Dictation vs Typing.
In the last six months, I have been improving my typing speed extensively. I have transitioned from the typical 2-3 finger typing method to touch typing without looking.
However, despite my progress, I still find myself frustrated with typing to express my thoughts. It doesn’t feel fast enough even with a typing speed of 120 words per minute. I believe that typing hinders my thought process and slows me down. This becomes problematic because writing essentially involves thinking, and when you try to multitask, the quality of your thinking inevitably suffers. This is the challenge I face with typing. I feel like my attention is divided between the mechanics of typing and the mechanics of thinking.
To overcome this issue, I have been increasingly relying on dictation. Although it’s not flawless, it is considerably effective. Any errors can easily be rectified later using AI tools rather than manually going back and attempting to correct all the minor mistakes.
I look forward to the next few years as dictation improves. It will essentially become completely flawless, and I think that speech will be one of the main mechanisms of how we interact with technology. It is not ideal, of course, because sometimes you’re in a room with other people and you don’t want to speak because you will disturb them, but overall it is a good way to write.
Right now, I’m using the built-in Apple dictation to buy hitting my function key twice on my MacBook. While this is quite good, the whisper library by OpenAI is even better, but there is not a good interface for real-time transcription for this yet for Macs that I am aware of.
It is also quite interesting to consider why we should even write in the age of AI. I was having this discussion with a university student, and the point is that it’s not about the writing itself but about learning to think critically. Right now, we are simply using the essay format as a method to showcase thinking. So, in the same way that the calculator did not completely replace the need to learn mathematics, AI will not completely replace the need to be able to write. In addition, learning how to shape essays and thoughts and using AI as a leverage tool to be faster and better will be the way forwards.