This post is part of a series of weekly found poetry prompts. If you have an idea for a found poetry source, email Senior Poetry Editor Beth Ayer.
I recently received yet another free trial of Voicemail-to-Text on my Android device. So for the next month, every voicemail on my phone will also show up as a text message (read: I will not be picking up the phone for the next month). This feature appears periodically, and while I have never actually signed up, the results are so bad (read: great) that I always miss it when it’s gone.
Voicemail aside, there are many options for voice-to-text dictation for both Android and iPhone, which can provide us with yet another way to input text and let a machine shoot it back to us for serendipitous discovery (and some pure nonsense). While there are online tools for generating remixed text, none of them force the computer to actually interpret the source text with such a wide margin of error. If the text is dictated in a normal speaking style (the way someone would leave a voicemail on your phone, say) then the output might be about 50% accurate. At least that has been my experience. Only with voicemail-to-text do I receive messages that begin “Hi Dad.”
So, here’s your experimental challenge this week: read (or sing!) a source text into a voice-to-text dictation tool (this is native to iOS, or you can use Google Voice or other apps like ListNote) and see what you get. [Note: Search for voice-to-text apps for your given device. If you find one you like, please let us know in the comments.]
Share share the result of your experiment in the comments in all its glory, or take bits and create a poem. Tip: read in your normal speaking style—or any style of your choosing—but do not try to read for the device. Just let it record your voice and see what it picks up.
Top image byy Pérot [Public domain or Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons