How can we reduce inequality in Australia?

by John Quiggin on February 11, 2021

Late last year, along with Emma Dawson, John Hewson and Angela Jackson, I took part in a discussion for the ABC[1]’s Big Ideas program, hosted by Paul Barclay. It went to air recently. Here’s a link to the podcast[2]

Unfortunately, I don’t have the time/ patience to listen to audio. I also don’t like the sound of my voice on radio – this is true for many people I think. It would be great to have a program that took an audio file and generated text output. A very quick search mostly turned up paid transcription services. Does anyone have any experience with this.

fn1. Australian Broadcasting Corporation, our equivalent of the BBC

fn2. Is a recording of a radio program a podcast? Can anyone clarify this.



J-D 02.11.21 at 1:51 am

Is a recording of a radio program a podcast?

If it’s available for download to podcast players then it’s a podcast (otherwise, not).


Chris Bigum 02.11.21 at 2:44 am has a free version – 40 minutes max and 600 hrs free per month.


KT2 02.11.21 at 4:58 am

Easier to use google or watson as progur says below.

I’d be dropping an email to CS dept at UQ. Someone will probably have Mozilla’s ‘DeepSpeech installed, or have it running within an hour.

Probably train it first with as high quality audio. Then ask ABC for raw audio before compression. In fact, as ABC to do this for you.

“There are many cloud-based speech recognition APIs available today. The Google Cloud Speech API and the IBM Watson Speech-to-Text API are the most widely-used ones. But, what if you don’t want your application to depend on a third-party service. Or, what if you want to create a speech recognition-based application that can work offline. Well, you should consider using
Mozilla DeepSpeech.”

Top speech to text in github…

DeepSpeech is an open source embedded (offline, on-device) speech-to-text engine which can run in real time on devices ranging from a Raspberry Pi 4 to high power GPU servers”

Here is ‘the list’ on github of text to speech. Mozilla DeepSpeech is on to with 16k recommendations.


I will be doing gtp3 by mid year, as I am turning text into images for a card based game, due to this new engine. Cards won each have attributes texturally which are parts of amimals. A gtp3 engine is trained with animal parts and generates vector and smoothing between different parts to produce a seemlessly generated a ‘new’ animal.  

GTP-‘4,5,6’ will be scarily good. Run your studies text and see what you can generate – maybe tweet threads for example by trying with your papers, provide aan op as ‘to mach’ and output new op or flood twitter as <256 word ‘tweets’. Fun.

Podcast any audio file you call a podcast I’d say. Ymmv.


reason 02.11.21 at 9:10 pm

Take money from the rich and give it to the poor.


Robert 02.11.21 at 9:13 pm

If it is made available through an RSS feed that can be subscribed to with a podcast app, then it’s a podcast. Radio National is very good at this. There are links to subscribe to the Big Ideas podcast in the sidebar to the right of the page:


John Quiggin 02.12.21 at 1:12 am

@4 You may be surprised to learn that this is a controversial position on the left. I’m about to put up a long book extract, explaining why the alternative position “give money to the poor, and leave the rich alone” is wrong.


J-D 02.12.21 at 3:53 am

I’m about to put up a long book extract, explaining why the alternative position “give money to the poor, and leave the rich alone” is wrong.

I look forward to reading that, but in the meantime here’s a general observation true in all instances regardless of the economic system:
What ‘rich’ means is ‘having things that other people don’t have’ and what ‘poor’ means is ‘not having things that other people do have’. The degree of inequality between the rich and the poor is both the measure of poverty and the measure of wealth. The extent to which any measure increases or decreases wealth is also exactly the extent to which it increases or decreases poverty. I’m not an economist, but I have an idea this might be something like what economists call an accounting identity.

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