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FBI Agents Learning to “Train Their Dragons”

FBI Agents Learning to “Train Their Dragons”

WASHINGTON (October 2010)—Years ago, FBI support staff would work with agents to take dictation of a case or investigation for necessary paperwork. This meant agents would spend valuable man hours doing administrative work when they could have been doing investigative work.  

But now, agents can use their new desktop computer work environment, a microphone and/or headset, and voice recognition software to let the computer translate their speech into text instead of spending time typing documents. And as soon as the Information and Technology Branch started offering Dragon NaturallySpeaking (Dragon NS) voice recognition software in October 2010, FBI employees have been installing it to assist with everyday office routines. 

The new speech recognition software allows Bureau employees to speak naturally and use voice commands to navigate files on their computer, open and close documents and applications, and dictate directly into Microsoft Office products and other Windows-based products. Agents with repeated use of this tool “train” their software to recognize their speech patterns.

“It was a pleasant surprise that I could use Dragon NS for more than just FBI reports, “said a Special Agent from the Chicago Office who participated in one of the pilots held this summer.  “I am currently using Dragon NS to prepare draft interview questions before interviewing subjects and/or witnesses on cases.” 

As time goes on, more employees are taking advantage of integrating the software into their workflow.  Since the software is easy to use, it is another solution to help alleviate an administrative burden on agents, keeping them in the field doing their investigative casework.

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