Voice recognition and change

I heard on the radio yesterday that “scientists” are predicting the next big computer breakthrough will be voice recognition. Chips are getting fast enough that computers will soon be able to understand what we say. Which will make airports very noisy places, but that’s a different story.

The other day, I took a four hour flight sitting next to a very aggressive hunt and peck typist. He must have written three thousand words on the flight… nailing each key as hard and as fast as he could.

Then I got home to discover that they’re teaching my third grader how to write in cursive.

Something’s wrong here.

Cursive is a fundamentally useless skill in this century, and if we were inventing the curriculum from scratch, it wouldn’t even show up in the top 1,000 things you need to know. Typing, on the other hand, is way up there, at least until the scientists come up with voice recognition.

All organizations are slow to change. Organizations that don’t measure their results are even slower.