News on News 24 and you need cheering up, and for all I know it is the same on the main BBC channels, then just switch on the sub-titles.

Once upon a time there would have been a stenographer typing away I guess and accuracy would have been paramount. Now, with the move to BBC Outer Space in Salford they appear to be using a voice recognition programme and apparently it's not a very good one. Within a few minutes watching over a few days it managed to "hear" the following.

house rye scone (Should have been horizon)
the prison tays (The Brontes)
James Die Son (James Dyson - sort of understandable but even so...)
anyone they maisie (anyone they may see)
every baton (every battle)
drama Rigby (Drummer Rigby)
violent kanebo(violent tornado)

Once they realise there is a mistake either they reset it, or do something, because then it re-corrects the line. Unless it gets it wrong again. The record for the number of attempts to get one word right is 4 that I've seen. Occasionally they just seem to give up and hope no-one noticed.

It's probably all come about with the need to get news on to air as fast as possible. Images and stories beamed in and straight on to screen do not allow for someone to sit there manually typing, so accuracy gives way to speed. Luckily, with being able to hear, they are nothing but an amusing aberration, but if you rely on that written word to describe what you are seeing, it might not be quite so funny. And what if you know someone who was in that tornado, or a distant relative of Drummer Rigby, you might actually prefer if they got things right and showed some consideration.

In the end, do we actually need to have the news so fresh that an extra 10 seconds of delay would make a huge difference?