Is Tuning Up with Machine Transcription Good for Public Media?

Is Tuning Up with Machine Transcription Good for Public Media?
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy


Human involvement offers a whole host of advantages over the use of voice recognition and other types of transcription software. Nonetheless, a lot of business owners still go down the technology, route in the hope that it will ease them of work-related pressures. In public media, discrepancies can cost you, which is why the decision should not be made lightly.

Using Speech to Text Software
Automatic speech recognition, also known as ASR, can be used to transcribe public radio broadcasts. Despite the fact that it is somewhat convenient, it's important to learn that no transcription is 100 percent accurate. Humans don't necessarily want to read entire radio transcripts, which is why editing by a professional transcriptionist is a good idea. A transcriptionist will know your audience, while software will not!

Saving Time and Money with Human Transcription
A significant up-front investment is usually required for software. The system must be trained to dictate the clinician's voice for voice recognition systems to work effectively, and this can result in delays. Absurd or unnecessary phrases may be included in voice recognition systems, whereas a human maintains common sense to eliminate worthless words and terminology.

Human Transcription Vs Machine TranscriptionWhy Replace Machine Transcription with Human Transcription

Human Transcription Guarantees Good Grammar
General English and grammar can be difficult for technology to grasp. Nothing quite compares to the skill of a human transcriptionist, who will have studied for years to transcribe audio. A safety net for many business professionals, a human secretary boasts more contextual understanding than a voice recognition computer.

Understanding Slang Phrases
When you consider the fact that human transcriptionists can understand slang phrases, the choice between automatic transcription and human transcription is made easy. Audio may feature various people's voices, with all kinds of accents and sounds. While you could spend the time training desktop software to recognize particular sounds, this is time-consuming.

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Handling Multiple Speakers
You may struggle to find software that can transcribe recordings with multiple voices. Automatic transcription is not designed to transcribe more than one voice. Techniques like "parroting" and "voice writing" might work, but will consume a lot of your time. Outsourcing work to a professional is your best bet.

Transcribe a Broad Range of Topics
Human transcriptionists are skilled at researching topics. This enables them to better interpret information from a presentation, interview, phone call, meeting, etc. As a result, you can expect the final text document to be indexed higher on search engines like Google.

All in all, you would be better off hiring a human with specialized knowledge if you want to create transcripts that are up to 99 percent accurate. Don't let the introduction of new technologies sway you to the software side, because natural language recognition tools aren't as precise as manual tools.

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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the Cofounder & President of GMR Transcription Services, Inc., a California-based company that has been providing accurate and fast transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed nearly ten years of success at GMR, playing a pivotal role in the company's growth. Under Beth's leadership, GMR Transcription doubled its sales within two years, earning recognition as one of the OC Business Journal's fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two kids.