Pros and Cons of Automated Transcription Software


Pros and Cons of Automated Transcription Software
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

1/14/2019

Voice recognition software is gaining widespread adoption across businesses since it automatically transforms talk to text at a low cost. Automation potentially helps speed up assignments and productivity. Transcribing your own audio or video might save even more money, but you need to first consider the pros and cons of automation.

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PROS

  • Plenty of free audio-to-text converters online to choose from. 
  • Since assignments can be completed faster, automation favors high volume content, but only if quality is not at a premium and also if you do not want to invest more.
  • Timestamps can be put into your transcript automatically
  • Automated transcription works best when the end product remains within the company, as opposed to trying to make an impressive presentation. It's also useful when you need transcriptions done in a hurry (for example, next day deadlines).

CONS

  • While advancements have been tremendous this century, AI technology is still in its early stages and still has many challenges to overcome. Additionally, it needs to become more user-friendly
  • Any kind of software can be subject to slowdowns or other technical issues
  • The software has certain limitations, such as it has difficulty transcribing words that are spoken quickly
  • Background noise can drown out the main content, especially if the speaker has a soft voice
  • Text software is limited to a finite vocabulary and may not include new expressions, products or brand names

Choosing Your Transcription Method

Due to these limitations, some managers prefer customized rather than automated solutions for creating documents. You might, for example, not want the entire exact text and may want to edit out "ums" and "ahs." In that case a professional transcriber would be more useful. You might also use traditional transcription services when you need a translation in another language, since every language has nuances that software might not catch.


Why Traditional Transcription Is Superior

Not only can a professional transcriptionist still hear a speaker despite background noise, they can also interpret words that a machine can't, just by understanding the individual, the language or the culture. They understand more about interpreting foreign accents and regional dialects. Another edge that transcriptionists have over machines is that they can differentiate between sound-alike words. Traditional transcription services are also more likely to document the speaker's name accurately.

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Hybrid Model

Something to keep in mind if you go the automation route is that you still need a hybrid model with human assistance if you want accuracy to be as close to 100% as possible. If you are trying to make a high-quality presentation, you cannot afford to overlook the crucial step of proofreading the transcript by transcription services. When people see too many typos it may create perceptions of carelessness.

Overall, professional transcriptionists have a higher accuracy rate than voice recognition software. The error rate for automatically transcribing a phone conversation, for example, is about 12% compared with the average error rate of 4% for an experienced human transcriptionist. Even with the most advanced tech companies working on AI solutions, many times a human can deliver a more accurate document, although it might take more time.


Conclusion

Even if you want to speed up transcriptions by using automation, you should consider using a transcriptionist as well to ensure maximum accuracy. If you plan to use the document in a persuasive way, you certainly must pay attention to details, such as grammar and spelling. While machines can be more convenient and affordable, traditional transcription services still provide the most important task in transcribing, which is delivering a highly refined and professional finished product.

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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the Director of Operations for GMR Transcription Services, Inc an Orange County, California based company that has been providing accurate and affordable transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed success at GMR for almost ten years now and has helped the company grow. Within two years of Beth managing GMR Transcription, it had doubled in sales and was named one of the OC Business Journal’s fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she likes spending time with her husband and two kids.