A young lad by the name of Ben Cook might be able to school his pals with his lightning-quick text messaging skillz (he even prefers plain ol' multi-tapping to predictive text) but one company set out to prove that the world's fastest texter
is still no match for voice recognition. Nuance Communications is gearing up to release its Mobile Speech Platform to carriers -- a system that'll ultimately allow users to dictate SMSes, among other tasks -- and they obviously needed some high-profile way to get the word out, like picking on Ben Cook, for example. For the contest, Nuance pitted its software against Mr. Cook and two Nuance employees packing QWERTY and T9 devices, throwing them each this little tidbit of everyday conversation: "The razor toothed piranhas of the genera Serrasalmus and Pygo centrus are the most ferocious freshwater fish in the world. In reality they seldom attack a human." Our world record holder finished in 48 seconds -- not bad, considering he was doing it without any predictive assistance -- but the software spanked everyone with just 16 seconds on the clock. Now we just need to take a hard look at why one would dictate an SMS (versus, say, placing a phone call) and we'll be jumping right on the bandwagon.